National Urban League Unveils “21 Pillars,” A Comprehensive Framework for Redefining Public Safety

NEW YORK (April 26, 2021) — The National Urban League today released a comprehensive framework for criminal justice advocacy that takes a holistic approach to public safety, the restoration of trust between communities and law enforcement, and a path forward for meaningful change.

21 Pillars for Redefining Public Safety and Restoring Community Trust centers on five key themes that are fundamental to the protection and preservation of life, dignity, and trust, while also building safer communities.

“For too long the lives, safety, and freedom of communities around the nation, particularly Black communities, have been threatened by discriminatory and violent policing,” National Urban League President and CEO Marc H. Morial said. “Our communities deserve to feel safe in their homes, in their cars, and on their streets, including safe from police violence. The 21 Pillars is a vision of what is possible – a path forward. Public safety must be redefined.”

Each of the 21 Pillars addresses one of five goals for transforming public safety and includes several recommendations for achieving them on the national, state, and local levels:

  • Collaborate with communities to build a restorative system
    • Empower communities to re-envision public safety in an equitable and just way
    • End broken windows policing and implement community policing models
    • Prohibit profiling based on race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, or immigration status
    • Address the needs of individuals experiencing mental health crises
  • Accountability
    • Hold police accountable in court
    • Prevent police union contracts from blocking accountability
    • Investigate police misconduct
    • Create or strengthen independent all-civilian community-based review boards with final authority
  • Change divisive policing policies
    • Revise use of force policies
    • Ban chokeholds, no-knock warrants, and shooting at moving vehicles
    • Eliminate police from schools
    • Demilitarize the police force
    • Ban civil asset forfeiture
  • Require transparency, reporting, and data collection
    • Collect data on police misconduct and use-of-force
    • Mandate use of dashboard and body-worn cameras and provide access to footage
    • Conduct financial and operational audits of police departments
    • Require transparency and community input with predictive policing facial recognition and any new technologies
  • Improve hiring standards and training
    • Adopt a national police accreditation system
    • Expand the National Decertification Index
    • Strengthen police hiring standards and improve training to build integrity and trust
    • Increase diversity and equity in both the leadership and ranks of local, state, and federal law enforcement

“The effects of unjust policing often reverberate beyond the criminal justice system, undermining social progress,” Morial said. “ Social parity, economic empowerment, and civil rights cannot be achieved in a world of unjust policing. Our 21 Pillars represent solutions that will move us closer to a world where community safety is real, and not aspirational.”

Read more about the 21 Pillars here:

           Teresa Candori
212-558-5362 |

About GlenAnderson 1515 Articles
Since the late 1960s Glen Anderson has devoted his life to working as a volunteer for peace, nonviolence, social justice, and progressive political issues. He has worked through many existing organizations and started several. Over the years he has worked especially for such wide-ranging goals as making peace with Vietnam, eliminating nuclear weapons, converting from a military economy to a peacetime economy, abolishing the death penalty, promoting nonviolence at all levels throughout society, and helping people organize and strategize for grassroots movements to solve many kinds of problems. He writes, speaks, and conducts training workshops on a wide variety of topics. Since 1987 he has produced and hosted a one-hour cable TV interview program on many kinds of issues. Since 2017 he has blogged at He lives in Lacey near Olympia WA. You can reach him at (360) 491-9093