What We're Reading: What Do Justice and Democracy Require? Towards a Vision of Liberation

"It has now been more than two years since George Floyd’s murder sparked the historic 2020 summer uprisings for racial justice. Since then, the debate about race in the US has remained center stage. Racial justice movement leaders and organizers continue to demand a reckoning with the nation’s history of racial exclusion and oppression. At the same time, a white nationalist, anti-democratic, and increasingly violent faction has gained prominence," said Nonprofit Quarterly author Kyle Strickland. "A central question is how to advance racial and economic justice while US democracy continues to backslide. Significant challenges remain: public opinion on issues of race continues to waver amid weaponized racist backlash; Republican-led state legislatures are passing sweeping voter suppression measures; and a reactionary Supreme Court is rolling back civil rights and freedoms. Meanwhile, Democrats are divided over strategy, vision, and goals."

"Today, a new generation of activists and organizers are part of a multiracial, intersectional movement. They are making the connections between intersecting challenges—economic and racial inequality exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, and rising authoritarianism—and coalescing around an emergent worldview for racial justice—one that goes beyond symbolic representation and moves toward a redistribution of power and resources. They are demanding transformative change at every level—federal, state, and local—and are focused on policy, institutions, and grassroots power," said Strickland. "Incremental policy approaches will not be enough to build genuine multiracial solidarity and dismantle systems of racial and economic oppression. The post-neoliberal vision of freedom and liberation requires more: repair and redress, and material equity."

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