Here is what we know.
Donald Trump has been elected President.
Given the rhetoric he and his surrogates used in the campaign, many of us have legitimate concerns about his intentions to ensure basic fairness and equal opportunity for people at the lower end of the economic spectrum. Many are especially concerned about his intentions toward policies that affect racial, ethnic, gender, religious, economic, national origin, or health-related minorities.
The campaign rhetoric used by Trump and his surrogates was quite clear and disturbing. He called forth racial and gender and religious animus, both implicitly and overtly, in the hearts and minds of voters. The election has made many in this country think twice not only about their President-elect, but also about their neighbors.
We also know that 43 million people in the United States live in official poverty, and a much larger number are in functional poverty.
Most of these people work, and many a bit higher on the economic spectrum are at risk of falling into poverty. Moreover, poverty is disproportionately experienced by people of color.
The task of improving quality of life and chances for upward mobility of all people, regardless of who they voted for or whether they voted, is on the new Administration's plate. It also remains at the heart of the mission of the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law.
In the coming months, we know we need to be especially alert to the racial and ethnic impact of policies and practices in this new administration. When disparities are evident we will call them out. Along with the explicit bias that fuels racial and gender-based discrimination, we know that subconscious decisions can have devastating and lasting consequences to communities in every corner of our country.
In partnership with you, the Shriver Center will work tirelessly to promote positive change and resist damage to recent progress in Washington, D.C., and across the United States.
We know our attention must be sharp in the states, where ideological debates and federal policy templates turn into kitchen table realities. Our Legal Impact Network and fellows from our Racial Justice Training Institute will fight to ensure people in poverty have a seat at the policy spaces where critical decisions are made that affect their lives and communities. And we will use the law to its fullest to protect and advance low-income people's quality of life and chances for upward mobility.
We know this is a new frontier. We know our work matters. We know we can count on you.