The Birmingham Pledge

The Richmond Pledge is derived from a pledge developed in Birmingham, Alabama, to recognize the worth of every individual by making a personal, daily commitment to remove prejudice from our own lives and to treat all people with dignity and respect.

Birmingham Pledge on Police Headquarters
Birmingham Pledge on Police Headquarters

In 1997, Jim Rotch, a young white attorney from Birmingham Alabama, was driving home from a Leadership Alabama meeting when he had a moment of inspiration. More than thirty years after Birmingham became ground zero in the civil rights struggle, it was still suffering deeply from racism. What if, he thought, people of the city pledged to eliminate racism and prejudice in their community?

When he returned home, he wrote the Birmingham Pledge, a statement of principles that committed people who signed it to work every day to eliminate racism. From that moment, his life changed, as did the conversation about race in Birmingham. The Birmingham Pledge celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2017.

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