The endorsement of the new campaign adds to LDF’s Pro-Truth Initiative and the organization’s broader advocacy efforts in education.
Today, the Legal Defense Fund (LDF) joined with other Black-led legacy civil rights organizations to endorse the Freedom to Learn Campaign (FTLC), a movement created to fight the growing disinformation campaign against the erasure of history and lived experiences of marginalized communities, critical race theory, and equitable legislation. The FTLC closely aligns with LDF’s Pro-Truth Initiative, which launched in 2020 following the issuance of Executive Order 13950 by former President Trump. The EO sought to censor important speech regarding race, equity, and diversity by federal contractors and grantees. The Pro-Truth initiative, building on LDF’s legacy in Brown v. Board of Education, aims to push back against attacks that are part of a larger effort to suppress the voice, history, and political participation of Black Americans.
“I am proud to announce our endorsement of the Freedom to Learn Campaign along with other legacy civil rights partners, who together have committed to confronting damaging attacks on the truth that threaten the freedom to learn and teach honestly and accurately,” said LDF President and Director-Counsel Janai S. Nelson. “This campaign comes at a critical inflection point in our nation and complements LDF’s ongoing advocacy in defense of truthful history in states like Alabama, South Carolina, Texas, and Florida. It is imperative that we protect educators’ and students’ right to teach and learn in classrooms that are free from discriminatory censorship laws. We must protect the truth of our history of racial subjugation and its ongoing impact on present-day, systemic inequalities.”
The endorsement comes at a crucial time as multiple measures across states have been enacted to impede an honest and accurate portrayal of racism and race in our nation’s history.
Founded in 1940, the Legal Defense Fund (LDF) is the nation’s first civil rights law organization. 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 Legal Defense Fund or LDF. Please note that 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.