Racial Justice Project
The Racial Justice Project is a legal advocacy organization dedicated to protecting the constitutional and civil rights of people who have been denied their rights on the basis of race, and to increasing public awareness of racism and racial injustice in the areas of education, employment, political participation, economic inequality, and criminal justice.
The Project’s work includes impact litigation, appellate advocacy, legislative advocacy, training, and public education.
Since its founding in 2006, the Project has worked to achieve its goals through the efforts of a growing number of faculty and student participants.The Project has filed amicus briefs, authored original research and publications, and served as co-counsel in lawsuits.
The Racial Justice Project worked with Clemency Project 2014—a group of lawyers and advocates—to help the Justice Department identify federal prisoners who, if sentenced today under current sentencing laws and policies, would likely have received substantially lower sentences. Students working with the Racial Justice Project filed clemency petitions on behalf of federal prisoners convicted of nonviolent drug crimes seeking to have their sentences reduced.
Students also work on current racial justice issues, including assisting with the Carr v. de Blasio litigation and the judicial inquiry into Eric Garner’s death in 2014 and helping prepare testimony government committees on the jurisdiction of New York City’s Civilian Complaint Review Board.
Professor Penelope Andrews serves as the Project’s Director. In addition, the Project engages one or more post-graduate Lewis Steel Racial Justice Project Fellows.