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Statement on Racial Justice

June 5, 2020

The Institute for Policy Integrity, along with the NYU School of Law, denounces racism in all its forms. We wish to acknowledge the pain and anger being expressed in protests around the country. The murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade and countless others have again highlighted the pervasiveness of violence against Black Americans, especially by police, and the deeply ingrained inequality that exists in this country.

There are systems in place—and systems being built—that disadvantage, disempower, and endanger Black Americans. Given the focus of our work, we frequently encounter the inequities perpetuated by poor regulatory policy and environmental racism. Air pollution from power plants, toxic waste, and climate change disproportionately harm Black lives. While we’ve always advocated for improving public welfare, we need to be more explicit in our discussion of, and advocacy against, environmental racism. We also hope to leverage what we do by partnering with organizations that work more directly to eradicate environmental injustices against Black communities and other communities of color.

We are committed to doing more to expose and eliminate policies that perpetuate racism, including environmental racism and structural inequality. Earlier this spring, we began a project to evaluate how the Trump administration’s deregulatory efforts—which have weakened healthcare, social programs, and consumer protections—are exacerbating the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our findings are no surprise: regulatory rollbacks have worsened the health and economic outcomes from this unprecedented crisis. As is often the case, Black Americans and communities of color bear the brunt of these compound impacts. We will highlight these findings and the dangerous injustice that they represent. We will also continue our work to promote strong safeguards against air pollution, which disproportionately affects communities of color.  

As we stand with the Black community in the face of unconscionable racially motivated violence, we understand that such violence is aggravated by retrograde, prejudiced policies. We will do better, through our own research and advocacy, to call out these policy failures.

We conclude by sharing the call for justice from our colleagues at the NYU Center on Race, Inequality and the Law. Collective action is needed to achieve social justice. We unequivocally support those most affected and all those working toward change.

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