Commentary

Open Letter by Gaza Academics and

University Administrators 

to the World

We call on our supporters to help us resist the Israeli campaign of scholasticide and rebuild our universities

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    GAZA ACADEMICA AND ADMINISTRATORS -- 5/29/2024 -- We have come together as Palestinian academics and staff of Gaza universities to affirm our existence, the existence of our colleagues and our students, and the insistence on our future, in the face of all current attempts to erase us.

   The Israeli occupation forces have demolished our buildings but our universities live on. We reaffirm our collective determination to remain on our land and to resume teaching, study, and research in Gaza, at our own Palestinian universities, at the earliest opportunity.

   We call upon our friends and colleagues around the world to resist the ongoing campaign of scholasticide in occupied Palestine, to work alongside us in rebuilding our demolished universities, and to refuse all plans seeking to bypass, erase, or weaken the integrity of our academic institutions. The future of our young people in Gaza depends upon us, and our ability to remain on our land in order to continue to serve the coming generations of our people.

   We issue this call from beneath the bombs of the occupation forces across occupied Gaza, in the refugee camps of Rafah, and from the sites of temporary new exile in Egypt and other host countries. We are disseminating it as the Israeli occupation continues to wage its genocidal campaign against our people daily, in its attempt to eliminate every aspect of our collective and individual life.

   Our families, colleagues, and students are being assassinated, while we have once again been rendered homeless, reliving the experiences of our parents and grandparents during the massacres and mass expulsions by Zionist armed forces in 1947 and 1948.

   Our civic infrastructure – universities, schools, hospitals, libraries, museums and cultural centres – built by generations of our people, lies in ruins from this deliberate continuous Nakba. The deliberate targeting of our educational infrastructure is a blatant attempt to render Gaza uninhabitable and erode the intellectual and cultural fabric of our society. However, we refuse to allow such acts to extinguish the flame of knowledge and resilience that burns within us.

   Allies of the Israeli occupation in the United States and United Kingdom are opening yet another scholasticide front through promoting alleged reconstruction schemes that seek to eliminate the possibility of independent Palestinian educational life in Gaza. We reject all such schemes and urge our colleagues to refuse any complicity in them. We also urge all universities and colleagues worldwide to coordinate any academic aid efforts directly with our universities.

   We extend our heartfelt appreciation to the national and international institutions that have stood in solidarity with us, providing support and assistance during these challenging times. However, we stress the importance of coordinating these efforts to effectively reopen Palestinian universities in Gaza.

   We emphasise the urgent need to reoperate Gaza’s education institutions, not merely to support current students, but to ensure the long-term resilience and sustainability of our higher education system. Education is not just a means of imparting knowledge; it is a vital pillar of our existence and a beacon of hope for the Palestinian people.

Accordingly, it is essential to formulate a long-term strategy for rehabilitating the infrastructure and rebuilding the entire facilities of the universities. However, such endeavours require considerable time and substantial funding, posing a risk to the ability of academic institutions to sustain operations, potentially leading to the loss of staff, students, and the capacity to reoperate.

   Given the current circumstances, it is imperative to swiftly transition to online teaching to mitigate the disruption caused by the destruction of physical infrastructure. This transition necessitates comprehensive support to cover operational costs, including the salaries of academic staff.

   Student fees, the main source of income for universities, have collapsed since the start of the genocide. The lack of income has left staff without salaries, pushing many of them to search for external opportunities.

    Beyond striking at the livelihoods of university faculty and staff, this financial strain caused by the deliberate campaign of scholasticide poses an existential threat to the future of the universities themselves.

    Thus, urgent measures must be taken to address the financial crisis now faced by academic institutions, to ensure their very survival. We call upon all concerned parties to immediately coordinate their efforts in support of this critical objective.

    The rebuilding of Gaza’s academic institutions is not just a matter of education; it is a testament to our resilience, determination, and unwavering commitment to securing a future for generations to come.

