NYC BLAC for Census 2020 Organizing Meeting

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NYC Black Leadership Advisory Coalition for Census 2020 (NYC BLAC for Census 2020)

The Center for Law and Social Justice of Medgar Evers College, CUNY invites you to a leadership meeting of the newly organized NYC Black Leadership Action Coalition for the 2020 Census (“NYC BLAC Census 2020”). This meeting will provide you, other leaders, and organizations that work closely with communities African descent with the latest information regarding Census 2020. We will also strategize and plan outreach to historically “hard to reach communities” — our communities! Participants will brainstorm solutions to address high level concerns and plan collaborative efforts.
As you are aware:
  • Decennial census data is used to allocate an estimated $675 billion in federal assistance.
  • Many Black communities are considered by Census officials to be historically “Hard to Count” Communities.
  • Facts and shared information are the best antidotes to the widespread understandable fear of government at this time.
The leadership summit will take place on Tuesday, March 20th, 2018 from 9:00 AM – Noon at 25 West 43rd St., 19th Floor, New York, NY 10036 — Murphy Institute of Worker Education and Labor Studies. We need your input. Please join us.

You can RSVP here:


Brooklyn Gives on Giving Tuesday!

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Local giving goes further this holiday season with #BrooklynGives on Giving Tuesday! For 24 hours, Brooklyn Community Foundation will match donations to participating local nonprofits up to $100,000!

#BrooklynGives is celebrated the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, aka Giving Tuesday, the official kickoff of the charitable season. It’s Brooklyn’s only 24-hour Boroughwide giving event, encouraging Brooklyn residents and small businesses to come together to support Brooklyn’s outstanding nonprofits.

#BrooklynGives was created by Brooklyn Community Foundation in 2016 to benefit local organizations that are finalists for its annual Spark Prize—a unique nonprofit award that celebrates high-impact, values-driven service to Brooklyn’s communities. Learn more at

#BrooklynGives Beneficiaries (in alphabetical order):

After Hours Project
Arab American Family Support Center
Bed-Stuy Campaign Against Hunger
Black Women’s Blueprint
Brooklyn Community Housing and Services
Cave Canem Foundation
Center for Law and Social Justice at Medgar Evers College
Girls For Gender Equity
Griot Circle
Grow Brooklyn
El Puente
Participatory Budgeting Project
Red Hook Initiative
Red Hook Community Justice Center
Southside United HDFC – Los Sures
United Community Centers
Weeksville Heritage Center

Brooklyn district attorney candidate forum: Five days before election

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(Appeared in the Aug. 31, 2017 online version of the Amsterdam News)

Restorative Justice: Traditional approaches to justice tend to focus solely on crime and punishment and can frequently result in excessive sentencing and wrongful convictions. These policies send thousands of people of color to prison with little regard for the devastating impact that can have on the community. Conversely, restorative justice seeks to repair the harm caused by crime in a way that balances the need for justice with centering the community’s need to heal. How will these candidates center restorative justice as part of the justice seeking paradigm in Brooklyn?

Juvenile Justice: The school to prison pipeline is a combination of school-based policies and procedures (such as zero tolerance programs that criminalize minor rule infractions) that funnel Black and Brown youth into the criminal justice system. How will candidates use their position to balance holding young people accountable for their crimes with reducing the over-criminalization of Black and Brown youth?

In addition to these key areas, audience members will have an opportunity to submit questions for the candidates. What strikes you as the most pressing issue for these candidates to consider? What policies would you like to see the DA’s office implement? The forum will provide an opportunity for the candidates to hear from the public.

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Meet the 2017 CLSJ Summer Law Interns

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The Center for Law and Social Justice is pleased to introduce our 2017 Summer Law Interns.

The interns work alongside CLSJ staff on policy, advocacy, research, and litigation initiatives. Summer interns are integral to all aspects of CLSJ’s work, including programmatic and strategic planning. The interns will experience an intellectually stimulating and exciting summer including a number of trips and learning excursions as part of their internship experience.

Meet our 2017 intern class:

T’Ajai Carrington, Penn State Law

T’Ajai Carrington is a rising second year law student at Penn State Law, a Charlotte, NC native and alumna of UNC Charlotte. Ms. Carrington is a strong advocate for social justice and looks forward to using her law degree to serve her community. In her spare time, Ms. Carrington loves taking her two dogs to the park or catching a Boston Celtics game on TV.

Kyung “Candice” Lee,Benjamin Cardozo School of Law

Kyung “Candice” Lee is a rising second year law student at Benjamin Cardozo School of Law, a first-generation immigrant and has called Brooklyn home for the past six years. Ms. Lee graduated from NYU with a bachelor’s degree in Applied Psychology, focusing on domestic violence and racial disparity in the criminal justice system. Her passion for public policy and social justice started with her interest in therapy treatment for disadvantaged communities.

Taylor Armstrong, Fordham University School of Law

Taylor Armstrong is a rising third year law student at Fordham University School of Law and holds a chemistry degree from Howard University. He is passionate about civil rights and criminal justice, and he desires to start his own criminal defense practice. He also has a passion for technology and using his intellectual property background assisting several startup ventures. Taylor is sports enthusiast who loves playing and watching basketball and soccer.

