The Leadership Conference is working diligently to see that Tom Perez is confirmed as U.S. Secretary of Labor. Perez is an eminently qualified public servant and consensus builder who has dedicated his career to ensuring that all individuals are treated fairly and have the opportunity to succeed. He has served with integrity and distinction at the local, state and national level, compiling an outstanding record of achievement.
Monitor Weekly - March 10, 2012
|The Leadership Conference Education Fund||March 10, 2012|
An ‘Educational Caste System.’ A broad set of civil rights data collected by the U.S. Department of Education released this week “points to mass and systemic discrimination in our public education system,” said Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. “Instead of creating equal opportunities for all of our students to thrive, too many schools are still stuck in an educational caste system.” As the Associated Press (AP) reported, among the disparities revealed by the data is that “black students are more than three times as likely as their white peers to be suspended or expelled.” Dianne Piche, senior counsel at the Leadership Conference, told the AP that the “get tough” policies that many schools have adopted are part of the problem. Not only is there no evidence that they work, “they often make things worse by reinforcing a child's disengagement from school and low self-esteem,” she said.
FCC’s ‘Willful Ignorance’ on Media Diversity. A coalition of national civil and human rights organizations this week sent a letter to top Federal Communications Commission (FCC) officials criticizing the agency’s decision to allow further consolidation in media ownership that will aggravate already dismal ownership rates among women and people of color. In a statement, Wade Henderson said, “This is not just mere ambivalence about minority and female media ownership—this is willful ignorance.” The letter was signed by the American Civil Liberties Union, Center for Community Change, Common Cause, Communications Workers of America, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, NAACP, National Organization for Women Foundation, United Church of Christ, Office of Communication, Inc.
Marching from Selma to Montgomery. Thousands of people, including many from civil rights, labor, and other social justice and service organizations, this week recreated the historic 1965 March from Selma to Montgomery in Alabama that led to enactment of the Voting Rights Act. This year, marchers protested new attacks on voting rights through state voter ID laws and discrimination against immigrants through laws such as Alabama’s H.B. 56. Numerous Leadership Conference coalition members participated in the march. Leadership Conference staff members Cathy Han Montoya and Avril Lighty participated in the march, as did CEO and President Wade Henderson, who delivered remarks at a rally in front of the Alabama state capitol on Friday. "The state of Alabama ... is once again using fear and intimidation as weapons against those without power. This time, the targets are Latinos and the aim is to drive them from their homes and their communities," said Henderson.
In Defense of Hate Crime Laws. In a New York Times “Room for Debate” feature addressing the need for hate crime laws, Wade Henderson writes that “Strong enforcement of these laws can have a deterrent impact and limit the potential for a hate crime incident to explode into a cycle of violence and widespread community disturbances.”
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