We Must Work Together to End Racial Injustice

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on
LinkedIn
+

Pioneer’s mission is to advance a nation where every American has freedom and can prosper. The institute has focused deeply on expanding economic opportunity for all, and as a critical component of that, access to high-quality educational options. We also work to promote greater participation in our American democracy, beginning with what and how students learn about our nation. We have long advocated for the rigorous study of U.S. history, including America’s original sin of slavery and the ongoing journey to end racism.

Today’s Context

Three officers witnessed Officer Chauvin’s suffocation of George Floyd. For months, police and state officials did not prosecute the men who killed Ahmaud Arbery.  These events underscore that our country must do more to stare down the sometimes deadly racial inequities in policing.  The Institute recognizes that the vast majority of officers sworn to protect all Americans abhor such actions.  But these transgressions demonstrate the need for a re-evaluation of practices and, in some instances, the culture within some of our law enforcement agencies.

Our Past Response

Pioneer has been purposeful in advancing changes to address, in part, the scourge of racism and the lack of access to economic opportunity, especially in disadvantaged communities. We have shown unmatched determination to expand educational options that promote social mobility; these include charter public and vocational schools, the Metco and interdistrict choice programs, and access to private schools, all of which have demonstrated success at bridging achievement gaps for urban students.  We have convened policymakers, school and business leaders, and the general public through forums with high-profile Civil Rights activists and historians that raise awareness of the role of slavery and racism in American history — and the need for all students to study and understand the damage that has resulted.

In transportation, we have fought for meaningful changes to public transit to ensure all communities have access to reliable service, especially in our urban areas, and promoted the establishment of a magnet high school focused on training inner city youth for jobs in transportation.

We have long supported key reforms of the state’s criminal justice system where a disproportionate share of the state’s incarcerated population are people of color. Those reforms include: ending solitary confinement, showcasing solutions to reduce recidivism, programs to reintegrate offenders into the mainstream workforce, and ending the shameful practice of using prisons as de facto mental health facilities; and emulating a successful magnet school to ready inner city youth for a career in law enforcement.

And knowing that government frequently cloaks mistakes both small and systemic, we work to make government transparent and increasingly accountable through online tools to provide ready access to public data and numerous public information requests.

Our Coming Response

Recognizing that we can do more on the protection of civil liberties and criminal justice, Pioneer released yesterday, “Respect My Rights,” a new web-based hotline to which citizens can submit complaints and descriptions of civil liberties violations they have experienced.  The Institute will share the Respect My Rights platform with states across the nation and serve as a research hub for scholars and news organizations interested in the protection of our civil liberties.  The Institute will also promote changes to the legal doctrine of “qualified immunity,” which makes government officials unaccountable for illegal or unconstitutional acts.

In other policy areas related to discussions of equity, in the coming weeks look for a Pioneer campaign calling for the City of Boston to allow convenience clinics to open, which would expand the availability of COVID-19 testing for inner city residents, and for research and advocacy focused on enhancing the success of our hardest hit industries — restaurants, retail, leisure and hospitality — which employ so many urban residents.

We will never have true equality unless all communities are provided the opportunity for social and economic upward mobility.

We all must do more.  Now.

Jim Stergios

Receive Important Updates (ISSUES)

Related Content

PUBLIC FORUMS

OP-EDS & COMMENTARY

RESEARCH

PODCASTS:

WEB PORTAL:

Making a Difference Through METCO

Recent Posts

Mei Xu on the Slow Burn to Success

This week on JobMakers, host Denzil Mohammed talks with Mei Xu, immigrant from China and founder of Chesapeake Bay Candle, which was acquired by Yankee Candle parent company Newell Brands for $75 million. Mei describes the journey to entrepreneurship, including a rough start, with dashed dreams and miserable timing that forced her to create opportunities for herself. Today, she seeks to empower women business owners around the world, to show them that they too can expand economies and horizons with a little guidance.

Lead Plaintiff David Carson & IJ Attorney Arif Panju on Landmark SCOTUS Decision Carson v. Makin

This week on “The Learning Curve," co-hosts Gerard Robinson and Cara Candal talk with Arif Panju, a managing attorney with the Institute for Justice and co-counsel in the U.S. Supreme Court school choice case, Carson v. Makin; and David Carson, the lead plaintiff. Panju shares the key legal contours of Carson v. Makin and the potential impact of the Court’s decision in favor of the plaintiffs.

SCOTUS Gun Stun: Bearing Arms in Summer Bruen Decision

This week on Hubwonk, host Joe Selvaggi talks with CATO Institute research fellow Trevor Burrus about the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen and its implications for an individual’s right to carry a fire arm in states such as Massachusetts.

Cris Ramón on How to Build Up Immigrant Businesses

This week on JobMakers, host Denzil Mohammed talks with Cris Ramón, son of immigrants from El Salvador, immigration policy analyst, and coauthor of the new report, Immigrant Entrepreneurship: Economic Potential and Obstacles to Success published by the Bipartisan Policy Center.

