“Bare Minimum: Why We Need to Raise Wages for America’s Lowest-Paid Families” is a report on working people and their struggle to make a living when paid the federal minimum wage or tips. It makes a case for raising wages that is grounded in history, economics, and movements across the country, but particularly in the lived experience of our nation’s lowest-paid working people. The report includes the stories of eight working people from across the country trying to make ends meet on incomes just above the federal minimum wage.
“Counting Everyone in the Digital Age: The Implications of Technology Use in the 2020 Decennial Census for the Count of Disadvantaged Groups,” addresses how proposed Internet and automation technologies will affect 2020 Census enumeration for groups at risk of being undercounted. The report also includes actionable recommendations for Congress, the administration, and community leaders.
The rules governing national, state and local workplaces have a direct impact on the lives of working people and their families. The Leadership Conference Education Fund Report, In Their Own Words: Working People and the Need for Policies that Provide Economic Security, offers lessons through the lives of real people about concrete policy solutions that support and sustain working people and their families. The report includes recommendations for raising the minimum wage, requiring paid sick days and paid family leave, implementing fair scheduling policies, expanding access to healthcare, and addressing basic living standards.
“The Great Poll Closure” documents how states and counties with records of voting discrimination – both current and historic – have closed hundreds of polling places since the Supreme Court in 2013 gutted the Voting Rights Act (VRA) and eliminated federal oversight of their voting changes. The report is based on a study of 381 of the approximately 800 counties that were covered by Section 5 of the VRA before the Court’s decision in Shelby County v. Holder.
“Warning Signs” profiles voter suppression activities in states that were once covered by Section 5 of the VRA and are host to competitive 2016 contests for 84 Electoral College votes, two Senate seats, and one governor’s seat. The report finds that, since the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby County v. Holder, all five of these states – North Carolina, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, and Virginia – have engaged in deceptive and sophisticated practices to disenfranchise voters that will have an impact on the 2016 election. The report is a collaborative effort of The Leadership Conference Education Fund, and relies on recent reports and materials from the ACLU, the Advancement Project, Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC, the Brennan Center for Justice, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and the NALEO Educational Fund.
“Striking a Balance: Advancing Civil and Human Rights While Preserving Religious Liberty,” documents how religious arguments have been used to justify discrimination against diverse communities including opposing the abolition of slavery, women’s suffrage and equality, racial integration, inter-racial marriage, immigration, the Americans with Disabilities Act, same-sex marriage, and the right to collectively bargain. It reviews the historical context of religious arguments that were marshalled in public policy debates, both to support the expansion of civil rights and legal equality and to support various forms of discrimination, including slavery, racial segregation, ethnically targeted immigration restrictions, the disenfranchisement of women, and suppression of workers’ rights.
This report, an update of our 2014 report, Improving Wages, Improving Lives: Why raising the minimum wage is a civil and human rights issue, is part of our continuing collaborative efforts to raise awareness among the civil rights and other communities about the need for stronger minimum wage policy to advance equity and fair pay for individuals and families struggling in low-paying jobs. We hope our allies and partners throughout the country benefit from the report’s narrative and associated resources to advance their respective work.
U.S. Civil Society Shadow Report on Beijing+20
Women’s Rights at Home and Abroad: A Call to Action: U.S. Civil Society Shadow Report on Beijing+20” outlines gaps in the U.S. government’s report to the United Nations on the work the government has done to implement recommendations made 20 years ago at the Fourth World Conference on Women held in Beijing, China. The report, by The Education Fund, The Leadership Conference, and the Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE) with input from an additional 20 organizations, identifies actions that the U.S. government could and should take to further advance women’s rights here at home and around the world.
“Advancing Equity through More and Better STEM Learning” examines the vast and pervasive inequality in opportunity for low-income students, women, and students of color to study and earn degrees in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math. The report also makes a series of recommendations to make STEM education more accessible to provide these students with proven pathways for obtaining good jobs and a higher standard of living. Failing to improve STEM opportunities will leave the United States unable to prepare enough young people with the skills necessary for these important jobs.
50 Years after the Civil Rights Act: The Ongoing Work for Racial Justice in the 21st Century” documents the state of civil and human rights, and paints a persuasive picture of just how far the United States still has to go to make racial justice a reality. The report also makes a series of policy recommendations in the areas of justice reform, education, employment, hate violence, housing, human rights, immigration policy, media and technology, and voting.