Today marks one year since a mob of insurrectionists attempted to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election through a violent breach of the U.S. Capitol.
In recognition of this anniversary, the leaders of the nation’s top historic civil rights organizations released the following joint statement:
“One year ago, the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol laid bare the perilous state of our democracy. As shocking as it was, the act of domestic terrorism perpetrated on January 6, 2021 was the latest escalation of a long-running struggle in this country between those who believe in a multiracial democracy and those who would use force to install a system of authoritarian white supremacy instead.
“Indeed, it is not incidental that this attempted coup occurred after both an election that featured historic levels of turnout from Black and Brown voters — despite widely documented failures to ensure that Black communities, and other communities of color, could access the ballot without fear of violence and intimidation — and an unprecedented effort from then-President Donald Trump to not only lie about the election, but also to enlist extremist groups in his campaign to thwart a peaceful transfer of power.
“In the time since this infamous day in U.S. history, the threats to our democracy have continued unabated. A combined wave of state anti-voter laws — targeting voting methods used to ensure that voters, particularly Black voters, are able to exercise their rights unabated — the coordinated intimidation of election workers and election officials, the post-election efforts to erase and/or suppress the votes cast, and the ongoing gerrymandering of electoral maps has placed the future of our democracy in extreme peril.
“With the 2022 primary election season beginning in just two months, the urgency for immediate action cannot be overstated. It is critical that Congress take whatever steps are necessary to immediately pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the Freedom to Vote Act to secure the right to vote and uphold the integrity of our electoral system. We also call upon the Biden Administration to use all of its power and leadership to help advance this critical legislation. Time is running out. The Senate must act now to remove the threat of the filibuster and immediately pass these essential voting rights bills for the preservation of our democracy.”
- Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law President and Executive Director Damon Hewitt
- NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. President and Director-Counsel Sherrilyn Ifill
- National Urban League President and CEO Marc H. Morial
- NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson
- The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights Interim President and CEO Wade Henderson
- National Action Network President and Founder Reverend Al Sharpton
- National Coalition on Black Civic Participation/Black Women’s Roundtable President and CEO Melanie Campbell
- National Council of Negro Women Executive Director Janice Mathis
Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law – The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (Lawyers’ Committee), a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to involve the private bar in providing legal services to address racial discrimination. The principal mission of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is to secure, through the rule of law, equal justice for all, particularly in the areas of voting rights, criminal justice, fair housing and community development, economic justice, educational opportunities, and hate crimes. For more information, please visit https://lawyerscommittee.org.
Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization. LDF has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF. Follow LDF on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
The National Urban League is a historic civil rights organization dedicated to economic empowerment in order to elevate the standard of living in historically underserved urban communities. The National Urban League spearheads the efforts of its 90 local affiliates through the development of programs, public policy research and advocacy, providing direct services that impact and improve the lives of more than 2 million people annually nationwide. Visit www.nul.org and follow us on Twitter and Instagram: @NatUrbanLeague and @NULPolicy.
Founded in 1909 in response to the ongoing violence against Black people around the country, the NAACP is the largest and most pre-eminent civil rights organization in the nation. We have over 2,200 units and branches across the nation, along with well over 2M activists. Our mission is to secure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights in order to eliminate race-based discrimination and ensure the health and well-being of all persons. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP.
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 2320 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its member organizations, visit www.civilrights.org.
National Action Network (NAN) is one of the leading civil rights organizations in the Nation, with chapters throughout the entire United States. Founded in 1991 by Reverend Al Sharpton, NAN works within the spirit and tradition of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to promote a modern civil rights plan that includes the fight for one standard of justice, decency and equal opportunities for all people regardless of race, religion, nationality or gender.
The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation (NCBCP) is one of the most active civil rights and social justice organizations in the nation “dedicated to increasing civic engagement, economic and voter empowerment in Black America.” The Black Women’s Roundtable (BWR) is the women and girls’ empowerment and power building arm of the NCBCP. At the forefront of championing just and equitable public policy on behalf of Black women, BWR promotes their health and wellness, economic security & prosperity, education and global empowerment as key elements for success.
National Council of Negro Women, Inc. (NCNW) is a Washington, D.C.-based charitable organization making a difference in the lives of women, children, and families through a four-pronged strategy that emphasizes entrepreneurship, health equity, STEAM education, and civic engagement. Founded 85 years ago, NCNW has 300 community and campus-based sections and thirty-two national affiliates representing more than Two Million women and men. NCNW’s programs are grounded on a foundation of critical concerns known as Four for the Future. NCNW promotes education with a particular focus on science, technology, engineering, and math; encourages entrepreneurship, financial literacy, and economic stability; educates women about good health and HIV/AIDS; promotes civic engagement and advocates for sound public policy and social justice. NCNW is known for its work to educate college age women about HIV/AIDs and for producing the Black Family Reunion. Current programs include GirlTech, HBCU College Fair, Millennial Entrepreneurs and Adulting 101. Johnnetta Betsch Cole, Ph.D., is the National Chair and Seventh President of NCNW. NCNW has campaigned for clean water for Flint, MI, voting rights, and SNAP benefits. For more information please visit www.ncnw.org or NCNW’s social channels via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn.