ERASE Racism’s founding president is stepping down

Elaine Gross, president of the Syosset-based ERASE Racism, stepped down as founding president of the civil rights organization on Friday. She becomes president emeritus and a consultant to the organization and will be succeeded by Laura Harding, an advocate, attorney and public administrator, whose appointment was announced last month.

Elaine Gross, the outgoing president of the Syosset-based ERASE Racism. // Photo courtesy ERASE Racism

To share insights drawing on her decades of experience tackling structural racism as it relates to housing, Gross penned an article, recently published by the Touro Law Review, titled “Denial of Housing to African Americans: Post-Slavery Reflections from a Civil Rights Advocate.” In it, she discussed in detail these six lessons:

  • Lesson One: The federal government—executive, legislative and judicial branches—has been a large part of the problem of housing discrimination and segregation against African-Americans and must therefore be a large part of the solution. 
  • Lesson Two: Local governments are also responsible for housing discrimination and segregation of African-Americans and must also be part of the solution.
  • Lesson Three: White supremacy ideation shapes government policy and legal actions, which animate and sustain structural racism. 
  • Lesson Four: Passing and enacting laws to end housing discrimination and structural racism is necessary but not enough. 
  • Lesson Five: Ideological and political forces actively fight to keep white supremacy and structural racism in place.
  • Lesson Six: Indelible impressions of racial injustice are extremely helpful but not sufficient to create the impetus for structural changes.

ERASE Racism is a civil rights organization based on Long Island that exposes and addresses the devastating impact of historical and ongoing structural racism, particularly in public school education and housing.  It does so through research, policy advocacy, legal action, and educating and mobilizing the public – driving policy change at local, regional and statewide levels and through national coalitions. It has been recognized locally and nationally for its cutting-edge work.

Editor’s note: The above was provided by ERASE Racism and edited slightly by The Advocate.