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Civil Rights/Racial Justice

Poverty is a bitter enough brew. Discrimination makes it even worse. NCLEJ insists that our nation’s civil rights laws must protect low-income people seeking or receiving public benefits. The federal government imposes strong anti-discrimination and language access requirements on the administration of federally supported programs such as Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), Medicaid, and food stamps. State and local anti-discrimination laws can also be useful tools in protecting civil rights.

Our strategies to protect the civil rights of, and challenge discrimination against, low-income people include class action litigation, negotiation of improved agency policies, and the investigation of systemic failures of public benefits programs and recommendations for improvements. NCLEJ also provides support to advocates working on these issues around the country. NCLEJ always welcomes inquiries from advocates and the opportunity to collaborate on these issues. Feel free to contact us.

NCLEJ’s Gina Mannix and Fran Fajana, and former Executive Director Henry Freedman, contributed to the 2013 Clearinghouse Review issue devoted to “Pursuing Racial Justice in the 21st Century.” Read their articles, “TANF and Racial Justice” and “Racial Justice Advocacy: A Legal Services Imperative.” These articles were first published in Clearinghouse Review: Journal of Poverty Law and Policy, Sept.-Oct. 2013. © 2013 Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law.

See also Disability Rights