Top 3 Things You Need to Know - October 17, 2016

Monday, October 17, 2016


Racial Bias Has Made Its Way to the Supreme Court

The issue of racial or implicit bias continues to spark discussions and activism around the country.  Now it has made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court.  It's only the second week of oral argument at the Supreme Court and already the justices have heard three cases involving race and the criminal justice system.  The cases are:
• Buck v. Davis
• Manuel v. City of Joliet
• Pena-Rodriguez v. Colorado
The outcomes of these cases and others like it will have great implications for the U.S. criminal justice system and provide important guidance on where American jurisprudence may be headed on race and criminal justice issues.  The National Urban League Washington Bureau will closely follow these cases.  To learn more, be sure to read the USA Today op-ed penned by National Urban League President and CEO Marc Morial entitled, Being Black Shouldn't Mean a Longer Prison Sentence.
Election Day and Voter Suppression
Election Day is less than a month away.  Many states and groups will unfortunately use voter suppression tactics to influence the outcome of this election.  During Jim Crow, voter suppression tactics included poll taxes, literacy tests, and the grandfather clause.  Today, suppression tactics includes voter ID laws, changes to polling places without notification, and cutting early voting periods. In light of this, the National Urban League advises voters to take the following precautions:
• All new and existing voters should track their voter registration status until Election Day to ensure they are and remain eligible to vote.
• Voter should learn their states requirements to vote in advance of going to the polls.
• Be sure to vote during the early voting period.  Do not wait until November 8, Election Day.
To report voter suppression activities, call 1-866-Our-Vote.  For real time election information, text ‘Our Vote’ to 788-683.  You may also follow #OurVoteMatters, the National Urban League's GOTV campaign. 
National Urban League’s New White Paper on Workforce Diversity and Inclusion in Energy Sector 
The National Urban League released a white paper entitled, 21st Century Innovations in Energy: An Equity Framework.  The paper provide overviews of the domestic electricity, solar, and oil and natural gas industries; present current employment numbers in each sector; and highlights economic and employment opportunities in each sector for people of color.  It also launches the National Urban League’s energy plan, which provides a framework for building a dialogue and partnerships with the energy industry on issues important to the League and the communities it serves.  A copy of the white paper can be found here.