    The fate of higher education in Gaza belongs to the universities in Gaza, their faculty, staff, and students and to the Palestinian people as a whole. We appreciate the efforts of peoples and citizens around the world to bring an end to this ongoing genocide.

    We call upon our colleagues in the homeland and internationally to support our steadfast attempts to defend and preserve our universities for the sake of the future of our people, and our ability to remain on our Palestinian land in Gaza. We built these universities from tents. And from tents, with the support of our friends, we will rebuild them once again.

Signatories:

Dr Kamalain Shaath, Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Prof Omar Milad, President of Al Azhar University Gaza, Al Azhar University Gaza

Dr Mohamed Reyad Zughbur, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Al Azhar University Gaza

Dr Nasser Abu Alatta, Dean of Students Affairs, Al Aqsa University

Dr Akram Mohammed Radwan, Dean of Admission, Registration, and Student Affairs, University College of Applied Sciences – Gaza

Dr Atta Abu Hany, Dean of Faculty of Science, Al Azhar University Gaza

Prof Hamdi Shhadeh Zourb, Dean of the Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Dr Ahmed Abu Shaban, Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, Al Azhar University Gaza

Dr Ahmed A Najim, Dean of Admission and Registration, Al Azhar University Gaza

Dr Noha A Nijim, Dean of Economics and Administrative Science Faculty, Al Azhar University Gaza

Prof Hatem Ali Al-Aidi, Dean of Planning and Quality, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Dr Ihab A Naser Dean of Faculty of Applied Medical Sciences, Al Azhar University Gaza

Eng Amani Al-Mqadama, Head of the International Relations, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Dr Mohammed R AlBaba, Dean of Faculty of Dentistry, Al Azhar University Gaza

Dr Rami Wishah , Dean of the Faculty of Law, Al Azhar University Gaza

Prof Basim Mohammad Ayesh, Head of MSc Programme Committee and Professor of Molecular Genetics, Al Aqsa University

Prof Hassan Asour, Dean of Scientific Research, Al Azhar University Gaza

Khaled Ismail Shahada Tabish, Head of Salaries Department, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Prof Mazen Sabbah, Dean of Faculty of Sharia, Al Azhar University Gaza

Dr Ashraf J Shaqalaih, Head of Laboratory Medicine Dept, Al Azhar University Gaza

Dr Mahmoud El Ajouz, Head of Food Analysis Center and Lecturer at the Faculty of Agriculture, Al Azhar University Gaza

Dr Mazen AbuQamar, Head of Nursing Department, Al Azhar University Gaza

Eng Abed Elnaser Mustafa Abu Assi, Head of Engineering Office, Al Azhar University Gaza

Dr Ahmed Rezk Al-Wawi, Vice President of the Islamic University Workers’ Union, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Shareef El Buhaisi, Head of Administration Office at the Faculty of Applied Medical Sciences, Al Azhar University Gaza

Dr Saeb Hussein Al-Owaini, Director of Employees, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Dr Mai Ramadan, Director of the Drug and Toxicology Analysis Centre, Al Azhar University Gaza

Dr Mohammed S M Kuhail, Director of Libraries, Al Azhar University Gaza

Eng Emad Ahmed Ismail Al-Nounou, Director, Technical Department, Al Azhar University Gaza

Eng Ismail Abdul Rahman Abu Sukhaila, Director Engineering Office, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Osama R Shawwa, Director of Administrative Office in the Department of Political Sciences, Al Azhar University Gaza

Adnan A S El-Ajrami, Director of Administrative Office at the Faculty of Medicine, Al Azhar University Gaza

Hashem Mahmoud Kassab, Director of Public Relations and Media Department, Al Azhar University Gaza

Mazen Hilles, Director of Administration of Diploma Programme, Al Azhar University Gaza

Adel Mansour Suleiman Al-Louh , Services Manager, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Hammam Al-Nabahen, Director of IT Services, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Maher Haron Ereif, Audit Department Assistant Director, Al Azhar University Gaza

