June 2, 2020
American Constitution Society to Observe National Day of Mourning Thursday
ACS Stands With the Civil Rights Community and Condemns Racism and Violence in All Their Forms
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 2, 2020
MEDIA CONTACT: Nancy Rodriguez, email@example.com
Washington, DC — American Constitution Society President Russ Feingold and ACS Executive Vice President Zinelle October released the following statement in response to the killing of George Floyd and police violence that communities of color across the country experience on a regular basis.
"ACS stands with the civil rights community in observing a National Day of Mourning this Thursday. Each time a tragedy like the murder of George Floyd happens, it is triggering for Black and Brown people who see themselves and their loved ones in each victim, which is shamefully often. The stress and pain are real and personal.
These murders and acts of violence by police are rooted in racism. We are grieving over these systemic and senseless losses of life, and we stand with our Black and Brown communities who feel this like no other. And while it’s important to grieve, we must also be a part of the change that’s so desperately needed. While we revere the Constitution, defend democracy, and work toward a more just union, we cannot ignore the racist history of our nation’s founding documents. We must continue to insist and work to uphold the Constitution in the 21st Century by ensuring that law is a force for protecting our democracy and the public interest and for improving people’s lives—including the lives of Black and Brown people.
Judge Carlton Reeves reminded us at last month’s ACS virtual graduation that we all have to advocate for a more perfect union. We take that charge seriously, and we encourage our members and supporters to stand up against racism and, as our colleagues who organized the day of mourning mention, work to stop the “brutal killings of African Americans by police and vigilantes – as well as the appalling, inappropriate response by police to peaceful uprisings.” Here are a few ways that we will and we should work toward those missions:
- Observe a National Day of Mourning this Thursday
- Register for our Briefing Call, “A History of Violence: Institutional Racism in Our Criminal Justice System” on Friday, June 5th at 1:30 pm ET.
- Organize or join an antiracist or diversity and inclusion discussion with your local ACS chapter. If you’d like to be connected with your local chapter, email us at LCEmails@acslaw.org.
- Sign this petition by Color of Change calling for the end of police violence against Black people.
- Volunteer to Help Protesters. The National Lawyers Guild is looking for lawyers to help with protest support efforts around the country. Volunteers are needed to answer hotlines, act as legal observers, and help with legal defense work. Training materials are available through the National Lawyers Guild and local chapters. If you are interested, please email LCEmails@acslaw.org and include your location and where you are barred so we could connect you/share further information.
- See these anti-racism resources.
- Join our virtual national convention June 8-12.
- Complete your Census form and encourage everyone you know to do the same.
- Vote and sign up with us to get out the vote.
- If you have other ideas for ACS, please let us know at LCEmails@acslaw.org."
AMERICAN CONSTITUTION SOCIETY
ACS believes that the Constitution is “of the people, by the people, and for the people.” We interpret the Constitution based on its text and against the backdrop of history and lived experience. Through a diverse nationwide network of progressive lawyers, law students, judges, scholars, and many others, we work to uphold the Constitution in the 21st Century by ensuring that law is a force for protecting our democracy and the public interest and for improving people’s lives. For more information, visit us at www.acslaw.org or on Twitter at @acslaw.