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Advancement Project National Office Applauds Nomination of Civil Rights Leaders to Biden-Harris U.S. Department of Justice

Jeralyn Cave

WASHINGTON Yesterday, President-elect Joe Biden nominated a slate of veteran civil rights leaders to head the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) under the new Biden-Harris Administration. Biden announced his nomination of Vanita Gupta, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights as Associate Attorney General. Kristen Clarke, Executive Director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, was announced as the Administration’s pick for Assistant Attorney General of the Department’s Civil Rights Division. The nominations marked the Administration’s effort to restore independence and integrity to the Department and build a more equitable justice system.

“Vanita Gupta and Kristen Clarke are formative civil rights leaders with decades of experience fighting discrimination, ensuring equity and safeguarding all Americans, regardless of their race, immigration status or gender,” said Judith Browne Dianis, Executive Director of Advancement Project National Office. “Their leadership will restore the independence and integrity of the Department and ensure critical steps are taken to address the nation’s criminal legal system.”

“With the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping through the nation’s prisons and jails, it is imperative that the Department of Justice use its power to decarcerate these institutions immediately,” continued Dianis. “The incoming Administration’s nominees are committed to reducing the federal prison population and encouraging state and local facilities to do the same. The nominees also remain committed to holding police departments accountable when they harm the communities they have sworn to protect and serve.”

“With extensive experience combating voter suppression and litigating civil rights violations, both Gupta and Clarke will use the full extent of the law to protect the civil and voting rights of all Americans,” said Jorge Vasquez, Power and Democracy Director for Advancement Project. “They will ensure hate crimes are prioritized and that the nation will once again be governed by the Department of Justice’s mission: equal protection under the law. We applaud these nominations and look forward to their swift confirmation.”


Advancement Project National Office is a next-generation, multi-racial civil rights organization. Rooted in the great human rights struggles for equality and justice, we exist to fulfill America’s promise of a caring, inclusive and just democracy. We use innovative tools and strategies to strengthen social movements and achieve high impact policy change. Visit

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