Thursday, June 11, 2020

Street Law Believes Black Lives Matter

Dear Friends,

For nearly 50 years, Street Law programs around the world have addressed issues of racial inequality and injustice.

We teach about and embrace: the Constitution, our democracy, basic human rights, the rule of law, and the struggle to achieve equal justice under law.

We abhor: racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, authoritarianism, and injustice of any kind.

We believe Black lives matter.

We are in the midst of a crisis that calls into question the character of our country. Will we come together to uphold our promise of liberty and justice for all? Will we at last begin to turn the corner and address 400 years of racial injustice?

At Street Law, we strive to be a part of the solution through empowering civic education that focuses on real world challenges and prepares people to advocate effectively for reform.

However, we acknowledge that in order to begin to reverse the tide of injustice in America, we must intensify our efforts. We must also commit to do the work needed to ensure we stand for what is right, and that our programs contribute to bringing about the systemic changes that are so desperately needed.

To that end, Street Law commits to the following:

We commit to use our position to remove barriers to civic education faced by Black people and other people of color.

We commit to prepare our staff and volunteers to be culturally competent educators of young people.

We commit to leverage our partnerships in the legal and educational communities to implement programs that serve disenfranchised people and communities.

We commit to reflect repeatedly, intentionally, and honestly on how we can strengthen Street Law programs and curricula to combat all types of injustice.

We commit to build upon our existing efforts to:

  • Prepare educators to talk about controversial issues in the classroom, including topics that disproportionately affect young people of color.
  • Strengthen our teaching materials to include more racial and ethnic perspectives and accurately reflect the diverse ways government is experienced in our country.
  • Teach legal life skills to young people in the juvenile justice system, child welfare system, and other populations vulnerable to injustice.
  • Create opportunities to build awareness, respect, empathy, and understanding between police, young people, and communities.
  • Ensure our culture and internal practices value the diverse voices and skills of the Street Law staff.

We call out to our partners, donors, stakeholders, and allies to join us in this work.

Lee Arbetman
Executive Director
Street Law, Inc.

Learn more about Street Law's Racial Justice and Democracy Renewal Initiative (September 2020). 

Photo: Black Lives Matter