Policy Statement: Civil Rights and Social Justice
The National Urban League advocates the following position on civil rights and social justice:
The National Urban League remains vigilant in the enforcement of our civil rights laws by working in collaboration with other civil rights organizations, particularly in the areas of affirmative action and voting rights.
There is no unalienable right more fundamental to our democracy than the right to vote. Yet, last week, the Supreme Court made a tragic decision by ruling that Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act is unconstitutional. The Urban League firmly holds that the Voting Rights Act was necessary in 1965 and remains so in these times—particularly as state after state enacts aggressive and brazen voter suppression measures with the explicit goal of disenfranchising millions of voters.
During the 2102 election, the Washington Bureau launched the Occupy the Vote campaign in key battleground states. This effort was instrumental in the record turn out in numerous localities and in ensuring that eligible voters were fully able to exercise their voting franchise. Moving forward, the Washington Bureau will continue to monitor developments at the state level and, through its Project Advocate initiative, we will continue to keep citizens informed of their rights and engaged in the democratic process.
The Supreme Court’s decision to remand Fisher v. University of Texas to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit may be a temporary victory. By not overturning the central premise of affirmative action, universities may still consider racial and ethnic diversity as one factor among others in their admissions policies. However, the case and the principle of affirmative action and its merits and future implications cannot be overestimated on either side.
The Washington Bureau will continue to monitor developments at the state level, and play a leadership role in advocating for full educational parity.