Khalid Solayman Alsayed, Information Technology Administrator, Al Azhar University Gaza

Dr Amani H Abujarad, Assistant Professor of Applied Linguistics Department of English, Al Azhar University Gaza

Dr Ayman Shaheen, Assistant Professor in Political Sciences, Al Azhar University Gaza

Prof Alaa Mustafa Al-Halees, Faculty of Information Technology, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Prof Basil Hamed, Faculty of Engineering, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Dr Mohamed Elhindy, Assistant Professor in Veterinary Medicine, Al Azhar University Gaza

Prof Bassam Ahmed Abu Zaher, Faculty of Science, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Prof Fakhr Abo Awad, Faculty of Science – Department of Chemistry, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Prof Saher Al Waleed, Professor of Law, Al Azhar University Gaza

Prof Kamal Ahmed Ghneim, Faculty of Arts, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Prof Khadir Tawfiq Khadir, Department of English Language – Faculty of Arts, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Dr Marwan Saleem El-Agha, Assistant Professor of Business Administration, Al Azhar University Gaza

Dr Mona Jehad Wadi, Assistant Professor of microbiology, Al Azhar University Gaza

Dr Mohammed Faek Aziz, Deanship of Quality and Development, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Dr Muhammed Abu Mattar, Associate Professor in Law, Al Azhar University Gaza

Prof Abdul Fattah Nazmi Hassan Abdel Rabbo, Faculty of Science, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Dr Saher Al Waleed, Professor of Law, Al Azhar University Gaza

Dr Sari El Sahhar, Assistant Professor in Plant Protection, Al Azhar University Gaza

Dr Nidal Jamal Masoud Jarada, Law, University College of Applied Sciences – Gaza

Dr Sherin H Aldani, Assistant Professor in Social Sciences, Al Azhar University Gaza

Dr Wael Mousa, Assistant Professor in Food Technology, Al Azhar University Gaza

Prof Mohamed I H Migdad, Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Prof Alaa Mustafa Al-Halees, Faculty of Information Technology, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Prof Usama Hashem Hamed Hegazy, Professor of Applied Mathematics, Al Azhar University Gaza

Prof Basil Hamed, Faculty of Engineering, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Prof Tawfik Musa Allouh, Professor of Arabic Literature, Al Azhar University Gaza

Prof Bassam Ahmed Abu Zaher, Faculty of Science, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Prof Zaki S Safi, Professor of Chemistry, Al Azhar University Gaza

Prof Fakhr Abo Awad, Faculty of Science – Department of Chemistry, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Prof Kamal Ahmed Ghneim, Faculty of Arts, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Prof Khadir Tawfiq Khadir, Department of English Language – Faculty of Arts, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Prof Khaled Hussein Hamdan, Faculty of Fundamentals of Religion, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Prof Ata Hasan Ismail Darwish, Professor of Science Education and Curriculum, Al Azhar University Gaza

Prof Hazem Falah Sakeek, Professor of Physics, Al Azhar University Gaza

Prof Mohammed Abdel Aati, Department of Electrical Engineering and Intelligent Systems, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Prof Nader Jawad Al-Nimra, Faculty of Engineering, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Prof Nasir Sobhy Abu Foul, Professor of Food Technology, Al Azhar University Gaza

Dr Rawand Sami Abu Nahla, Lecturer at Faculty of Dentistry, Al Azhar University Gaza

Prof Hussein M. H. Alhendawi, Professor of Organic Chemistry, Al Azhar University Gaza

Prof Ihab S. S. Zaqout, Professor in Computer Science, Al Azhar University Gaza

Dr Rushdy A S Wady, Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Dr Abed El-Raziq A Salama, Assistant Professor in Food Technology, Al Azhar University Gaza

Dr Ahmed Aabed, Admin Assistant in Administrative and Financial Affairs Office, Al Azhar University Gaza

Dr Ahmed Mesmeh, Faculty of Sharia and Law, Al Azhar University Gaza

Dr Emad Khalil Abu Alkhair Masoud, Associate professor of microbiology, Al Azhar University Gaza

