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JUSTICE & civic engagement initiative

A shout out to all classmates who led, participated in and supported ClassACT’s 2020 Voter & Civic Engagement initiative. This hardworking group focused on a multi-pronged approach including projects and support of JusticeAid and JusticeAid’s 2020 beneficiary, Election Protection, as well as a long term project dedicated to creating a state by state primer on gerrymandering.

Under the umbrella of a new name: The Justice & Civic Engagement Initiative and with the election completed, the Steering Committee has identified the following areas of focus for 2021:


  • ClassACT HR73 is pleased to present its primer on gerrymandering: "Gerrymandering: Our Democracy at Risk.” Written by James P. Harbison and J. Ryan O’Connell with editing by Sallie Gouverneur, the primer outlines the gerrymandering practices of each state, and includes a compilation of local resources and an Action Plan for classmates who would like to address gerrymandering issues in their state.

    • Sub-committee leaders: Jim Harbison, Sallie Gouverneur, Ryan O’Connell and Andrea Kirsh, with Sara Greenberg and Nini Cohen.

JusticeAid and the PACE Program of the Neighborhood Defender Service

  • The Justice & Civic Engagement Initiative will support and create programs to promote awareness for JusticeAid’s 2021 beneficiary, PACE, the Police Accountability and Community Empowerment initiative of the Neighborhood Defenders Service
  • Led by Therese Steiner and Steve Milliken.
Every year JusticeAid, founded by classmate Steve Milliken, identifies a pressing civil rights issue to spotlight, and carefully selects a nonprofit addressing that issue as its grantee partner. Given the structural impediments in our legal system that continue to oppress Black and Brown communities, JusticeAid’s 2021 theme is Police Accountability/ Community Empowerment and is returning to its criminal justice roots with Neighborhood Defender Services NDS PACE as its grantee partner

Throughout 2021 JusticeAid's focus will be to raise funds to support the expansion of a holistic legal defense approach currently operating successfully in Harlem, NY and Detroit, MI, with plans to expand to Los Angeles, CA, Dallas/ Fort Worth, Texas, and Jackson, Mississippi.

Upcoming JusticeAid Events

    JusticeAid and Riverside Church Public Forum Present:

    Safety for Whom? Racist Policing in Communities and Schools

    Sunday, May 2nd, 4pm and 8pm ET, Riverside Church YouTube Channel 

    Join JusticeAid, in partnership with The Riverside Church of New York, for a free public forum on one of the most pressing issues of our time: Racist Policing.

    The Forum will include a keynote by Sherrilyn Ifill on the history of racist policing, and a panel discussion that explores the impact of over policing on Black and Brown youth and the steps we can take together to reduce the presence of police in our schools and the use of excessive force altogether.

    The panel is moderated by Angela J. Davis, Distinguished Professor of Law, American University Washington College of Law; and panelists include Rick Jones, Executive Director NDS PACE-Justice’s 2021 grantee partner; Kristin Nicole Henning, Blume Professor of Law and Director of the Juvenile Justice Clinic and Juvenile Justice Initiative at Georgetown Law; and Sally Lee, CEO and Founder, Teachers Unite.

    In addition there will be special music performances by the Resistance Revival Chorus and jazz pianist Matthew Whitaker personal rendition: What’s Going On / Inner City Blues.

    Click here for more information.

    ROCKIN’ FOR JUSTICE! JusticeAid Spring Concert featuring Robert Glasper

    Thursday, May 27th, 8pm ET, JusticeAid YouTube Channel

    Mark your calendars for an evening of music and celebration with four-time Grammy Award winning jazz pianist Robert Glasper, in a concert to benefit JusticeAid’s 2021 grantee partner NDS PACE

    Texas born and internationally acclaimed Glasper “seems to melt the discrete notes of a keyboard into a seamless stream, and transform the sound of every piano he plays” explains The Guardian, in reviewing a Glasper concert, and goes on to describe Glasper as “A jazz virtuoso who cannily disguises it, a hip-hop artist who rarely hits anything hard and an improviser with a classical pianist’s care for the weighting of every sound, Glasper is both disciplined and a freethinking genre-bender to rival the elder statesman of those virtues, Herbie Hancock.”

    ClassACT HR ‘73

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