#BlackWealthMatters: How Race, Debt & Personal Choices Shape Black Economics

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by Lurie Daniel Favors, Esq.

Wealth and Debt in Black Communities:

“If current economic trends continue, the average [B]lack household will need 228 years to accumulate as much wealth as their [W]hite counterparts hold today.” Joshua Holland, The Nation Magazine

When economist, author and former President of Bennett College, Dr. Julianne Malveaux, appeared in CNN’s documentary Black in America: Almighty Debt, she noted that personal and community wealth are based on cross-generational accumulation. Which means your personal and community wealth are supposed to grow when passed down from one generation to the next. According to Professor Steven Rogers:

Inter-generational wealth is “the monster wealth that started three, four, five of more generations ago and has been multiplying ever since; the kind of wealth that could, if the market conditions were right, start a retail chain, or buy swaths of real estate in the hottest market and develop a commercial residential complex or three.”

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Black Financial Legacy Series | #CLSJ30

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The Center for Law and Social Justice is excited to provide a financial empowerment series focused on building personal & collective financial legacies in the Black community.

Why? Well, an average Black family needs 228 YEARS to build the wealth of a White family today. These disparities between the two groups persist REGARDLESS of the level of education attained.

When Black employees go to work, they are typically employed by non-Black owned entities. When Black employees spend their money, it is typically spent with businesses owned by non-Black people. This matters more than we know.

This series will explore the state of personal finances; entrepreneurship and business development; collective wealth generation; and land ownership in the Black community. Each month, hear from experts who will help us understand how we arrived to our current financial position AND learn how we can improve our finances on an individual and collective level. See the flyer and details below for additional information.


January: Personal Finances Matter

On Friday January 20, 2017 we kick off our series with a deep dive into the state of personal finances. We’ll take a look at the following:

1. What is the current condition of personal finances in the Black community?
2. What are the historical and current conditions that preserve Black economic inequity?
3. What is a financial legacy and how can Black people create one for their families?
4. How can a community in financial distress strengthen its economic health?
5. How can cultural mindsets around Black people and money impact our financial future?
6. What steps can individuals take to strengthen their financial outlook?

Subsequent programs will focus on Black Entrepreneurship & Business Development (Feb. 10, 2017); Black Land Ownership (Mar. 24, 2017); Cooperative Economics (Apr. 21, 2017). Check here frequently for updates!


Election Protection Resource Sheet

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Information to Protect Your Vote!

When you head to the polls, make sure you are prepared! The Center for Law and Social Justice is pleased to provide this Election Protection Resource Sheet. On the sheet you will find phone numbers to call if you run into trouble, how to find out where you should vote and who is on your ballot and additional resources for Spanish speakers and members of the Asian American community. On election day, should you need to speak with someone, feel free to call us the Center for Law and Social Justice hotline at 718-804-8891. You can also download  a pdf version of the resource sheet here.


CLSJ Turns 30!

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In the mid-1980’s—in the face of what an escalation of police misconduct against Black and Latino communities, leading up to violence and even killings—a group of attorneys, pastors, and politicians got together to found the Center for Law and Social Justice. The Center, housed at Medgar Evers College, turns 30 this year, and BRIC TV sat with new CLSJ General Counsel, Lurie Daniel Favors to discuss the Center’s past, present and future.

Brooklyn Votes: Voter Engagement Conference

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bkvotesJoin the Center for Law and Social Justice and The Brooklyn NAACP for a voter engagement conference and take the pledge to register, educate and mobilize Brooklyn voters during the 2016 election cycle.


The Fight for Voting Rights, Not Just In the South
This opening plenary will provide an overview of the current voting rights landscape and empower participants to continue the fight to protect our communities.

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Justice Denied: The Akai Gurley Case

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The Handling of the Akai Gurley Case Reminds Us that

New York State Needs a Permanent Special Prosecutor

by Lurie Daniel Favors, Esq.

Special prosecutors are independent attorneys who are appointed to investigate, and if necessary prosecute, government officials for misconduct. They are typically used in cases where there is a significant risk that conflicts of interest will prevent traditional prosecutors (also known as “district attorneys” or “DAs”) from fairly and accurately seeking justice in the case.

Since its inception, the Center for Law and Social Justice has fought to have special prosecutors used in cases where police officers are accused of using excessive force that leads to the injury or killing of unarmed people. When one analyzes the cozy and intimate relationship between local DA offices and police departments and the continuing role of racism in the criminal justice system, it is clear that a permanent special prosecutor is absolutely necessary in these cases. In light of the way the Brooklyn DA’s office handled the sentencing of NYPD Officer Peter Liang for the killing of Akai Gurley, it is imperative that now, more than ever, the New York State Legislature and Governor Cuomo work to create a permanent special prosecutor to bring charges against police officers who are accused of using excessive force that leads to the injury or killing of unarmed citizens.

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