Dr Alaa Issa Mohammed Saleh, Lecturer at the faculty of Dentistry, Al Azhar University Gaza

Dr Ali Al-Jariri, Continuing Education Department, Al Quds Open University

Dr Arwa Eid Ashour, Faculty of Science, Department of Mathematics, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Dr Hala Zakaria Alagha, Assistant Professor in Clinical Pharmacy, Al Azhar University Gaza

Prof Marwan Khazinda, Professor of Mathematics, Al Azhar University Gaza

Prof Moamin Alhanjouri, Associate Professor in Statistics, Al Azhar University Gaza

Prof Sameer Mostafa Abumdallala, Professor of Economics, Al Azhar University Gaza

Dr Bilal Al-Dabbour, Faculty of Medicine, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Dr Nabil Kamel Mohammed Dukhan, Faculty of Education – Department of Psychology, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Dr Jamal Mohamed Alshareef, Assistant Professor, Linguistics Department of English, Al Azhar University Gaza

Dr Sadiq Ahmed Mohammed Abdel Aal, Faculty of Engineering, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Dr Khaled Abushab, Associate Professor in Applied Medical Sciences, Al Azhar University Gaza

Dr Abed El-Raziq A Salama, Assistant Professor in Food Technology, Al Azhar University Gaza

Dr Emad Khalil Abu Alkhair Masoud, Associate Professor of Microbiology, Al Azhar University Gaza

Dr Hala Zakaria Alagha, Assistant Professor in Clinical Pharmacy, Al Azhar University Gaza

Dr Jamal Mohamed Alshareef, Assistant Professor, Linguistics Department of English, Al Azhar University Gaza

Dr Khaled Abushab, Associate Professor in Applied Medical Sciences, Al Azhar University Gaza

Dr Suheir Ammar, Faculty of Engineering, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Dr Waseem Bahjat Mushtaha, Associate Professor in Dental Medicine, Al Azhar University Gaza

Prof Ali Abu Zaid, Professor of Statistics, Al Azhar University Gaza

Dr Zahir Mahmoud Khalil Nassar, Faculty of Science, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Abdul Hamid Mustafa Said Mortaja, Faculty of Arts, Department of Arabic Language, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Abdul Rahman Salman Nasr Al-Daya, Associate Professor at the Faculty of Sharia and Law, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Ayman Salah Khalil Abumayla, Officer – Student Affairs Department, Al Azhar University Gaza

Abdullah Ahmed Al-Sawarqa, Library, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Ashraf Ahmed Mohammed Abu Mughisib, Faculty of Science, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Mohammed Abdul Fattah Abdel Rabbo, Deanship of Engineering and Information Systems, University College of Applied Sciences – Gaza

Basheer Ismail Hamed Hammo, Faculty of Fundamentals of Religion, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Bssam Fadel Nssar, Faculty of Engineering, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Eng Mohammed Awni Abushaban, Teaching Assistant IT Department, Al Azhar University Gaza

Etemad Mohammed Abdul Aziz Al-Attar, Faculty of Science, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Fahd Ghassan Abdullah Al-Khatib, Engineering Office, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Ibrahim K I Albozom, Administrative Officer Faculty of Arts, Al Azhar University Gaza

Abdullah Ahmed Anaqlah, Faculty of Information Technology, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Ahmed Abdelrahman Abu Saloom, Radiologist at the College of Dentistry, Al Azhar University Gaza

Feryal Ali Mahmoud Farhat, Administrator, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Fifi Al-Zard, Campus Services, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Manar Y Abuamara, Secretary, Al Azhar University Gaza

Hani Rubhi Abdel Aal, Graduate Studies, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Ahmed Abdul Raouf Al-Mabhouh, Faculty of Science, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Ahmed Adnan Al-Qazzaz, Faculty of Information Technology, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Sfadi Salim Abu Amra, Supporting Services Department, Al Azhar University Gaza

