JUNE 3, 2020 – Legal Aid’s mission is to resolve serious legal problems of low-income people, to promote economic and family stability, and to reduce poverty through effective legal assistance. One important aspect of achieving our mission is to address structural racism.
Legal Aid has used the tools of our profession to fight for equal justice throughout our 112-year history. We have represented clients to promote equal opportunity in our police and firefighter ranks, challenge segregated housing, and address the persistent inequities in our education systems. Most recently, we have focused on the gross racial disparities in health outcomes that are so painfully highlighted by COVID-19.
Despite our efforts, and the efforts of many others, all of us have a long way to go before we can say we have a fair and accessible justice system, and an equitable and inclusive society. We have unacceptable poverty levels, particularly affecting families of color. The experiences of our African-American communities are often still dominated by a legacy of race discrimination. Legal Aid reaffirms its solidarity with all who are committed to ending this terrible legacy. We are encouraged by community leaders and organizations who are taking a stand to reduce poverty and ensure racial justice. Legal Aid will continue to fight for employment, education and housing equity, personal safety, equal justice under law, and the right of all people to enjoy life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Mary Asbury, Director, Legal Aid Society of Greater Cincinnati
John E. Schrider, Jr., Director, Legal Aid Society of Southwest Ohio, LLC