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 (almost) completed, the Steering Committee has identified the following areas of focus for 2021:
2. The Electoral College
3. Civic Education
JusticeAid and the Neighborhood Defender Service
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, in 2021JusticeAid is returning to its criminal justice roots with Neighborhood Defender Service 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.
JusticeAid is in conversation with the Riverside Church of New York for a spring public forum that will help us understand the challenges Black and Brown communities face due to over policing and underinvestment - and that will also shine a light on solutions underway, thanks to JusticeAid's grantee partner. We can't know all the challenges to live music events in 2021, but JusticeAid hopes to welcome you to a live concert in October 2021 in Washington, DC with the legendary musical artist Mavis Staples. Stay tuned!