AEI’s Robert Pondiscio on E.D. Hirsch, Civic Education, & Charter Public Schools

This week on “The Learning Curve," Gerard Robinson and guest co-host Kerry McDonald talk with Robert Pondiscio, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. He shares his background working with curriculum expert E.D. Hirsch, Jr., who has emphasized the importance of academic content knowledge in K-12 education as well as civic education to develop active participants in our democracy. Pondiscio explains some of the findings of his book, How the Other Half Learns, on New York’s Success Academy charter schools network.

Taxation Without Legislation: Exploring Inflation’s Causes, Curses & Cures

Hubwonk host Joe Selvaggi talks with Bloomberg Columnist and National Review Editor Ramesh Ponnuru about the reasons for the sustained spike in inflation, its impact on savers and consumers, the possible policy remedies, and the likely intensity and duration of this cycle.

Study Finds Pension Obligation Bonds Could Worsen T Retirement Fund’s Financial Woes

A new study published by Pioneer Institute finds that issuing pension obligation bonds (POBs) to refinance $360 million of the MBTA Retirement Fund’s (MBTARF’s) $1.3 billion unfunded pension liability would only compound the T’s already serious financial risks.

Hubwonk360 Video: If we tax them, will they leave?

In this brief, six-minute video, Pioneer Institute Executive Director Jim Stergios and Director of Government Transparency, Mary Z. Connaughton, walk through an amendment to the Massachusetts constitution that could dramatically increase the income tax on retirees and small businesses.

Julie King Brings Authentic Mexican Cuisine to Boston

This week on JobMakers, host Denzil Mohammed talks with Julie King, immigrant from Mexico and founder of Villa Mexico Café in the financial district of Boston. They discuss the challenges of re-launching a career in a new country. It’s not atypical for an immigrant to start at a lower rung of the economic and social ladder than they previously enjoyed - but it’s a win when they persevere despite the pains, and thrive.

Hoover at Stanford’s Dr. Macke Raymond on the Current State of K-12 Education Reform

This week on “The Learning Curve," co-hosts Cara Candal and Gerard Robinson talk with Dr. Margaret “Macke” Raymond, founder and director of the Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) at Stanford University. She shares some of the major highlights from Hoover’s recent Education Summit that featured a wide variety of national and international experts.

Lifelines for the Untethered: Research to Reach and Recover Homeless Americans

This week on Hubwonk, host Joe Selvaggi talks with Stephen Eide, Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute about his newly released book, Homelessness in America: The History and Tragedy of an Intractable Social Problem, in which he asserts that a better understanding of the many challenges facing each homeless individual can lead to a tailored and more durable policy solution to this enduring societal problem.

As States Compete for Talent and Families, Massachusetts Experienced a Six-Fold Increase in Lost Wealth Compared to a Decade Earlier

With competition for businesses and talent heating up across the country, in 2020 Massachusetts shed taxpayers and wealth at a clip six times faster than even just a decade ago. Between 2010 to 2020, Massachusetts’ net loss of adjusted gross Income (AGI) to other states due to migration grew from $422 million to $2.6 billion, according to recently released IRS data now available on Pioneer Institute’s Massachusetts IRS Data Discovery website. Over 71 percent of the loss was to Florida and New Hampshire, both no income tax states.

David Ferreira & Chris Sinacola on MA’s Nation-Leading Voc-Tech Schools

This week on “The Learning Curve," co-hosts Cara Candal and Gerard Robinson talk with Chris Sinacola and David Ferreira, co-editors of Pioneer’s new book, Hands-On Achievement: Massachusetts’s National Model Vocational-Technical Schools. They share information from their new book on the story of the Bay State’s nation-leading voc-tech schools, and how accountability tools from the state’s 1993 education reform law propelled their success.

Book Finds Massachusetts Voc-Tech Schools Are National Model, Calls for Expansion

Massachusetts vocational-technical schools -- boasting minuscule dropout rates, strong academic performance, and graduates prepared for careers or higher education -- should be expanded to meet growing demand, according to a new book published by Pioneer Institute.

Empowered or Exploited Entrepreneurs: Voters Determine Rideshare Drivers’ Fate on November Ballot

/
Hubwonk host Joe Selvaggi talks with communications expert and cofounder of South & Hill Strategies Lizzy Guyton about what the research on the profiles and preferences of rideshare drivers tells us about the industry, and the possible effects of designating independent contractors as employees.

Daniel Perez Takes Tenacity to Transport

This week on JobMakers, host Denzil Mohammed talks with Daniel Perez, immigrant from Colombia and founder, president and CEO of DPV Transportation Worldwide, based in Everett, Massachusetts. Daniel shares what it meant to tap into his entrepreneurial spirit and become a success, pivoting into healthcare and community service when the transportation sector was impacted by the pandemic, and finding a way to use his fleet for good.

METCO Works Well, Small Tweaks Could Make It Even Better, Study Says

The Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity, or METCO program, has successfully educated thousands of students for 56 years, but several minor changes could make it even better, according to a new study published by Pioneer Institute.