The COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally changed our lives and shown the enormous impact of systemic racism and inequities in America. Caught in between two pandemics, Black and Brown Virginians continue to bear the brunt of not only COVID-19, but also unjust, unfair systems that devalue their lives and leave them behind.

Because of these critical issues, our present focus is on achieving three goals: protecting the life and health of people who are incarcerated, protecting the right to vote during this pandemic and guaranteeing the right to vote for all, and reimagining the role of police in our society. Each of these goals is centered on ending structural racism and fixing systems that have targeted Black and Brown Virginians for generations.

Together with our members and supporters, our community partners, and centering directly impacted people, the ACLU of Virginia is an unrelenting advocate for change in the courts, in the legislature, and with the public. We successfully sued the Virginia Board of Elections to waive the witness signature requirement on absentee ballots. We’re suing the Richmond Police Department for their assaults on protesters. We’re lobbying lawmakers on critical police reform issues in the current special session, and we’re making sure people know their rights during this critical time. We are also working to change hearts and minds through public education.

For more than 50 years, the ACLU of Virginia has upheld our commitment to defend civil rights and civil liberties for everyone in Virginia. We will not back down or back off until we achieve equality and freedom for all, and systemic racism is no longer a hallmark of our civic and government institutions.