A Historic Win for Equity In Colorado

Written by on June 5, 2024

Latest posts by Leonard Johnson (see all)

Governor Polis Signs Racial Equity Study Bill into Law (SB 53)

This week, members of the Black Legislative Caucus, Justice for Black Coloradans, local leaders and community members joined Governor Jared Polis to witness the signing of the Racial Equity Study Bill – SB 53, into law. This historic piece of legislation has been in the works for more than a year and aims to address racial disparities among Black Coloradans in the areas of education, healthcare, housing, economic mobility and criminal justice through comprehensive studies. Once the studies are complete, lawmakers will use the data to inform policy and work toward building a pathway toward distributing reparative capital to those impacted by slavery.

“By signing SB 53, we are committing to examining the systemic barriers that have long affected communities of color. This is a crucial step towards ensuring equal opportunities for all residents.” – Governor Polis

Although this bill faced criticism on its journey to becoming law, it has strong support from advocacy groups and community leaders who believe it will lead to meaningful and lasting reforms. SB 53 underscores Colorado’s dedication to fairness and justice for all its residents, especially those who have disproportionately been on the receiving end of the harmful impacts of slavery and subsequent racism.

What This Means:

  • Comprehensive Studies: Research into racial disparities in key areas.
  • Data-Driven Approach: Using data to understand and address racial inequities.
  • Policy Shaping: Informing effective policies to combat systemic racism.
  • Community Impact: Commitment to equal opportunities for all residents.

How It Impacts The Colorado Community:

  • Educational Equity: Identifying and addressing gaps in education.
  • Healthcare Access: Reducing disparities in healthcare.
  • Affordable Housing: Promoting fair housing policies.
  • Criminal Justice Reform: Addressing biases in the justice system.
  • Economic Opportunities: Creating equal economic opportunities.
  • Community Trust: Building trust through transparent actions.

To learn more about Senate Bill 53, visit https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/sb24-053

Revisit our Community Corner conversation with Sade Cooper, Javon Brame and Katherine Casey of Justice for Black Coloradans, who met with key stakeholders and led the work to push this legislation forward.

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