For 50 years now, the Shriver Center has been working to make opportunity and equity real for everyone in this country. We have been given a great legacy by our founder, Sargent Shriver, and the advocates who came before us.
As we enter our next half-century, we find ourselves at a historic crossroads.
The past year has brought new threats to justice and civil rights for millions of Americans. Crucial programs that support and create opportunity for people living in or near poverty have come under immediate threat.
But as we have in the past, the Shriver Center is rising to the meet those challenges. This year, among other things:
- We went to court to preserve the healthcare coverage of more than 3.1 million low-income Medicaid recipients;
- We filed a civil rights complaint to ensure that over 1,100 low-income people in East Chicago, Indiana, received assistance to relocate after they learned their homes were poisoned with lead;
- We are leading advocacy to help save the food assistance of 260,000 struggling men and women.
These are just a few examples of advocacy we’ve pursued this year to advance justice and opportunity. Indeed, this year, like all of the others, saw many victories, large and small, in the fight for justice.
The stakes of this work have never been higher.
In many ways, these are grim times for people living in poverty, characterized by dire policy threats and disturbing and divisive political rhetoric. President Trump and Congressional Republicans have already signaled that “welfare reform”—a racially-coded euphemism used to mask attacks on safety net programs—is among upcoming priorities. The need for our work has never been more urgent.
With your continued support, the Shriver Center will not waiver in the pursuit of justice.
We will continue to work with people in poverty to push for fairness, inclusion, and opportunity. We will help them gain power and build leadership to have a voice and influence in the policy debates that affect their lives and communities. We will fortify our own capacity to change systems through policy advocacy, litigation, and multistate advocacy. And we will build our circle of partners and equip new generations of lawyers, activists, and advocates to carry the work forward.
We stand ready for the challenge, but we can’t do this work alone.
Marcus Samuel contributed to this blog post.