In the United States, the right to vote is fundamental to the health and future of our democracy. For Black Americans, that precious right was secured only after a bloody, century-long battle that culminated in the passage of the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Yet legislation being proposed in states across the U.S. aims to undo that legacy by restricting voters, particularly Black voters, from exercising their constitutional right to vote. This is dangerous and it is wrong.

The Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) is adding our voice to those throughout the country denouncing any proposed legislation, disguised as election reform, that limits the right to vote.

Such legislation erodes the bedrock of our democracy. It undermines the rule of law. And it stands in direct opposition to LCLD's core mission of advancing diversity and a more inclusive legal profession.

"Freedom and justice and the dignity of man are not just words to us," said President Lyndon B. Johnson as he signed the Voting Right Act into law. "We believe in them."

We believe in them, too.

All of us must step forward and raise our voice to preserve the progress America has made on racial justice over the past fifty years. The time to speak out is now.