Since 2012, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving – Giving Tuesday – has been dedicated to celebrating service and giving back. And in the enduring fight for civil and human rights, a fight that may soon see reenergized challenges, we need you.
The Leadership Conference Education Fund works to build public will for laws and policies that will protect and advance the civil and human rights of everyone in America. We were founded in 1969 as the education and research arm of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, then called the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights – the nation’s premier civil and human rights coalition of more than 200 national groups (learn more about us here).
In his final Thanksgiving address as president last week, President Obama reminded us that “we are bound not by any one race or religion, but rather an adherence to a common belief – that all of us are created equal. That we may think, worship, and speak, and love as we please. That the gift of democracy is ours, and ours alone, to nurture and protect.”
It’s an important reminder. New FBI data show that hate crimes increased in 2015, and the Southern Poverty Law Center has collected more than 700 incidents of hateful harassment since Election Day just three weeks ago. In 2016, most states still lack civil rights laws to protect LGBT Americans from employment discrimination. And in the wake of the first presidential election in 50 years without the full protections of the Voting Rights Act, it’s all too clear that the cornerstone of our democracy – the right to vote – is still under attack.
But Obama also said that “as long as we continue to welcome the contributions of all people, as long as we stand up for each other, speak out for what is right, and stay true to these ideals – not just when it’s easy, but when it’s hard – then no one can ever take away our liberty. Our best days will always be ahead. And we will keep building a future where all of our children know the promise of America.”
He’s right, and that’s what we intend to do. This Giving Tuesday, make a gift to The Leadership Conference Education Fund so we can continue to help build that future – an America as good as its ideals, where the civil and human rights of all persons in the United States are always valued and protected.