Hassan Ahmed Hassan Al-Nabih, Department of English Language – Faculty of Arts, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Hassan Nasr, Information Technology, University College of Applied Sciences – Gaza

Hatem Barhoom, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Tamer Musallam, Lecturer in Business Diploma Programme, Al Azhar University Gaza

Ahmed Adnan Mahmoud Mattar, Information Technology, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Ahmed Jaber Mahmoud Al-Omsey, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Ahmed Khalil Ibrahim Qadoura, Administrator, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Hussein Al-Jadaily, Faculty of Nursing, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Ibrahim Issa Ibrahim Seidem, Faculty of Fundamentals of Religion, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Ezia Abu Zaida, Secretary, Al Azhar University Gaza

Khaled Mutlaq Issa, Faculty of Engineering, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Khalil Mohammed Said Hassan Abu Kuweik, Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Ibraheem Almasharawi, Instructor at the Faculty of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, Al Azhar University Gaza

Maher Jaber Mahmoud Shaqlieh, Information Technology Affairs, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Mahmoud Abdul Rahman Mousa Asraf, Department of English Language, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Ahmed Mohammed Said Abu Safi, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Ahmed Omar Ismail Al-Dahdouh, Faculty of Information Technology, University College of Applied Sciences – Gaza

Ahmed Salman Ali Abu Amra, Faculty of Sharia and Law, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Ahmed Saqer, Faculty of Science, Department of Mathematics, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Ahmed Younes Abu Labda, Personnel Affairs, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Alaa Fathi Salim Abu Ajwa, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Mahmoud Said Mohammed Al- Damouni, Central Library, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Ghasasn Alswairki, Adminstration Officer at Faculty of Pharmacy, Al Azhar University Gaza

Mahmoud Shukri Sarhan, Faculty of Education, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Mahmoud Youssef Mohammed Al- Shoubaki, Faculty of Fundamentals of Religion, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Majdi Said Aqel, Faculty of Education, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Muahmmed Abu Aouda, Security Department, Al Azhar University Gaza

Majed Hania, Faculty of Science, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Majed Mohammed Ibrahim Al-Naami, Faculty of Literature, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Mamoun Abdul Aziz Ahmed Salha, Information Technology, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Emad Ali Ahmed Abdel Rabbo, Administrator, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Imad Alwaheidi Lecturer in Livestock Production Al Azhar University Gaza

Manar Mustafa Al-Maghari, Medical Department, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Mohammed Bassam Mohammed Al- Kurd, Campus Services, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Marwa Rouhi Abu Jalaleh, Information Technology Department, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Yousif Altaban, Security Department, Al Azhar University Gaza

Hala Muti Mahmoud Abu Naqeera, Student Affairs, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Marwan Ismail Abdul Rahman Hamad, Faculty of Education, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Mohammad Hussein Kraizem, Health Sciences, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Mohammed AlAshi, Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Mohammed Hassan Al-Sar, Faculty of Engineering, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Mohammed Ibrahim Khidr Al-Gomasy, Faculty of Education, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Mohammed Juma Al-Ghoul, Faculty of Sharia and Law, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Mohammed Khalil Ayesh, Information Technology, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Faiz Ahmed Ali Hales, Computer Maintenance Department, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Mohammed Taha Mohammed Abu Qadama, Administrator, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Yousef Fahmy Krayem, Lab Technician at Faculty of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, Al Azhar University Gaza

Nabhan Salem Abu Jamous, Department of Supplies and Purchases, Head of Storage Section, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Nihad Mohammed Sheikh Khalil, Faculty of Arts – Department of History, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Tamer Nazeer Nassar Madi, Faculty of Information Technology, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Rami Othman Mohammed Hassan Skik, Faculty of Information Technology, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Salah Hassan Radwan, Information Technology, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Salem Abushawarib, Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Salem Jameel Bakir Al-Sazaji, Faculty of Information Technology, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Abed Alraouf S Almasharawi, Administrative Officer in the Library, Al Azhar University Gaza

