Black Lives Matter: CSSP Demands Justice by Working for Anti-Racism

A Statement from Judith Meltzer, President of the Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP)

Washington, DC (June 2, 2020)—We are deeply pained by the recent murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and every Black and Brown life that was taken before them due to racism and White supremacy—whether we know their names or not. The uprisings that we are seeing throughout our country following these murders are a direct result of and bear witness to the pain and rage we are all feeling. George Floyd and Breonna Taylor were members of families, connected to communities, and were deeply loved. Their loss is noticed, felt, and we say their names. Black lives matter.

At CSSP, we recognize the long and devastating history of White supremacy, racism, and discrimination in our country. Despite advances in civil rights, public policies and institutions often reflect and repeat this history, contributing in large and small ways to perpetuating a system of unfair advantages for some and profound disadvantages for many. Our country’s racist roots must be acknowledged and destroyed so we can build a society where all children, youth, and families can thrive.

To achieve this goal, we must listen to each other and work together to demand and create a better nation. We must work at a community level—White people must stand up to loudly use their power to unravel oppression in all its forms, as real allies alongside Black, Brown, Native, and other allies of color. We must work at a systems level, upending the larger racist history of our country that haunts our institutions and creates unbalanced power structures, unfair advantages, and that has prevented us from tackling the root causes of racism. We must work at a policy level, creating solutions that structurally transform how we serve families in good times and bad, supporting the people who need help the most, and addressing racist barriers and income and social inequalities that continue to restrict success for all our families. CSSP works on all these fronts, contributing our own experience but also joining with partners and learning from allies who are also doing this work. But we must do more and be more effective so that with others we can create a stronger, more unified front to combat the horror of racism in this country.

We are living through a remarkable and tragic time in history and our response to this crisis will take the measure of who we are as a nation and as a people. We cannot be quiet. We cannot be subtle. We must loudly proclaim an anti-racist agenda and use it to stand with and protect the lives of our Black and Brown community members. This struggle is our struggle.

About CSSP. The Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP) works to achieve a racially, economically, and socially just society in which all children, youth, and families thrive. We translate ideas into action, promote public policies grounded in equity, and support strong and inclusive communities. We advocate with and for all children, youth, and families marginalized by public policies and institutional practices. Learn more at