Executive Summary

It has been over a half-century since the enactment of landmark civil rights legislation targeting the scourge of racial discrimination. Unfortunately, too many black families today suffer from a non-racial scourge – conditions that undermine upward mobility and perpetuate unacceptable levels of poverty, crime and other social ills. The vaunted social safety net has become a web that ensnares black families in a vicious cycle of dependency.

 

Project 21, a network of black leaders from across the nation, has identified 10 key areas for reform and offers 57 concrete, budget-neutral recommendations to remove barriers blocking blacks from reaching their full potential and ensuring the American dream is attainable for all.

Project 21 Areas of Focus and Key Recommendations

REDUCING BLACK UNEMPLOYMENT

Although the black unemployment rate is historically low, it is still nearly double the white unemployment rate. All too often, blacks are still denied jobs opportunities – not due to racism committed by individuals – but due to regulations that were created for the explicit purpose of preventing them from competing with white workers. Blacks have not always experienced higher unemployment rates than whites. During the 1930s, blacks were employed at modestly higher rates. This was due to their willingness to work for lower wages and work longer hours to build better lives for their families – similar to migrant
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IMPROVING PUBLIC SAFETY AND COMMUNITY-POLICE RELATIONS

Improving neighborhood safety and protecting businesses located in black communities is critically important to improving the quality of life for blacks. But strained relations between law enforcement and black communities has made this difficult. In Baltimore, for example, homicides soared in the wake of criticism of the Baltimore police department due to the police custody death of Freddie Gray. In 2017, there were more than 300 murders in the city. Many residents believe the higher homicide rate was due to a police decision to try to ease tensions by reducing patrols.[i] There are more than 900,000 sworn police officers nationwide,
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REPLACING HIGHER EDUCATION POLICIES THAT SET BLACKS UP TO FAIL WITH ONES THAT HELP THEM SUCCEED

The failure of K-12 school systems in preparing black students for college is compounded further by college admissions and support practices that set black students up to fail. Colleges are admitting many black students who are unprepared for rigorous college environments. They’re often accepted with lower SAT and ACT scores, fewer AP course credits and lower (or inflated) high school GPAs than their counterparts at the same school. At the same time, colleges are failing to provide black students with the individualized support they need to overcome the deficiencies of their K-12 educations to give them their best chance of
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STRENGTHENING FAITH-BASED COMMUNITIES

Establish federal Tax Credit Scholarships; repeal the Johnson Amendment; create a tax credit for families paying for nursery-12 fees and tuition and ban abortions performed exclusively on the basis of fetus ethnicity.
Coming Soon

PROMOTING SELF-DETERMINATION

End fraudulent election practices that dilute black votes. Require proof of citizenship to register; vigorously prosecute those who target minority communities for fraud and prohibit the mailing out of ballots that haven’t been requested.
Coming Soon

ENDING EXCESSIVE REGULATION

Require “Minority Impact Assessments” for new regulations.
Coming Soon

STOPPING WEALTH TRANSFER FROM THE POOR TO NON-CITIZENS

Bar illegal aliens from using public services, except in emergencies.
Coming Soon

REDUCING THE ECONOMIC HARM OF EXCISE TAXES

Repeal federal, state and local sin and gas taxes, all of which have a disproportionate negative impact on low-income families.
Coming Soon

REFORMING THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM

Require convictions for assets to be forfeited; prohibit incarceration for fine-only misdemeanors; require fines and forfeitures be transferred to general funds instead of enforcing agency budgets and consider ability to pay in levying fines.
Coming Soon

PROMOTING K–12 EDUCATIONAL CHOICE

Establish federal needs-based vouchers funded in part through an IRS 1040 voluntary donation check-off. Improve school security through upgrades in entry doors and by allowing trained school personnel access to guns.
Coming Soon

Project 21 was established in 1992 to increase the diversity of black opinion represented in the mainstream media by promoting black conservative and libertarian leaders.

 

Project 21 participants have been quoted, interviewed and published in the media over 40,000 times since the program’s inception, including in such outlets as the Fox News Channel, CNN, MSNBC, C-SPAN, PBS, BET, TVOne, the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Westwood One and Rush Limbaugh Show.

 

Project 21 participants are black leaders in business, politics, the clergy, the media and academia and live all over the United States. They share a common desire to make America a better place for blacks, and all Americans, to live and work. Project 21 members do this in a variety of ways in their own communities, and, through Project 21, by writing opinion editorials for newspapers, participating in public policy discussions on radio and television, by participating in policy panels, by giving speeches before student, business and community groups and by advising policymakers at the national, state and local levels.