By Congressman Andy Kim
Congressman Andy Kim (NJ-03) released the following statement celebrating the beginning of Black History Month
“New Jersey plays a significant role in shaping Black History. From its stops on the Underground Railroad to its proud sons and daughters, we have much to celebrate as we seek to expand justice and equality for all.
However, Black History Month isn’t just a time of celebration, it’s also a time for deep reflection. While we should celebrate the incredible contributions of Black Americans across our country and history, we should pause to reflect on the inequities faced by our neighbors even to this day. While those two actions may feel contradictory, they’re intrinsically linked. We cannot honor Black achievement without seeking to fully understand the Black experience; an experience that many of us have and will never endure. It’s important that we recognize the extra lengths Black Americans must go to achieve the same as so many other Americans. And we must dedicate ourselves breaking down those barriers and destroying the burdens that create those very conditions.”
Last year, Congressman Kim released ‘Lift Every Voice’, a report highlighting issues facing the Black community across New Jersey. The report is informed by a series of listening sessions held by the Congressman that have included a telephone town hall with Congressman Hakeem Jeffries on issues facing the Black community, a virtual roundtable discussion on education issues facing the Black community, a roundtable discussion about mental health access in the Black community, a conversation about policing reforms with local mayors and law enforcement officials, a roundtable with Black small business owners, and a virtual forum on discrimination and bias.
During the 116th Congress, Congressman Kim co-sponsored and voted to pass the Justice in Policing Act, bill that would make critical reforms to America’s law enforcement system. He has also held hearings on the House Small Business Committee about improving help for minority small business owners, and co-sponsored legislation to make Juneteenth a national holiday, establish a Commission on the Social Status of Black Men and Boys, and fully restore and enhance the Voting Rights Act of 1965.