Olatunde Johnson Reflects on Realizing an Inclusive and Sustainable Society through the Path of Pandemic Recovery

Olatunde Johnson (’97), Columbia Law School Professor and Chair of Poverty & Race Research Action Council’s Board of Directors, published a piece in PRRAC’s Poverty & Race Journal discussing dismantling racial and economic inequality as federal, state and local governments envision pandemic recovery (“An Opening: Advocating for Equity in a Polarized America,” Dec. 23). “The pandemic and protests of the summer also provide an opportunity for rethinking the goals and strategies of racial justice advocacy. . . . PRRAC and its allies will need to make visible how public policies, programs, tax, and funding decisions risk widening racial and economic inequality, and how instead they might be used to advance inclusion. . . . In practical terms, this will require applying an equity lens to the administrative rules and programs that inevitably shape the distribution of housing, education, health care, environmental protection and other social goods. This work has broader resonance due to growing public consciousness about the historic role of federal policy and law in embedding racial segregation and wealth inequality.”