Samah Al-Samoni, Public Relations, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Wafa Farhan Ismail Ubaid, Faculty of Nursing, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Tawfiq Sufian Tawfiq Harzallah, Admission and Registration Department, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Walid Zuheir Aidi Abu Shaaban, Finance and Auditing Department, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Yasser Zaidan Salem Al-Nahal, Faculty of Science, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Youssef Sobhi Abdel Nabi Al-Rantissi, Computer Technician, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)

Economic Trends

 Wealth of Younger Americans 

Grows 49 Percent Since Pandemic

    Washington, D.C. — (CAP) - 4/28/2024 - A new Center for American Progress analysis finds that younger Americans are the winners of the strong economic recovery coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic, growing their wealth by 49 percent after inflation since right before the pandemic and breaking decades of stagnation.

    Millennials, in comparison to other generations, have not seen anywhere near this level of wealth accumulation during and after the pandemic. The new CAP analysis examines the latest data from the Federal Reserve and explains how younger households saw faster wealth gains than older generations during the pandemic. Some key takeaways from the new analysis include: 

  • Young Americans have seen the fastest wealth growth of any group since the onset of the pandemic: Among Americans under the age of 40, average inflation-adjusted household wealth grew 49 percent since the onset of the pandemic, whereas wealth fell 7 percent for households from 40 to 54 years old and rose only 4 percent for households 55 to 69 years old.
  • Millennials have experienced wealth growth after a recession, unlike previous generations: Millennials, who were 23 to 38 years old in 2019, saw their inflation-adjusted wealth double—increasing by 101 percent—from the end of 2019 through the end of 2023. In comparison, Generation X, who were similarly aged prior to the Great Recession (27 to 42 years old), only saw their real wealth grow 4 percent over the same four-year time period following the beginning of the Great Recession in the fourth quarter of 2007.

“Millennials have broken through decades of stagnation with historically rapid wealth growth, and this is because of the historic economic recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic recession,” said Brendan Duke, senior director of economic policy. “This rapid and broad-based wealth growth across various assets—whether that’s owning a house, liquid assets, owning a business, or decline in debts—is helping grow financial security and upward economic mobility for younger Americans.”

 Link to column by by Brendan Duke and Christian Weller, "Wealth of Younger Americans is Historicall High"

Economic Policy

Center for American Progress

Creates 'Playbook for 

Advancement of Women in Economy'

    Washington, D.C. — (CAP) -- 3/14/2024 - Women are driving many of the United States’ economic successes. Not only were they the primary drivers of the strong labor market in 2023, but their spending powered the economy, and they are expected to control two-thirds of consumer spending by 2028. Yet women continue to face economic insecurity throughout their lives, which is partly driven by the failure of policymakers to center them in economic plans. Between the persistent gender wage gap and continuous attacks on reproductive freedoms, women’s economic security has been anything but secure. 

    The Center for American Progress’ new “Playbook for the Advancement of Women in the Economy” offers a blueprint for actions that both federal and state policymakers can take to strengthen women’s economic security. It makes the case for how an economy that delivers for women is an economy that delivers for all. 

    CAP’s “Playbook for the Advancement of Women in the Economy” features 13 chapters covering everything from protecting and increasing abortion access and guaranteeing paid family and medical leave, to ending workplace discrimination and harassment and realizing equal pay, to expanding women’s access to male-dominated industries and dismantling employment barriers for disabled women and immigrant women in the health care sector, and more. The playbook contains a suite of policy options readily available for policymakers to guarantee family planning and care, deliver good jobs, and build a labor force to meet the demands of the country’s future. 

    Historically, women turn out to vote at higher rates than men and list economic concerns as a top voting issue, and they’ve made their voices heard time and again in referendums. Ahead of the 2024 election, this is likely to continue. Policymakers should listen and respond to the needs of women—or else they risk not just their political success but also the U.S. economy.

