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Practical Lessons from One Program’s Experience with Racial Justice Advocacy

By Aneel L. Chablani

Advocates for Basic Legal Equality (ABLE) describes lessons that the organization learned from recent race equity advocacy. In a Title VI complaint filed, on behalf of an active community organization, with the Office of Civil Rights of two federal agencies, ABLE alleged that a city council decision to deny Dayton Regional Transportation Authority’s bus stop application had a disparate impact on African Americans who disproportionately relied on public transportation to get to work and access services. In ongoing litigation against the discriminatory siting of public housing residents in low-income minority-concentrated areas, ABLE reframed why an earlier affirmative action plan had to focus on reconnecting families to opportunity. In partnership with a private law firm, ABLE challenged the U.S. Border Patrol and law enforcement agencies’ illegal profiling of Hispanic farmworkers.

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