WASHINGTON – Today, in support for the Freedom to Learn Campaign’s nationwide day of collective action, Damon Hewitt, President and Executive Director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, issued the following statement:
“Across the country, a wave of disinformation campaigns, book bans and curriculum restrictions have intentionally denied students access to fact-based, culturally relevant teaching and ideas. These orchestrated efforts are wide-ranging but often target historical facts about the experience of Black people in this nation. It is as if they want to erase us and other communities from the pages of history.
“But we know these tactics are less about history and more about the future. There is a clear link between the suppression of Black voices and ideas, and other targeted efforts to suppress a growing multi-racial democracy. They know that freedom to learn is freedom to vote. Freedom to organize. Freedom to seek prosperity and abundance. Freedom to decide what public safety means on our own terms. Freedom of bodily autonomy. Freedom to build power and future. That is what they are afraid of. They want to deprive us of the future we deserve.
“Whether it’s banning books that contain ideas that make people think and challenge America to be more inclusive, passing bills aimed at censoring discussions around race and gender in the classroom, or targeting the voting rights of college students as if they are a threat, this anti-democratic agenda is an assault on the freedom of the next generation to learn, live, and lead. The attack on our collective history is an attack on our future.
“Today, and every day, the Lawyers’ Committee stands ready to support and fight, inside and outside of the courts, to support truth and equity in our schools, campuses, and workplaces. We are proud to be a partner of the Freedom to Learn Coalition, and stand in solidarity with our sister organizations and the majority of Americans as we continue to press political, business, and civic leaders, to act urgently against these attacks on education, and on our democracy as a whole.”
About the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law – The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to mobilize the nation’s leading lawyers as agents for change in the Civil Rights Movement. Today, the Lawyers’ Committee uses legal advocacy to achieve racial justice, fighting inside and outside the courts to ensure that Black people and other people of color have the voice, opportunity, and power to make the promises of our democracy real. For more information, please visit https://lawyerscommittee.org