‘Despair Is the Enemy of Justice’: Vanita Gupta on Voting, Marching, and Staying in the Fight

Curated via Twitter from Glamour’s twitter account….

Now she is tasked with leading the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights coalition in a moment of incredible change; she is the first to celebrate the new leaders that the movement for racial justice has minted not just in the last decade but in the last several months.

Now the president and CEO of the storied Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, Gupta is a veteran of the kind of work that entails appearing before our legislative branch to answer pointed questions on a rather frequent basis.

We were in high gear to protect the election and voting rights, regardless, and then we had to deal with the challenge of the pandemic on the election and then the challenge of fighting voter suppression and then the challenge of ensuring a fair and accurate census when the census is the basis for political and economic power in communities nationwide, and we’re leading the 50-state effort to get an accurate count.

So I went to law school with a keen sense that I wanted to focus on justice reform issues and racial equality, and my energy for this work only grew the more time I spent working on these issues.

To me, civil rights work is the ultimate form of patriotism, because it takes a patriot to spend this much time working for the realization of the ideals of this nation.

My team has been amazing and is exhausted, but there’s also a sense of how lucky we are to uplift the movement for Black lives and people who’ve been working on the Black Lives Matter movement for years.

I served a president and two attorneys general who were leaning more forward into police reform, criminal justice reform, LGBTQ rights, and voting rights.

When I was head of the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department, I was on the inside and in government, but I was still a civil rights advocate.

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