In 2016, CDP underwent a strategic planning process and reaffirmed its commitment to advancing racial justice. We adopted a new mission statement that explicitly names racial justice as a core component of CDP’s advocacy:
CDP provides legal, participatory research and policy support to strengthen the work of grassroots and community-based groups in New York City to dismantle racial, economic and social oppression.
Our revised mission builds on longstanding work that CDP and its staff members have been doing to support grassroots organizing led by and for people of color. We believe that becoming a racial justice organization is an ongoing process, and we are committed to continuing to learn and grow to better meet the urgent needs of the diverse communities we serve.
Racial Justice Initiatives Within CDP
CDP is actively taking steps to strengthen its commitment to and capacity for racial justice work.
We are co-creating a racial justice workshop series with our partners designed to foster conversations and collaborations around race-related issues and to strengthen our collective capacity to develop strong multi-racial organizing campaigns.
We have a Racial Justice Committee that is charged with providing forward momentum and initiative for CDP’s work on issues that have a disproportionate negative impact on communities of color, such as over-policing, gentrification, and housing discrimination. The Committee engages in ongoing dialogue with CDP's existing community partners and other groups led by and for people of color on their priorities and projects to figure out out how CDP can best support their work beyond what we do today. The Committee is currently working with CDP's partners to develop and host a series of workshops focused on strengthening racial justice organizing in New York City.
We support equitable neighborhoods. CDP works with grassroots groups and coalitions to help make sure that people of color, immigrants, and other low-income residents who have built our city are not pushed out in the name of “progress.” Together, we highlight the ways in which current City policies perpetuate the harms of past racist policies – including redlining, urban renewal, and planned shrinkage – and fight to ensure that residents in historically under-resourced areas have opportunities that allow people to thrive. Read more about CDP's Equitable Neighborhoods practice.
We combat abuses in the bail bonds industry as part of a coalition of legal and base-building groups seeking to bring reform and better government oversight over bail bonds issuers. Read an op-ed on bail bonds co-authored by the head of CDP's Consumer Justice practice on the NY Daily News website here.
We support direct actions organized by our partners, such as the 24 hour City of Refuge mobilization organized by African Communties Together to save asylum after the Trump Administration's executive order banning refugees.
We pursue opportunities for collaboration with racial justice organizers and leaders, including by sending a cohort of staff to Facing Race, a national conference on racial justice movement making.
We file discrimination complaints based upon race and ethnicity. For example, CDP's Tenants' Rights and Housing Justice practice filed a complaint on behalf of tenants at 430 61st Street in Sunset Park, raising claims of harassment, including allegations that the landlord used racist and abusive language, commenced frivolous eviction proceedings, charged illegal fees, and failed to provide adequate services and maintenance to apartments, leading to illegal and unsafe conditions. Concurrently, CDP filed an HP proceeding in housing court in order to address immediate repair issues, including C-violations such as lead-based paint in apartments with children under 6 years of age. As of May 2017, the vast majority of repair issues had been resolved.
We engage in internal efforts to advance anti-racist practices and strengthen staff capacity around racial justice issues, including our capacity to bring race-based legal claims and to incorporate racial justice frameworks into our advocacy & communications.
Want to learn more about racial justice initiatives at CDP? Contact the Racial Justice Committee!