Military Justice

Our nation's military has a shameful legacy of racial discrimination deeply entrenched within it’s justice system. Stark racial inequities in punishment strip Black service members of equal opportunity while racial bias in recruitment and career advancement continues, maintaining a systemic racial hierarchy across the rank and file.

71%

Black service members face between a 32 to 71 percent greater likelihood of punishment across the military. [6]

53%

Nearly 53% of minority service members have seen examples of white nationalism or ideologically driven racism among their fellow troops. [7]

1 in 3

1 in 3 Black service members fear reporting discrimination for fear of retribution. [8]

Racial disparities, overt discrimination and implicit bias exist at every level of military life, from recruitment to retirement. Black Americans remain over-represented in service-oriented roles, have a diminutive presence in the officer corps and remain overwhelmingly absent from elite training schools.

Compounding these inequities are the disproportionate number of Black services members funnelled into the military's justice system. Unaddressed bias has led to generational benefit obstruction with wide-reaching economic impact on the lives of Black veterans and their families.

BVP is advancing efforts for the immediate passage of the Military Justice Improvement Act - legislation to drastically alter a history of racially biased bad paper discharges, which remain a significant barrier to veterans housing, education and healthcare benefit access. The Act would remove direct command from prosecutorial functions within court-martial and create a civilian apparatus for oversight. [9]

Additionally, our advocacy has driven the Department of Defense to release racial bias survey data long held from public view. Though nearly of decade of data exists, at present only one year (2017) has been made public. The fight continues to attain the full data set to assess the full breadth of the current racial climate across the military. [10]

Military Justice

We tackle discriminatory outcomes within the military justice system, advocate for the civil rights of military service members and ensure equal opportunity for all who serve.

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Veteran Advocacy

We advance  and expand access to veteran benefits through research, advocacy and litigation.

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Public Education

We engage the public around the military’s enduring legacy of racial discrimination while sharing the history of Black veterans who’ve defied it.

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