    “This playbook offers ready-to-use solutions to fast-track the advancement of women’s economic security and help the United States unlock women’s—and the economy’s—full economic potential, ”said Rose Khattar, director of economic analysis for Inclusive Economy at CAP. “For decades, women have suffered from systemic economic inequities – from wages that are too low and costs that are too high—and this has plagued women at every stage of their lives, costing not just women and their families, but the economy at large.

    “Current and aspiring federal and state policymakers have an opportunity to create a new reality for women that expands their economic opportunities and secure the gains they’ve already made to ensure their economic well-being and, by doing so, invests in the U.S. economy,” said Sara Estep, associate director of the Women’s Initiative at CAP. “The playbook includes a suite of recommendations for policy action that will help strengthen women’s economic security and help put women and families economic security first—because an economy that helps women thrive is an economy that helps everyone thrive. 

    Read the playbook: Playbook for the Advancement of Women in the Economy” by Rose Khattar and Sara Estep

Civil Rights

ACLU Warns Against Bills Attacking

Kansans’ Right to Vote

    TOPEKA, KAN. – (ACLU) - 2/20/2024 - As state lawmakers consider multiple election-related bills, the ACLU of Kansas is warning against each bill’s negative impact on Kansas voters, but also against the collective anti-democratic theme of the package of bills that all seek to make it harder for Kansans to register, cast a ballot, and have their vote count.

    “Democracy is not a partisan matter – it’s the very foundation that ensures each Kansas voter can have a voice in the laws and policies affecting their lives,” said Micah Kubic, Executive Director of the ACLU of Kansas. “The election process is the single most meaningful way for Kansans to hold their elected officials accountable – so it’s particularly disturbing to see some of those same elected officials leverage their power to undermine that fundamental process of accountability. Democracy is strongest when more people participate, and these bills are designed to make fewer people participate."
 
     The currently seven pending bills in the Kansas legislature seek to limit early in-person voting, place additional restrictions on mail-in ballots, and more.

    “These bills are reminiscent of the attacks on Kansans’ voting rights during the era of then-Secretary of State Kris Kobach,” Kubic said. “We somberly remind our legislators that those attacks have been rejected time after time – rejected by Kansans, rejected by courts, and rejected by common sense. When Mr. Kobach pushed through attacks on our democracy, it resulted in lengthy, costly, and significant losses for Mr. Kobach. Those unconstitutional laws were struck down on behalf of Kansas voters, and any new unconstitutional attacks on our democracy will be, too.”

    ACLU of Kansas Policy Director Rashane Hamby said: “It may be tempting for lawmakers to get lost in the details, but they shouldn’t lose sight of what the big picture is for the Kansans they serve and that Kansas still remains in the bottom of the country for voter turnout. Every last one of these bills is about creating barriers and making it even harder for Kansans to vote, especially elderly voters, those who are in rural communities, or voters with disabilities. We know that Kansans as a whole trust our election process and the officials who administer it, but many lawmakers continue to politicize our fundamental right to vote and lean on misinformation to justify it.”

Women's Rights

Effort to Enshrine Abortion Rights 

in Missouri Constitution Receives 

Praise from Americans United

    MISSOURI - (AU) - 1/18/2024 - Americans United for Separation of Church and State President and CEO Rachel Laser issued the following statement in response to a Jan. 18 announcement that abortion advocates will proceed with efforts to ensure Missouri voters have the opportunity to enshrine abortion rights in the Missouri Constitution through a ballot initiative later this year:

    “In recent times, this country has experienced many dark days with regard to the right to an abortion. But today we are inspired by the light shining bright in the state of Missouri and the announcement of a ballot initiative to enshrine abortion rights in the Missouri Constitution.

Abortion bans violate church-state separation

    “Abortion bans impose one narrow religious view on all of us. They violate religious and reproductive freedom and put lives at risk. The right to an abortion should not depend on where you live; we must never give up on protecting abortion rights in the ‘red’ states. That’s why Americans United sued on behalf of 14 Missouri faith leaders to overturn the state’s abortion ban. We’re also honored to co-lead the Missouri Abortion Access Project (MAAP), educating and encouraging Missourians to fight for abortion rights, which are essential to protecting religious freedom.

