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May 3, 2024

Bill to Uncover and Define Systemic Racial Inequities in Colorado Advances

Bills would study the impacts of systemic racism on Black Coloradans

DENVER, CO – The House today advanced legislation on a preliminary vote to advance a study examining racial disparities and the impact of systemic racism on Black Coloradans.

“Systemic racism has impacted Black Coloradans in every facet of our lives, leading to negative impacts like poorer health outcomes and less likelihood of accumulating generational wealth,” said Rep. Leslie Herod, D-Denver. “While one bill can’t make up for the impacts that Black Coloradans have endured, this legislation would help us identify the impacts that racial inequalities have had on our Black community so we can take action in an intentional and effective way.”

“Racial equity studies can be a useful tool to address racial inequity by compiling data of the long-term impacts that systematic racism has had on Black communities,” said Rep. Naquetta Ricks, D-Aurora. “Our legislation would direct History Colorado to look further into how racial inequalities have impacted the success of Black Coloradans so we can develop meaningful policy that will make a real difference for our future.”

SB24-053 would create the Black Coloradan Racial Equity Commission to determine and make recommendations surrounding the lasting effects of systemic racism in Colorado’s practices, systems, and policies.

SB24-053 would establish a commission to direct History Colorado to conduct historical research across areas like economic mobility, housing, K-12 education, health care and the criminal justice system. Racial equity studies, like the one outlined in this bill, can be used as tools to qualify and quantify past discrimination and recommend certain corrective measures.

The study would also include an economic impact analysis of the racial discrimination determined by the study. Under this bill, History Colorado would submit the study to the commission and any recommendations within two-and-a-half years. The work of the commission and the study will rely on receiving adequate gifts, grants, and donations to fund it.

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