Understanding the Map: Tracking the Reach of the Assault on CRT 

By: Taifha Natalee Alexander

Has anti-Critical Race Theory (anti-CRT) activity infiltrated your neighborhood? Your local school board or city council? Would proposed or enacted legislation ban Critical Race Theory (CRT) in your state? Did your governor or state attorney general issue a letter, statement, or executive directive against CRT, antiracism, or the 1619 Project? If you reside in any U.S. state, with the exception of Delaware and Massachusetts, then ‘yes’ is the correct answer to at least one of these questions. 

From Alaska to New Hampshire, anti-Critical Race Theory (anti-CRT) activity has sought to limit truthful teaching about systemic racism throughout the United States. To date, local, state and federal government actors in 48 states have either proposed or enacted anti-CRT activity through legislation, letters, statements, executive directives, resolutions, or regulations. 251 anti-CRT bills in state and federal legislatures, including 25 federal bills, have been introduced in liberal and conservative states alike. 8 Governors and 22 attorney generals have issued statements, letters, or explicit directives against teaching of concepts like CRT, antiracism, and the 1619 Project. 8 state Boards of Education have proposed or enacted regulations against teaching about CRT and similar concepts, while at least 65 local school boards and 5 county or city governments have done, or considered doing, the same. 

The assault on CRT is not limited to conservative states’ legislatures. In fact, based on CRT Forward Tracking Project data, California is the only state whose anti-CRT activity is limited to the local school board level only. California local school boards are tied with Pennsylvania’s for having proposed 7 local school board, anti-CRT actions, the most anti-CRT local school board activity in the country. Further, 4 out of California’s 7 proposed local school board, anti-CRT activity have been adopted. As a result, California is the state with the second highest number of successful anti-CRT efforts at the local school board level. As for local city and county governments, New Mexico has highest number of successful anti-CRT activity. Throughout New Mexico, anti-CRT activity existed in three city and county commissions - Otero, Alamogordo, and Roosevelt. In each New Mexico city and county commission, an anti-CRT resolution was adopted.  As for state and federal anti-CRT activity, Missouri has been the most active at the state level. Missouri legislators have introduced 28 anti-CRT legislative actions, including 25 anti-CRT legislation. Federal legislators have introduced the same number of anti-CRT legislation as Missouri, 25 federal, anti-CRT legislative actions. 

With 370 instances of anti-CRT activity targeting K-12 education, private businesses, non-profits, government agencies and higher education, the anti-CRT movement has a presence in nearly all 50 states. As demonstrated in the Conflict Campaign Report1, the proliferation of anti-CRT activity at the local, state, and federal levels has resulted in chilled speech, students’ ignored requests to learn more about antiracism, hostile work environments for educators, and confusion over whether general diversity, equity and inclusion policies can be implemented in schools. CRT Forward Tracking Project data provides users with information to better understand how anti-CRT activity impacts them by identifying: (1) the entity the activity is targeting; (2) the conduct being regulated; (3) specific features of the conduct being targeted; and (4) enforcement mechanisms used to regulate the conduct. We invite you to utilize our interactive map and data filters to learn how anti-CRT within your local school board, city or county council, state governing body, and federal government is impacting you.

1 Pollock, M., Rogers, J., Kwako, A., Matschiner, A., Kendall, R., Bingener, C., Reece, E., Kennedy, B., & Howard, J. (2022). The Conflict Campaign: Exploring Local Experiences of the Campaign to Ban “Critical Race Theory” in Public K–12 Education in the U.S., 2020–2021. Los Angeles, CA: UCLA’s Institute for Democracy, Education, and Access.