Celebrating Black History Month 2024

"We recognize not only the sung heroes, but the unsung heroes."

This February, Americans celebrate Black History Month by highlighting the history, achievements, and contributions of African Americans to the United States.

ALEC member, Kansas State Representative Patrick Penn explained why we celebrate:

As we look at those black Americans who have come before us, reached the top of their game, the pinnacle of every field of endeavor, we also recognize those who came alongside them, behind them, around them, and surrounded them with the love, the care, the attention, the mentorship that was necessary to get them to those places of prominence. So not only the sung heroes, but the unsung heroes are important.

Black History Month helps us to reaffirm our humanity and gives us an opportunity to recognize and chart our future, and it helps to restore our hope for tomorrow. We have a collective humanity. When we recognize that we have the right to educational freedom and choice, that we have the right to employment opportunities, when we endeavor to do economic development in our communities, follow our faith, and live out our traditional families values, and also abide by an eternal victorhood mentality — and not a victimhood mentality — we see that we can chart a path to future help, even inside of our own black communities.

ALEC is committed to providing policy solutions to empower all Americans. We are proud to work with state legislators across the country to identify the best ideas that lead to growth and opportunity.

Our model policies featured in the ALEC Opportunity Agenda focus on economic development, educational opportunity, affordable health care, and safety and justice. See these policies below.


ALEC Model Policy:


ALEC Model Policy:

    • The Hope Scholarship Act – This model policy expands school choice through the creation of a universal education savings account program that any student in the state can access.
    • Next Generation Charter Schools Act – This model policy is a compilation of the best practices in charter school policy. This includes maximizing the number of authorizing entities for charter schools, eliminating caps on the number of or enrollment in charter schools, and maximizing public accountability of charter schools.


ALEC Model Policy:

    • Hospital Price Transparency Act – The purpose of this Act is to require healthcare facilities to disclose prices for certain items and services provided by certain medical facilities; provide administrative penalties; prohibit collective action of debt for non-compliant facilities.
    • Resolution in Support of Telehealth Modernization Principles – Health care providers should be allowed to practice to the full extent of their professional training through telehealth. Telehealth services ought to be available to patients who want to access their healthcare provider if their provider is in another state so long as the provider is fully licensed and trained.


ALEC Model Policy:

    • Statement of Principles on Policing and Community Engagement – The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is strongly committed to expanding opportunity for all, understanding that no individual should feel threatened or be treated differently based on the color of their skin. Fairness, justice, equal protection and safety within our criminal justice system, and in communities, are the only means for protecting and serving all Americans.
    • A Bill to Ban the Box on Employment Applications – This model declares that it is the duty of states to encourage and contribute to the successful reintegration of people with a criminal history. The ability to procure meaningful employment is essential to reinstating good citizenship.  The model seeks to reduce barriers to employment for persons with a criminal history in order to reduce recidivism and improve community stability.
    • Resolution on Diversion of Low-Level Drug Possession Offenders  This model recognizes that many of those arrested for possessing small amounts of drugs are struggling with addiction and that prison is often an ineffective intervention, which is also extremely costly to taxpayers.
    • Recidivism Reduction Act  Research and practice over the past 25 years have identified new strategies and policies that can make a significant dent in recidivism rates. Implementing these research-backed programs and procedures is called “evidence-based practice.” This Act requires that a to-be-determined percent of offenders be supervised in accordance with evidence-based practices within four years, as well as that a to-be-determined percent of state funds for offender programming be spent on programs that are evidence-based within four years.

To view all of our 2024 policy priorities, read our publication, Essential Policy Solutions for 2024.