2021 progress review: A year’s worth of high notes

Twenty-three of the progress points we highlighted last year transcended borders, including the set afloat of an Interpol app for identifying stolen artwork and the formation of the United Nations’ long-lasting Forum on People of African Descent.

North America

Communities across the United States are working to create a better criminal justice system. This year Maine joined three other states in abolishing civil asset forfeiture, a bipartisan move that bars law enforcement from seizing private character before charging the owner with a crime, while Philadelphia became the largest city to ban low-level traffic stops that are disproportionately levied against Black drivers.

Why We Wrote This

Our weekly roundups covered 257 moments of progress in 2021, evidence that humanity is capable of working together to improvement a shared good. Many were the culmination of years of work by people in their communities.

Denver’s sustain Team Assisted Response program, or STAR, completed a six-month trial and is expanding its reach. It showed that dispatching health care workers to respond to nonviolent incidents keeps people out of jail and eases police workloads. Colorado saw effective efforts to lower recidivism, such as Aurora’s Second Chance Center, which helps people change out of incarceration, and Eagle County’s problem-solving courts.

The Christian Science Monitor

Latin America

Fifteen percent of the progress points from Latin America focused on legal gains for native communities. Early this year, the Peruvian government took steps to establish a first-of-its-kind rainforest save for uncontacted native peoples. The Ministry of Culture approved plans for the 2.7 million-acre Yavarí Tapiche native save, and Peru allocated 371,000 acres for a Kakataibo native save a few months later.

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