The Racial Justice Commission is examining the City’s foundations to identify structures and systems that by design, implementation, or impact enable and perpetuate inequitable power, access, and opportunity.
In March 2021, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the formation of the Racial Justice Commission and appointed 11 Commissioners, including Chair Jennifer Jones Austin and Vice Chair Henry Garrido, to focus on racial justice and reconciliation, with a two-year mandate to identify and root out structural racism. The Racial Justice Commission (RJC) has the formal powers of a Charter Revision Commission, including the ability to propose changes to the NYC Charter. The NYC Charter is the foundation of how our City functions and governs, and it has a direct impact on the way we live and work. The Commission has examined the NYC Charter to identify barriers to power, access, and opportunity for Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian, Pacific Islander, Middle Eastern and all People of Color (BIPOC*) in New York City and has put forward ballot proposals aimed at removing those barriers and advancing racial equity. New Yorkers will vote on these proposed changes in November 2022. The Commission operates independently from the Mayor’s Office and other agencies.
*We will name Black, Latinx, Indigenous, Asian, Pacific Islander, Middle Eastern, and all People of Color whenever possible. We understand that each group is diverse and has varied historical and current experiences with racial inequality.
The Racial Justice Commission, empowered with the legal authority of a Charter Revision Commission, seizes the transformative potential of this moment in history to identify and propose structural changes and significant policy reforms that will advance racial justice and equity and begin to dismantle structural racism for all New Yorkers.
This work is necessary because systemic racism has been and continues to shape our reality.
Vision for Racial Equity
The worth, talents, and contributions of all people in society are valued and recognized. Race is not a determinant of economic, political, social, or psychological outcomes, as it neither confers privilege nor denies opportunities.
Framework for Charter Revision & Policy Work
In pursuit of racial equity, the Commission has examined the NYC Charter and City agencies to identify structural and institutional laws, regulations, policies, and practices that by design, implementation, or impact enable and perpetuate inequitable power, access and opportunity, and has put forward ballot proposals to both redress these injustices and ensure City adherence.