Fighting the New Jim Crow: Holding Institutions Accountable in Order to Change Practices That are Inequitable
Judith Browne-Dianis, co-director of the Advancement Project, says the organization is a civil rights organization that addresses structural racism. "Most recently we've been fighting against the photo identification requirement for citizens to vote. We see this as a new Jim Crow law. It is a barrier that is going to keep millions of people from getting to the polls in 2012. There are 20 million people who do not have photo IDs in this country and it disproportionately impacts people of color."
Browne notes that her organization is educating the public about the impact of photo ID legislation that has been filed in 32 states.
"I always say that we are a next generation civil rights group because we don't go right into the courtrooms," Browne says. "We work with grass root organizations to build their power and help them solve their issues and so we are their partners in the work. We bring to the table law and communications. That is an important part of what happened with the civil rights movement and the success of the civil rights movement. We had to change the hearts and minds of the people in order to get the courts to follow. It's all about the people on the ground that holds the people in the institutions accountable so that we can eradicate structural racism. So we consider ourselves community lawyers and work with grassroots organizations to build their capacity to hold institutions accountable."