UNCF Announces Support for Justice in Policing Act of 2020
UNCF is serious about improving the condition of African Americans, the purpose of its founding. As the nation’s largest and most effective minority education organization, UNCF is as committed to that mission as it has always been. Subsequently, UNCF fully endorses the “Justice in Policing Act of 2020.” There has never been a time for systemic racism; but today is the day that UNCF roots out and seeks to eradicate the scourge of discrimination, like many others who have marched and protested recently.
For 76 years, UNCF has been committed to addressing inequality via education, providing a pathway to education and supporting Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The policing legislation, introduced in the House of Representatives and Senate by congressional leaders, including the Congressional Black Caucus, does the same by providing a comprehensive approach to hold police accountable, change the culture of law enforcement and build trust between law enforcement and our communities.
“I was a student at Morehouse when Dr. King was assassinated,” Dr. Michael L. Lomax, president and CEO of UNCF said. “I watched Dr. Benjamin Elijah Mays—his mentor—eulogize him. I saw our movements then and I see our movement now. The country is better for me than for my parents. It is better for my daughters than it was for me. It’s better yet for my grandchildren. This country is not yet what it should be, and I support the efforts to change it. It is why UNCF does what it does every single day, and it is why UNCF endorses the ‘Justice in Policing Act of 2020.’” For more on Dr. Lomax’s thoughts on racial injustice, see his June 7 statement, here.
“Education, prosperity and safety go hand-in-hand,” said Lodriguez Murray, UNCF senior vice president for public policy and government affairs. “UNCF is the membership organization of private HBCUs, but we also represent students—most are first-generation college students from traditionally economic-underserved backgrounds. The only way we live up to our mission is to support those students’ educational pursuits, but they can only live out the fullness of their life if we work now to root out racism everywhere it lives. One way to do that is to champion police reform initiatives. We join our students and all who want to see a better country in supporting the ‘Justice in Policing Act of 2020.’”
The Justice in Policing Act of 2020 does the following and more:
- Prohibits federal, state, and local law enforcement from racial, religious and discriminatory profiling, and mandates training on racial, religious, and discriminatory profiling for all law enforcement.
- Bans chokeholds, carotid holds and no-knock warrants at the federal level and limits the transfer of military-grade equipment to state and local law enforcement.
- Mandates the use of dashboard cameras and body cameras for federal offices and requires state and local law enforcement to use existing federal funds to ensure the use of police body cameras.
- Establishes a National Police Misconduct Registry to prevent problematic officers who are fired or on leave of agency from moving to another jurisdiction without any accountability.
- Amends federal criminal statute from “willfulness” to a “recklessness” standard
UNCF (the United Negro College Fund) is the nation’s largest and most effective minority education organization. To serve youth, the community and the nation, UNCF supports students’ education and development through scholarships and other programs, supports and strengthens its 37 member colleges and universities and advocates for the importance of minority education and college readiness. UNCF institutions and other historically black colleges and universities are highly effective, awarding 17 percent of African American baccalaureate degrees. UNCF administers more than 400 programs, including scholarship, internship and fellowship, mentoring, summer enrichment and curriculum and faculty development programs. Today, UNCF supports more than 60,000 students at over 1,100 colleges and universities across the country. Its logo features the UNCF torch of leadership in education and its widely recognized motto, ‟A mind is a terrible thing to waste.”® For continuous updates and news, follow UNCF on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @UNCF.