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Race Forward

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Founded in 1981, Race Forward brings systemic analysis and an innovative approach to complex race issues to help people take effective action toward racial equity. Founded in 2002, CSI catalyzes community, government, and other institutions to dismantle structural racial inequity and create equitable outcomes for all. In 2017, Race Forward united with the Center for Social Inclusion to become the new Race Forward.

Race Forward is home to the Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE), a national network of local government working to achieve racial equity and advance opportunities for all. Race Forward publishes the daily news site Colorlines and presents Facing Race, the country’s largest multiracial conference on racial justice.

OUR MISSION

Race Forward catalyzes movement building for racial justice. In partnership with communities, organizations, and sectors, we build strategies to advance racial justice in our policies, institutions, and culture.

OUR VISION

Race Forward imagines a just, multiracial, democratic society, free from oppression and exploitation, in which people of color thrive with power and purpose.

CORE VALUES

Fundamentally, Race Forward’s work to advance racial justice is embedded in the following core values:

  • People of Color: We value the voices, experiences, cultures, intellect and multi-dimensionality of people of color.
  • Justice: We value fairness, the best foundation for unity among all people.
  • Transformation: We value the ability of individuals and systems to change in ways that make racial justice possible. We recognize the importance of struggle in fueling transformation.
  • Bridging: We value the insights, relationships and holistic understandings that are deepened when divergent paths come together.
  • Expression: We value voicing and sharing our viewpoints with integrity even when difficult, unpopular or risky.
  • Adaptability: We value relevance and resourcefulness in the face of changing social, economic, political and ideological environments.
  • Delight: We value making space for laughter, beauty, and joy in the work of social change.

 

The legalization of cannabis is not just an economic and public health issue, it’s also a racial justice issue.

As states legalize cannabis and cities decriminalize it, the cannabis industry is becoming a mainstream business opportunity that’s fueling tax revenue growth potential for beleaguered jurisdictions. But what happens when a substance that locked so many Black and Brown people behind bars becomes legal? And what obligations do these states and municipalities have to allocate that revenue to communities that were disproportionately harmed by the War on Drugs over the past 50 years?

Since the War on Drugs– marked by draconian drug possession laws, increased police presence and mandatory sentencing minimums– was racially biased in both its application and its negative consequences, it is essential to center race from the very foundation of local and state cannabis legalization structures. From how the tax revenue is allocated to how to address financial and legal barriers to cannabis market entry, these solutions could further racial inequities or begin to move toward racial justice solutions. Legalizing marijuana is just the first step in a long term process.

States and local jurisdictions will need to repair past harm and expunge cannabis offenses from criminal records and release prisoners convicted of marijuna related crimes. They need to create pathways and opportunities to allow full participation in the legal cannabis market, from seed to retail sale.And lastly, to invest state revenue into areas ravaged by the War on Drugs. Join us to learn more about the components of a social equity policy and the jurisdictions that are moving this work forward.

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