SCOTUS rolls back civil rights. Our work must continue.


It was difficult to celebrate this past national holiday against the backdrop of eroding civil rights and equality. We cannot celebrate “freedom” when our civil liberties are being taken away one decision at a time.

It is painfully clear the Supreme Court of the United States is committed to rolling back rights and protections afforded to millions of Americans. In a matter of days, the Court struck down student debt relief, ended affirmative action, and allowed businesses to restrict services to customers based on religious beliefs.

In 2022, when the Court overturned Roe v. Wade, we saw the impact of a growing attack on rights that safeguard people’s safety and agency in this country. A year later, that attack intensified.

But our work must continue.

Hazen grantees have been working for years to ensure their communities have access to the resources and support they need to stave off the effects of systemic oppression. These are the same communities impacted by the Court’s rulings and the same communities that have never stopped fighting for change.

The Court’s rulings open the door for blatant discrimination and racism. They push us further back from a more just and equitable society. People from communities that have been marginalized have always organized to meet the needs of their people and obtain opportunities despite systemic barriers. Their efforts will continue in the face of the Court’s dangerous decisions to further target and disenfranchise communities of color and LGBTQ+ people.

As a foundation committed to supporting young people and communities of color in dismantling structural inequity based on race and class, we feel the urgency of this moment. Our decision to rapidly move resources into the hands of young organizers of color is rooted in our grantees’ demands for racial and social justice. Young people are bearing the brunt of a fractured democracy and need our full support and commitment.

It is not enough to recognize that these rulings reinforce the white supremacy principles this country is founded on. We must challenge and tear down these oppressive structures, and advocate for equality, justice, and inclusion. We cannot leave any room for compromise when it comes to the rights of all people.

Let these rulings be the catalyst that propels us deeper into action.

Here’s what some of our grantees are saying about the recent rulings:

TODEC Legal Center

New Settlement

Grassroots Asians Rising

LIT Wisconsin