Building Coalitions to Change
Policy and Empower People
Conceived in 2018, the William Monroe Trotter Collaborative for Social Justice at Harvard Kennedy School’s Center for Public Leadership advances the social justice and civil rights legacy of William Monroe Trotter. We foster research on excellence in social justice and collaboration with local and national level organizations operating in the spheres of public interest and policy, as well as in the areas of community engagement and government. We conduct and employ applied research that supports efforts to promote advocacy, citizen activism, and impactful, non-partisan policy solutions to civil rights and social justice issues. Through this pedagogy, the Trotter Collaborative meaningfully addresses local and national civil rights challenges.
“Education and work are levers to uplift a people. Work alone will not do it unless inspired by the right ideals and guided by intelligence. Education must not only teach work-it must teach life.”
Wrongs That We Must Right
In this modern day, a litany of issues continue to spur us toward civil rights and social justice activism. Throughout the United States, activism has reflected public policy issues being debated both in government and in academia. These issues include: systemic voter suppression of minorities through tactics such as gerrymandering; digitally fueled hate crimes against Jews, Muslims, Latinos, African-Americans, and transgender people; racial discrimination in both public and private settings; police violence captured on viral videos; and economic injustice experienced by both racial minorities and a non-urban “white working class” in similar yet far from identical ways. The Trotter Collaborative aims to combat these systemic issues through applied research and policy recommendations designed to support the efforts of social justice organizations in the United States.
Today, the United States makes up about 5% of the world’s population and has 21% of the world’s incarcerated population.
Between 1980 and 2015, the number of people incarcerated in America increased from roughly 500,000 to over 2.2 million.
Racial minorities made up about 37.4 percent of the general population in the US and 46.6 percent of armed and unarmed victims, but they made up 62.7 percent of unarmed people killed by police.
Between 2016 and 2018, the Brennan Center found Georgia, North Carolina, and Florida removed an unusually high number of names from their voter rolls. Both Georgia and North Carolina removed over 10 percent of registrations from their voter lists, and Florida removed more than 7 percent. Since 2015, Alabama election officials purged 658,000 voters, according to the state’s chief election official. This number is dramatic given that the state had only 3.3 million registered voters in 2016.
Photos: Tom Fitzsimmons, Rosemary Ketchum, Martha Stewart
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