    “Americans United is proud to work with the tireless advocates on the ground in Missouri, including many faith leaders, to restore abortion access across the state. Now is the time for a national recommitment to the separation of church and state.”

Lawsuit background

    In Jan. 2023, Americans United, the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC), the law firm Arnold & Porter, and St. Louis-based civil rights lawyer Denise Lieberman filed Rev. Traci Blackmon v. State of Missouri on behalf of 14 Missouri faith leaders whose various faiths call them to support abortion access.

    The lawsuit demonstrates that Missouri’s abortion ban and other restrictions violate the state constitution by enshrining lawmakers’ personal religious beliefs about abortion in laws passed in 2017 and 2019. The case is proceeding in St. Louis Circuit Court.

    More information about the lawsuit is available here.

Press Freedom

Court Urged to Unseal 

Documents Related 

to FBI Raid on Journalist

    TAMPA, Fla. (ACLU) - Jan. 6, 2024 - The American Civil Liberties, the ACLU of Florida, and their partners filed a friend-of-the-court brief on Jan. 2 in the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals arguing that a search warrant authorizing a raid on Florida journalist Tim Burke’s home should be unsealed to preserve press freedoms and increase transparency. The ACLU previously joined more than 50 organizations to send a letter to the Department of Justice demanding transparency about how the government believes Burke’s newsgathering broke the law.

    “The First Amendment protects the vital role journalism plays in keeping powerful institutions accountable to the public. But it appears that the government is interpreting computer crime laws in a dangerously overbroad manner — despite Supreme Court case law warning against this kind of overreach. This is both impermissible and unwise,” said Jennifer Stisa Granick, surveillance and cybersecurity counsel with the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project.

    The FBI raided Burke’s home after he obtained outtakes of Tucker Carlson’s interview with Ye (formerly known as Kanye West) where Ye made antisemitic and other offensive remarks. The investigation, according to court filings, involves alleged violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, or CFAA, and a federal wiretapping law. The CFAA is the federal anti-hacking law that prohibits unauthorized access to a computer. But Burke says he got the outtakes from websites where Fox News uploaded unencrypted live streams to URLs anyone could access, using publicly accessible login credentials.

    The brief argues that the meager information available about the government’s investigation of Burke chills newsgathering by generating fear that journalists will be prosecuted for First Amendment-protected activity. Importantly, the brief also calls on the government to return seized materials that are not related to the case, and to allow access to materials that enable Burke to fulfill his newsgathering function. It does not appear that the government has taken Burke’s newsgathering activities into account in conducting this investigation. That failure demonstrates “callous disregard” for Burke’s First Amendment rights.

    “A key function of the press is to report news that might embarrass powerful people and companies,” said Seth Stern, director of advocacy for Freedom of the Press Foundation. “If Burke is being investigated for locating and publicizing publicly available interview outtakes merely because Fox News would’ve preferred the footage remain secret, that poses serious First Amendment problems. Countless other journalists who use the internet to find news need to know whether the government believes they’re breaking the law by doing their jobs.”

    The brief also takes issue with prosecutors’ suggestions that Burke is not actually a journalist, in part because he did not work for an established news outlet at the time he obtained the outtakes. Burke has a long history in journalism. Unsealing the search warrant and any additional documents related to the raid will confirm whether the court was informed that Burke was a journalist — and whether the government considered him to be one. Federal policy requires that the government provide journalists notice before any search of their newsgathering materials or work product occurs, and no such notice was given to Burke.

    The organizations submitting the brief raise concerns — and demand answers — regarding whether the government’s apparent belief that Burke was not a journalist led it to eschew procedures for searches of journalists’ newsgathering materials required under the Privacy Protection Act of 1980 and the DOJ’s own policies. Those policies were revised last year to better protect journalists’ rights in light of Trump-era abuses.