End Racial Profiling & the Criminalization of People of Color

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YWCA is committed to ensuring that everyone is afforded equal opportunities and equal protections under the law. Schools, law enforcement, and other government agencies are critical partners in this work. Too often, however, stereotypes, biases and racial power dynamics are embedded in our laws and public policies. They are also reflected in the use of racial profiling, heightened surveillance tactics, targeted enforcement strategies, and other practices that increase policing of certain racial and ethnic communities (but not others) and criminalize people of color.

Criminalization and racial profiling shape and influence how police, immigration officers, and school officials interact with people of color. They fuel a cycle of heightened surveillance and punishment, with negative consequences for the people and communities who are targeted. This manifestation of racism at a systemic level is at the heart of the disturbing, and, in some cases, deadly, incidents that we see in school, immigration, and law enforcement settings. The damage is profound: a school suspension or arrest makes completing school, finding a job, and providing for one’s family more challenging; targeted implementation of immigration policy tears families and communities apart; and the use of excessive force makes communities less safe and renders law enforcement untrustworthy for many communities of color.

YWCA position

YWCA is addressing these inequities at a systemic and structural level. We oppose laws, policies, and practices that enable racial profiling and the criminalization of people of color. We also support efforts to provide government agencies with tools and resources to address the role that stereotypes, biases, and institutional practices play in their interactions with communities of color and other marginalized groups. YWCA supports the End Racial and Religious Profiling Act of 2017 (ERRPA) and other legislation that advance these objectives.

YWCA resources