Rights Working Group is launching new teams, and you’re invited to join! The teams are a new component of our Racial Profiling: Face the Truth campaign that gives members of RWG more ways to engage in the national campaign through your local and state level work. The teams, one defensive and one proactive, are open to all RWG members, including national, state, and local organizations committed to the mission of the team and looking for ways to learn from others to deepen their work. See below for descriptions of each team, and contact Field Organizer, Sian OFaolain (firstname.lastname@example.org) to join a team today! If you have any questions about your organization's membership, contact Membership Director, Tong Lee (email@example.com).
Defensive Team: Building Multi-racial Coalitions to Fight Harmful State Legislation
Core Partner: Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC)
The mission of the defensive team is to connect organizations to develop strategies and best practices for building multiracial coalitions in our work against harmful state legislation through a framework of racial profiling. Because the South has seen the passage of Arizona copycats in some states, and creative resistance to similar measures in others, the team will begin with a focus on the South, but is open to active participation from all interested states, as well as national allies.
Over the last several years anti-immigrant legislation has spread across the country and has found fertile ground in the South. The organizations and coalitions in the region have showed tremendous strength and creativity in resisting these attacks on our communities. The most successful responses have included strong, multi-racial coalitions. To sustain resistance against these anti-immigrant attacks, and to build power in our communities, we need to be intentional and strategic in developing coalitions that will last for the long haul, and can address multiple issue areas—anti-immigrant legislation, anti-Sharia laws, and other attempts to criminalize greater sectors of our communities.
This team will bring together the experiences of a few key states in the region to critically evaluate our strategies thus far, think strategically about opportunities and challenges to multi-racial coalition building in our communities, and develop a framework of racial profiling that can be used to unite our communities and defeat these attacks. This team will strengthen each organization’s individual efforts to defeat attacks on the immigrant communities in their states, but will also bring issues of racial profiling to the forefront as a framework to understand the similarities between attacks on different communities.
Proactive Team: Ending Racial Profiling through Proactive State Legislation
Core Partner: OneAmerica
The mission of the proactive team is to support current state campaigns working to move anti-racial profiling legislation forward and introduce new anti-racial profiling legislation in interested states. The team will provide space to strategize with both state and national organizations as well as create model legislation reflective of the federal End Racial Profiling Act which prohibits racial profiling on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, and religion.
In the past few years, racial profiling has continued to broaden its hold on law enforcement, making its way into state legislatures through SB1070-style laws, changing local law enforcement priorities through programs like S-COMM and FBI surveillance and continuing other measures that roll back the civil and human rights of communities. With the increased reliance on local and state police in immigration, national security, and drug enforcement, it is critical that we push for state and federal protection from racial profiling for our communities.
One of the Racial Profiling: Face the Truth campaign goals is to pass federal legislation that bans all racial profiling by law enforcement. As we continue to build support for this legislation in a number of states, state-level engagement with the issue of racial profiling will strengthen our movement. The proactive team will bring together organizations interested in moving legislation forward in key states where such legislation can have an impact on reducing racial profiling and increase civil and human rights for all communities. Through this state-level work, the team will educate lawmakers and allies about strong legislation to ban racial profiling, and build a groundswell of support for comprehensive racial profiling legislation (ERPA) at the federal level.
To join a team, contact Field Organizer, Sian OFaolain at firstname.lastname@example.org.