To help you learn more about Critical Race Theory, LDF has compiled answers to the most frequently asked questions about it. This resource also includes information on the laws banning racial justice discourse being enacted across the country and how they fit into a larger effort to suppress the voice, history, and political participation of Black Americans.
On August 18, 2022, a group of higher education students and educators filed a lawsuit challenging Florida’s HB 7 — also known as the Stop Wrongs Against Our Kids and Employees (“Stop W.O.K.E.”) Act — a classroom censorship bill which severely restricts Florida educators and students from learning and talking about issues related to race and gender in higher education classrooms. Pernell v. Florida Board of Governors is the first lawsuit filed by LDF challenging anti-truth efforts and legislation.
Former President Trump’s “Executive Order on Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping” issued in September 2020 became the blueprint for states to craft their own bans on truth. Many of the same “divisive concepts” reappear in state legislation, and the rallying cries against “critical race theory” can be heard in school board meetings and statehouses across the country. LDF swiftly filed a lawsuit challenging its constitutionality as a violation of the First Amendment guarantee of free speech and the Fifth Amendment guarantees of due process and the equal protection of the law.
LDF represents twenty-six Harvard student and alumni organizations, comprised of thousands of Asian American, Black, Latino, Native American, and white students and alumni, in their quest to protect the university’s holistic admissions process. The groups joined together to submit amicus briefs condemning a lawsuit filed by Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA) in 2014 that seeks to eliminate the consideration of race in Harvard’s admissions, threatening diversity at the college.
LDF is a leading voice in the decades-long struggle for equitable college admissions policies, from its early efforts to desegregate colleges and universities throughout the Jim Crow South to its ongoing advocacy for the continued use of race-conscious admissions policies in higher education.
LDF is working to protect truth in education in Alabama and South Carolina. Both states have introduced legislation that could threaten truthful and honest discussions of history in classrooms, universities, and state agencies.
Truthful and inclusive discussions about United States history – like the Trail of Tears, Selma Bridge Crossing, and the oppression of religious minorities – are essential to accurate and quality academic instruction and reduce the rate of school-based racial discrimination. In both states, LDF has been working with partner organizations to urge people to stand up for the truth and submit testimony in opposition to the harmful bills introduced by the legislature.
The African American Policy Forum launched the #TruthBeTold campaign to document the impact and damage caused by the Executive Order. The campaign underscores the need for deeper engagement on and examination of issues of race, gender, intersectionality, and justice.
The 1619 Project and so-called “critical race theory” are being used as a rallying cry to advance a political agenda aimed at maintaining the systems of white supremacy and reducing the power of Black people and other people of color. At the heart of both academic research and investigative journalism is the search for truth.
Nikole Hannah-Jones was denied tenure by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Board of Trustees, a clear retaliation against Ms. Hannah-Jones and the result of a campaign by conservative activists to discredit her work, and silence who speak the truth about our nation’s history of racism. LDF represents Ms. Hannah-Jones in connection with the Board’s failure to consider and approve the faculty recommendation of tenure.