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The Institute seeks to ensure that urban residents live in a society that respects their humanity, provides equality of economic opportunity, empowers them to use their voice in the political process, and protects equal justice.



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In the News

Census 2020: Institute Joins 150+ Groups in Opposing the Citizenship Question

June 19, 2018

The New Jersey Institute for Social Justice has joined The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, The Leadership Conference Education Fund, Muslim Advocates, National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Educational Fund, National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, and more than 145 other organizations in a “friend of the court” brief in the litigation brought by the State of New York against the U.S. Department of Commerce challenging the inclusion of an unnecessary, xenophobic, and intrusive citizenship question in the 2020 Census.

The groups write in part:

A fair and accurate 2020 census is a critical civil rights issue. Not only is the constitutionally mandated census central to apportioning political power at every level of government, but the data collected also influence the annual allocation of more than $800 billion in federal money, along with countless policy and investment decisions by government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and private enterprise. Given its foundational importance to American government and society, the census must be above partisan politics. The misguided decision to reverse seventy years of consistent census practice and insert an untested citizenship question undermines the integrity of the count, damages our communities, and violates the Census Bureau’s constitutional and statutory duties to conduct a full enumeration of the U.S. population.

Ryan Haygood in the Star Ledger: School integration is possible, necessary, and long overdue.

June 12, 2018

Institute President and CEO Ryan Haygood writes in the Star Ledger:

Integrating our schools would, thus help eliminate the entrenched housing segregation by race, ethnicity, and income that has become a hallmark of our state. 

This reality of our segregated school system is confirmed by my wife's experience as an educator in the Newark Public School system for more than 20 years. In that time, in more than two decades at three different schools, my wife has never had a white student. 

And though my wife and her superb colleagues have empowered their young scholars to overcome the odds with a top-flight education that has produced stunning results, they have done so in spite of staggering structural racism, hyper-segregation, and concentrated poverty.

This is not the promise that was envisioned by Brown.

The Institute Applauds Murphy's Initiative on Apprenticeships

June 08, 2018

Governor Phil Murphy has announced his vision for the New Jersey Apprenticeship Network (NJAN), a proposal included in his Fiscal Year 2019 budget. The Governor made the announcement during remarks at The Apprenticeship Forward Collaborative’s conference at the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University.

“New Jersey has some of the worst racial income and wealth disparities in the nation. We must expand access to economic mobility through jobs that pay a living wage and provide a career, including through apprenticeship programs. It is critical that we expand access to apprenticeships for women and people of color, who have been under-represented, particularly in high-growth, well-paying industries,” said Ryan Haygood, president and CEO of the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice. “We look forward to working with Governor Murphy to make New Jersey a national leader on apprenticeships through policies that expand access to women, people of color, and people who face barriers to employment, strengthen the connection between our education and workforce systems, and support our business community’s use of apprenticeships – particularly in new, high-growth industries.”

The Apprenticeship Network will include: 

  • Establishing an Office of Apprenticeships in the state’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development to serve as a single contact for both employers and potential apprentices.  The office will be charged with developing new programs through a new Apprenticeship Innovation Fund and to facilitate interactions both at the federal Department of Labor and across industries;
  • Focusing on high-growth sectors such as advanced manufacturing, clean energy and utilities, IT and software, and health care, and creating demand-driven training widely applicable across these sectors’ employers;
  • Creating formal linkages to the K-12 and higher education systems so that more New Jerseyans receive advanced degrees and students have career-focused options. These include the reinvigoration of the NJPLACE program to help apprentices earn college credits, and robust career counseling for middle and high school students to increase diversity in apprenticeship programs and in their target industries. 


Upcoming Events

Mon, Jun 25, 2018
05:30 PM

55 Ludlow St, Newark , NJ 07114, United States Training, Recreation and Training Center
Newark , NJ

June 25: Meet the Independent Monitor

Please join us for a conversation with the Independent Monitor of the Newark Police Division, Peter Harvey, to discuss the findings in the Independent Monitor’s fourth quarterly report. The event w...

Wed, Jun 27, 2018
07:00 PM

801 W State St, Trenton , NJ 08618, United States Trinity Episcopal Cathedral
Trenton , NJ

1844 No More: Community Forum on June 27

Please join us for an educational forum on the need to restore the fundamental right to vote to people on probation, on parole, and in prison for a felony featuring: Assemblywoman Reynolds-Jackson...

Fri, Jul 20, 2018
09:00 AM through July 22, 2018

The Houstonian Hotel

Andrea McChristian Spark! Talk: Building a Prison to School Pipeline

Institute Associate Counsel Andrea McChristian will be a Spark! Talk presenter at The Future of Millennial America conference in Houston, Texas. To register for the conference, please click here. 

Sat, Jul 21, 2018
05:00 PM

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Ryan Haygood: The Poor People's Campaign

Institute President and CEO Ryan Haygood will speak on the Institute's work and the Poor People's Campaign.   

Given the significant challenges we face, we have only two options: to embrace chaos or embrace community. We choose community. Join us as we work to bend our neighborhoods toward the beloved community.


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