Americans of Conscience Checklist June 30th Posted on June 30, 2020 by Karolina Wojtysko Ready for some good news? We’ve got lots to share this week. Decent people everywhere are speaking up and working together. Just look. #GoodNews National Supreme Court rules that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act bars employers from firing employees over their gender identity or sexual orientation. Supreme Court blocks the administration’s attempt to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Supreme Court declines to hear a case challenging the legality of sanctuary city policies, for now leaving such policies intact. Federal court strikes down a permit to construct the Dakota Access Pipeline in a legal victory for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. Court orders the administration to distribute COVID-19 relief funds allocated to Alaska Natives and Native American tribes. Dept. of the Interior and the Bureau of Land Management approve a plan for the largest solar power project in U.S. history. Congress passes a bipartisan resolution to protect tens of thousands of defrauded college students. Federal court temporarily blocks the deportation of a teenager from Honduras while the ACLU challenges the administration’s asylum ban, which is allegedly based on pandemic concerns. District court rules against a Dept. of Education rule prohibiting DACA community college students in CA from receiving CARES Act money. The U.S. Embassy in South Korea displays a huge banner to show their support for Black Lives Matter and protests against racism. State GA voters set a new record for primary voter turnout. MA offers no-cost COVID-19 testing for people who were in close contact with large groups. MI: The state’s daily confirmed COVID-19 cases decreased 89% since April 7. NC Supreme Court rules that the repeal of the Racial Justice Act cannot be applied retroactively, meaning that over 100 incarcerated people of color on death row may still appeal for a non-lethal sentence. NJ judge is permanently removed from the bench for making demeaning comments to plaintiffs. NY: Court blocks ICE from making arrests at in-state courthouses after ruling the practice illegal. OH: Secretary of State Frank LaRose approves funding to send every Ohio voter an absentee ballot request form. OK passes anti-discrimination legislation preventing elderly and disabled people from being billed extra for or denied healthcare. OK Supreme Court rules as constitutional a ballot initiative petition calling for incarcerated people to vote as constituents of their home cities. OR governor seeks to make Juneteenth (June 19, the date commemorating the end of slavery in the U.S.) a state holiday and creates a police accountability task force. Local Fulton County, GA district attorney announces charges of felony murder and aggravated assault against the police officers responsible for the death of Rayshard Brooks. Los Angeles invests millions in minority communities, reallocating funds from the city police department. Los Angeles implements a moratorium on use of the discriminatory CalGang database. Louisville, KY, Metro Council passes Breonna’s Law, named in honor of Breonna Taylor, outlawing no-knock warrants. NYC lifts the curfew it had instituted in light of protests against police violence. San Francisco implements trained, unarmed professionals, rather than the police, to respond to calls for help with mental health emergencies, school discipline, neighbor disputes, and people experiencing homelessness. Minneapolis City Council pledges to dismantle the city police department, long accused of racism, in favor of a new system of public safety resources. Huntington, WV designates Juneteenth as a legal holiday. Philadelphia designates Juneteenth 2020 an official holiday, closing city offices and facilities in observation. Corporate/business Blue Apron will close on Election Day in November and provide a paid day off for employees. Newspaper chain Gannett will capitalize “Black,” consistent with how many Black communities and publications describe the people and descendants of the African diaspora. Gannett also removes mugshot galleries contributing to negative stereotypes of people of color. NBC News publishes a list of trans-inclusive fantasy and sci-fi books. Band-Aid launches bandages for diverse skin tones. Walgreens and CVS stop the practice of storing multicultural hair and beauty products behind locked cases. U.S. Soccer Federation repeals the league’s ban on kneeling during the national anthem. A&E stop production on Live PD amid ongoing protests against police brutality. NASCAR bans the Confederate flag from all of its events and properties. Google launches the Accessible Places feature in Google Maps, which shows locations that are wheelchair accessible. Google bans conspiracy theory website from its advertising platform over the site’s violation of Google’s anti-racial discrimination policies. Prominent NFL players assert their right to protest in a pointed video, resulting in the NFL apologizing and admitting it was wrong to stifle on-field protests. Netflix introduces a Black Lives Matter category. Famous breakfast brand changes its name and imagery in recognition of the current branding’s basis in racist stereotypes. Groups and organizations Filmmaker Ava DuVernay creates the Law Enforcement Accountability Project (LEAP) to fund artistic projects spotlighting police brutality and the effects of systemic racism. LeBron James and other celebrities create More Than a Vote, an organization aiming to inspire African-Americans to register and cast a ballot in November’s election. Nonprofit Change Comes Now donates pandemic safety supplies and essential goods to a Florida women’s prison. University Rebuild, a grassroots community group of theater artists, uses their stagecraft skills to support and repair businesses of color in Minneapolis. The nonprofit Protect Democracy files an amicus brief on behalf of 1,187 former federal prosecutors who argue that judges have the authority to scrutinize DOJ’s move to end the Michael Flynn case. U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet calls for reparations to make amends for the violence of slavery and colonialism. News with heart Anmol Narang graduates from West Point Military Academy, becoming the first observant Sikh to do so. Protesters with disabilities lead hundreds in a more accessible demonstration against police violence in Milwaukee. Country band Lady Antebellum changes their name to Lady A to remove associations with slavery and other racist aspects of the pre-Civil War period. Lead actors from the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts films release affirming statements in support of trans and non-binary individuals. New Zealand eradicates COVID-19. Evidence suggests between 230,000 and 450,000 COVID-19 cases may have been averted by wearing face masks, according to a study by researchers at the University of Iowa’s College of Public Health. 38 Minneapolis families gain ownership of their five apartment buildings from a negligent landlord who tried to evict them. Dhruv Pai and Matt Casertano create the Teens Helping Seniors volunteer network to deliver groceries to older community members for free. CNN airs primetime special honoring the class of 2020 in light of cancelled in-person graduation ceremonies due to the pandemic. Fourth grader Ryan Golditch 3D prints ear savers and mask hooks for doctors & nurses at Landmark Medical Center. Costa Rica legally recognizes same-sex marriage, becoming the first central American country to do so. Kathy Sullivan, the first American woman to complete a spacewalk, becomes the first person to walk in space and reach the deepest point in the ocean. See more good news at Women in the World, Small Victories, Good Black News, and What Went Right.