Civil rights groups fight for American values

Two of America’s most venerable civil rights organizations are joining forces to combat divisiveness and disarray in our nation’s politics fostered for political advantage by the Republican Party and President Donald Trump.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the National Urban League announced the expansion of a partnership in service of fighting racism, antisemitism, and advocating around issues of mutual concern.

The partnership, initially announced in August, is intended to create deep relationships on the ground through the next generation of leaders, uniting each organization’s existing young professional cohort into a powerful network. The initiative is already underway in Philadelphia with a voting rights pilot project entitled “Our Time, Our Vote.”

The expansion includes a similar voting rights pilot project in St. Louis for 2020, as well as other collaborative civil rights initiatives in Houston and Chicago set to take place in 2021 — focusing on issues important to each respective community.

This could include working together to advocate for local hate crimes legislation, environmental protection, or any number of various issues of mutual concern.

“The National Urban League’s collaboration and solidarity with the ADL has strengthened both of our organizations and advanced our shared mission immeasurably,” said Marc Morial, President and CEO of the National Urban League. “We welcome the opportunity to broaden and invigorate our relationship through our dynamic leaders on the local level.”

Jonathan Greenblatt, ADL CEO and National Director, added, “This is a tremendous opportunity to continue our storied partnership with the National Urban League across the country – pursuing our shared goal of achieving equality and justice for all. With divisiveness and disarray in our nation’s politics at a seemingly all-time high, it is ever important for our young leaders to work together and brainstorm ideas to better their respective communities at the grassroots level. It is my hope that the work our two organizations do together will serve as a foundation for others to emulate in the future.”

During the past 100 years, our organizations have fought against discrimination targeting people of Black and/or Jewish identities and consistently fought for a stronger and more secure society free of racism and antisemitism. The multiracial Jewish community, the non-Jewish Black community , and allies have often worked hand-in-hand in the face of widespread hatred, marching together in the American South, jointly lobbying the Supreme Court and Congress, and helping one another on the ground in neighborhoods across the country.

ADL and the National Urban League hope to continue and advance that storied history by reenergizing the relationship and making it stronger, with young leaders working side-by-side on the ground toward a more civil society.

Seizing this historic moment in the aftermath of the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Jacob Blake and the protests against racism that have taken place across the country, the project was launched as a pilot in Philadelphia, where ADL’s Philadelphia Regional Office and the Urban League of Philadelphia brought together young leaders to learn and work together.

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