Read a PDF of our statement here.

Today, Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF), issued the following statement on the swearing in of the 117th Congress and the Congressional Black Caucus.

“LDF congratulates the members of the 117th Congress and Speaker Pelosi on her fourth term as House Speaker. We also extend our congratulations to the 59 members of the Congressional Black Caucus, and the new Caucus Chairperson, Congresswoman Joyce Beatty.

“As the new year begins and a new Congress takes on its responsibilities, we face a moment of monumental importance for all Americans. We remain in the grip of a deadly pandemic. Racial discrimination, violence, and inequality have reached alarmingly high levels. Economic dislocation and joblessness confront millions of American families. This Congress must work to confront these issues with determination and courage.

“LDF is ready to work with members of Congress and the Congressional Black Caucus to advance necessary COVID relief; for the passage of the John Lewis Voter Advancement Act (HR 4) and the For the People Act (HR 1); and to move forward the historic George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. We will be reaching out to members in the coming weeks to discuss the critical civil rights measures we encourage Congress to undertake this session.”


Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization. LDF has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF.