The Center for Law and Social Justice at Medgar Evers College Announced as a Recipient of the #BrooklynGives on Giving Tuesday Campaign Match, as well as a Finalist for Brooklyn Community Foundation’s Spark Prize

Awards Recognizes High-impact Community-based Organizations Across Brooklyn; Prizes Upwards of $100,000

BROOKLYN – The Center for Law and Social Justice at Medgar Evers College, CUNY (CLSJ) is proud to announce they are one of the 20 organizations selected as beneficiaries of the #BrooklynGives on Giving Tuesday campaign, and are the finalists for the Brooklyn Community Foundation’s Spark Prize, the only award of its kind to honor Brooklyn’s leading nonprofit change makers.

The return of the #BrooklynGives on Giving Tuesday campaign was announced this week. The campaign aims to drive awareness and donations to a diverse cohort of 20 local nonprofits. The Foundation will match up to $100,000 in donations to the 20 participating organizations on Giving Tuesday, November 28. Giving Tuesday is the global day of giving celebrated each year on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving to kick off the holiday giving season and inspire people to improve their local communities.

The Brooklyn Community Foundation’s Spark Prize, is selected by a diverse committee of Brooklyn civic, business, and neighborhood leaders from a highly competitive pool of 140 applicants in recognition of their social justice-oriented, values-driven service to the borough’s communities. In January, the five winners of this year’s Spark Prize will be awarded grants of $100,000 each.

“We are extremely honored to be named as a finalists for the #BrooklynGives campaign as well as the Brooklyn Community Foundation’s Spark Prize. It is our mission to advocate and assist the African descent community on racial justice issues such as voter rights, educational inequity, police violence, as well as tackling issues that impact women of color,” said Esmeralda Simmons, Esq., founder and executive director of CLSJ.  “Due to our unique combination of advocacy services from a community-based perspective, CLSJ is a focal point for progressive activity. Our social justice work and values as an organization makes us perfectly primed to vie for the #BrooklynGives campaign and the Spark Prize. We look forward to working on the donation match in November, and on receiving the top honors in January.

#BrooklynGives and the Spark Prize are presented in partnership with the Office of the Brooklyn Borough President and the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, with generous sponsorship from TD Bank and National Grid.

In 2016, its inaugural year, the #BrooklynGives campaign raised nearly $275,000 from more than 900 donors and businesses. Brooklynites are encouraged to mark their calendars once again for the 24-hour boroughwide giving day on November 28, 2017. Learn more at and follow the hashtag #BrooklynGives on social media.

“We created the Spark Prize and the #BrooklynGives campaign to showcase and support innovative and high-impact community-based organizations across Brooklyn, often operating under the radar right in our own backyards,” said Brooklyn Community Foundation President and CEO Cecilia Clarke “Congratulations to these 20 exemplary Brooklyn nonprofits—we are so proud to have you represent the excellence and impact our borough has to offer!”

Information on how to support CLSJ leading into and on Nov. 28 will soon be available on the Center’s website, and social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram).


The Center for Law and Social Justice (CLSJ):The mission and vision of CLSJ is to provide quality advocacy, training, and expert services in a personal manner to people of African descent and the disenfranchised. CLSJ seeks to accomplish its mission by conducting research, and initiating advocacy projects and litigation on behalf of community organizations and groups that promote human, national, and international understanding. For additional information please visit:

About Brooklyn Community Foundation: Brooklyn Community Foundation is on a mission to spark lasting social change, mobilizing people, capital, and expertise for a fair and just Brooklyn. It is the first and only public foundation solely dedicated to Brooklyn’s charitable community, working in partnership with generous donors and community leaders to bolster vital nonprofits, strengthen neighborhoods, and increase opportunities for youth. Since its founding in 2009, the Foundation and its donors have provided over $30 million in grants to more than 300 nonprofits in Brooklyn and beyond. Learn more at

About the Spark Prize: The Spark Prize is named for Brooklyn Community Foundation’s mission to spark lasting social change and awards $600,000 annually to Brooklyn nonprofits. To apply for the Spark Prize, organizations submitted a 1,000 word essay demonstrating their deep history in Brooklyn; commitment to racial equity; strong values; and a dynamic vision for the future of their work in Brooklyn and beyond. Learn more at



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