At ACLU-D.C., we envision a just and free D.C. where all people live without systemic governmental oppression and can exercise their power to protect and expand civil rights, civil liberties, and human dignity. To move us forward in creating such a District, we have launched a new strategic framework that will guide our work in the years to come.

We wanted to create visionary and lasting change, while continuing to respond to violations of civil rights and liberties as they happen. After speaking with communities impacted by our work, we chose strategic priority areas where we could make the most long-lasting impact as an organization — and as a community. Our framework recognizes that visionary change is a community effort, and one of our main goals is to expand the ability of all people in the District, and especially members of communities that have been historically oppressed, to use our rights and to advocate for justice and freedom.

Another major component of our framework is our explicit acknowledgment of how race shapes our political and historical context in D.C. The history of D.C. has been deeply intertwined with anti-Black racism since the District’s origins as a hub for the slave trade. Today, Black residents make up a significant portion of those targeted by policing and oppressed through other systemic practices. Understanding and acknowledging this history is essential to building a just and free D.C. for everyone.

After months of thoughtful conversations, anonymous feedback, and rigorous research, we are excited to share with you highlights of our framework. And we invite you to join us and dare to create a more just and free D.C.