The authors of the Declaration of Independence outlined a bold vision for America: a nation in which there would be equal justice for all. More than two hundred years later, it has yet to be completely achieved.
The global practice of slavery was ended first in the United States, it’s true, and Americans fought a civil war that cost 600,000 of their own lives to end it. However, the eventual dismantling of the post-Civil War Jim Crow laws in the southern states gave rise to general systemic preferences that still have a negative effect on most minority citizens.
Though generations of civil rights activism have led to important gains in legal, political, social, educational, and other spheres, the forced removal of indigenous peoples and the institution of slavery marked the beginnings of a system of racial injustice from which our country has yet to entirely break free.
Deep-seated systemic racism and inequities that disadvantaged communities of color are still woven into the fabric of our institutions today— from education and housing to our criminal legal system. Systemic racism permeates the starkly segregated world of housing. In our public schools, students of color are too often confined to racially isolated, underfunded, and inferior programs. Our criminal justice system disproportionately targets and subjects people of color to police brutality, incarcerates them and imposes numerous collateral consequences, and criminalizes poverty. The dream of equal justice remains elusive to many.
Planet Us strives to create a world where “we the people” truly means all of us — this means dismantling systemic racism and working to repair centuries of harm inflicted on communities of color. Through our efforts, we strive to educate and empower the public on a variety of issues, including race as it relates to criminal justice, economic justice, and inequality in education, affirmative action and Native American rights.