Racial Justice Fund
NCLEJ launched a Racial Justice Fund in 2021 to provide dedicated support for our racial justice work. NCLEJ has more than six decades of successfully advancing economic and racial justice using groundbreaking impact litigation, policy advocacy, and support for grassroots organizing. Our racial justice advocacy goes far beyond litigation and prioritizes supporting the critical work of grassroots, BIPOC-led movements organizing to build power in their communities.
Your investment will increase political power for marginalized communities and fuel community-driven alternatives to combat discriminatory policing practices and environmental injustices in communities of color. Your support will enable NCLEJ to file impact litigation, produce action-oriented research and policy reports and continue supporting our grassroots partners’ advocacy campaigns.
NCLEJ’s Racial Justice Work
The first phase of our work under the Racial Justice Fund includes advocacy to secure police accountability and environmental justice. We are:
- Representing Black Love Resists in the Rust and nine individual plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit challenging discriminatory policing for profit in Buffalo, New York. Our clients seek to end the city’s longtime practice of targeting people of color for traffic tickets, bring real accountability to policing in Buffalo, and obtain monetary redress for the people and communities harmed.
- Representing four BIPOC-led grassroots groups—Brownsville Green Justice, Ocean Hill-Brownsville Young Professionals, Mi Casa Resiste, and Indigenous Kinship Collective—fighting the racially discriminatory construction and operation of a fracked gas pipeline running through Black and Latinx neighborhoods in Brooklyn. Our clients demand that the State conduct an environmental impact review and shut the pipeline down, as has happened in similarly-situated white communities.
- Challenging the modern-day debtor’s prison operated by the City of Montgomery, Alabama. In this scheme, the police targeted low-income drivers—primarily people of color—for massive numbers of traffic tickets, jailing, and a vicious cycle of punitive fines and requirements.
- Supporting the Fair Fines and Fees Coalition, a grassroots coalition in Buffalo, New York, that seeks to end the imposition of unjust fines and fees and promote community safety through nonpunitive means.
- And more!
To learn more, please email Tamara Vasan, Director of Philanthropy, at email@example.com
Goals and Outcomes
Our work builds toward the following:
- Strengthen the power of grassroots movements to hold government accountable
- Improve police accountability
- Promote economic opportunity and resources in communities
NCLEJ must raise $1,000,000 in new support for the Racial Justice Fund to serve current clients and communities and expand this work to new communities where our support is needed and has been requested. The strategy includes a commitment to investing in the next generation of skilled advocates who will advance economic and racial justice. Funding will support increased staff capacity, including attorneys, communicators, data analysts—and the creation of a dedicated fellowship and internship program.
Support the full scope of case and coalition work with a transformational gift which will support dedicated legal fellowships and internships.
Name a Legal Fellowship for Racial Justice with a lead gift. A donation at this level supports 1-2 year fellowships for attorneys who are 1-4 years post law school.
Name Legal Internships for Racial Justice with a major gift. This generous donation will support multiple internships annually.
JOIN as a Monthly Sustainer for Racial Justice with a recurring gift of $50.00 per month.
Generous supporters currently include Mastercard and Dentons, Cohen & Gresser, Phelps (In Honor of Pamela Rosado, AXA XL), NCLEJ board members, and loyal donors.
Cynthia Adams • Paul Dodyk • Stephen and Joan Kass • Dennis Parker • Philip Tom • Yelena Konanova • Rev. Michael Livingston
NCLEJ welcomes your questions and comments. Please contact Tamara Vasan, Director of Philanthropy, at firstname.lastname@example.org for further discussion.