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#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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The Beauty of Blackness and the Law

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The Beauty of Blackness and the Law: Black Hair Edition
Monday, March 28, 2016

In honor of Women’s History Month, CLSJ invites you to “The Beauty of Blackness and the Law: Black Hair – Past, Present and Future.” This ALL DAY symposium will feature a full day of panels and workshops and will take place at Medgar Evers College, CUNY in the Edison O. Jackson (EOJ) Auditorium.


To get more details, visit: or send an email to or call 718.804.8893.

Esmeralda Simmons on Women in Prison

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Susan Gottesfeld, Executive Vice President for Program Operations at The Osborne Association and Esmeralda Simmons, Executive Director of the Center for Law & Social Justice at Medgar Evers College talk about the challenges women face in the criminal justice system.

This segment originally aired February 18, 2016.

This video is from BRIC TV— the first 24/7 television channel created by, for, and about Brooklyn. It is the borough’s source for local news, Brooklyn culture, civic affairs, music, arts, sports, and technology. BRIC TV features programming produced and curated by BRIC, an arts and media nonprofit located in Downtown Brooklyn, NYC.

Watch more Brooklyn-centric content from BRIC TV:

BK Live:

Is Brooklyn the Next Ferguson?

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blmFriday, December 11, 2015, 6:00pm at Medgar Evers College.
Is Brooklyn the Next Ferguson?

The world watched as residents of Ferguson took to the streets to protest when Mike Brown’s killer, officer Darren Wilson was set free. We watched videos of Sandra Bland assert her right to dignity in Texas. We watched as Rekia Boyd’s killer was set free on a technicality. We watched as the streets of Baltimore exploded in protest when the video footage of Freddie Gray’s arrest went viral. We watched as the streets of Chicago came alive when police dash cam footage showed LaQuan McDonald’s young body shot down in the street. We watched as the streets filled with protesters for Eric Garner and Akai Gurley.

But what about Brooklyn? Could Brooklyn be the next Ferguson, Baltimore or Chicago? Join the Center for Law and Social Justice(CLSJ) for a powerful discussion about the ways that Brooklyn is connected to the broader struggle for racial justice.

Friday, December 11, 2015, 6:00pm at Medgar Evers College. FREE!
Get more details and directions via our Facebook page. Click HERE.