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Save the date June 19, 2018 for the Institute's 13th gala. Click here for information on tickets and sponsorships.

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

64 years after Brown v. Board of Education New Jersey civil rights leaders file historic lawsuit to integrate New Jersey schools

May 17, 2018

On May 17, 2018, leading education advocates and civil rights leaders filed a historic lawsuit in state court designed to integrate New Jersey’s schools. A copy of the complaint can be found here

“Sixty-four years after the Supreme Court issued its landmark decision in Brown v. Board of Education, New Jersey’s public schools are as segregated by race and poverty today as they were in 1954,” said Ryan P. Haygood, President and CEO of the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice. “Sixty-four years after Brown, we have important promises to keep and still others to make to New Jersey’s students. This case is about finally making good on our promises.”

New Jersey’s racial diversity and racial segregation, in combination with its extreme wealth and punishing poverty, has created in New Jersey’s public school classrooms some of the fiercest segregation by race, ethnicity, and poverty in this country:

  • The median net worth for New Jersey’s white families is $271,402—the highest in America.

  • The median net worth for New Jersey’s Hispanic and Black families is just $7,020 and $5,900, respectively, together totaling less than 5 percent of the net worth of white families in the state.

  • Of the approximately 585,000 Black and Latino public school students in New Jersey, 63% of them attend schools that are more than 75% non-white.  

  • Nearly half of all Black and Latino public school students attend schools that are more than 90% non-white.  

  • More than 40 percent of white students attend schools that are at least 75% white.

“New Jersey cannot fulfill the promise of Brown, or the promise owed to our kids, without this lawsuit,” said Haygood. “No amount of good will, well wishes, or optimism will accomplish the systemic relief and fundamental transformation that is required. Integration is possible, it is necessary, and it is long overdue.”

Full disclosure: Institute Communications Director Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg's son is a plaintiff in the case and Weill-Greenberg is listed as his Guardian Ad Litem.

Almost 100 Groups Say: We Are 1844 No More

May 10, 2018

Almost 100 organizations, as well as the mayors of Hoboken, Newark, Jersey City, Plainfield, and Bloomfield have signed on to the Institute's letter declaring that New Jersey must sever the link between the precious right to vote and the criminal justice system. To view the list of signatories, please click here

Scott Novakowski Speaks with the Wall Street Journal on Voting Rights Restoration

May 10, 2018

The Wall Street Journal reports:

In New Jersey, advocates are pursuing a legislative route to entirely end the system of felon disenfranchisement. The measure has drawn support from scores of civil-rights and faith groups, as well as other organizations, but its prospects remain uncertain, said Scott Novakowski, associate counsel at the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice, which is promoting the measure.

Republican state Sen. Gerald Cardinale opposes the measure, saying at the time it was filed that for people who commit felonies, losing voting rights is “part of the risk they assume when they break the law.”

“I’m excited” about the bill, said Mr. Stackhouse, who also is trying to win an early end to his parole. “Let’s fight to stop this nonsense.”


Upcoming Events

Thu, May 24, 2018
09:30 AM

111 W State St, Trenton, NJ 08608, United States Thomas Edison State University
Trenton, NJ

NJBIC 2018 Legislative Conference

The NJBIC 2018 Legislative Conference is a one-day symposium dedicated to discussing public policy solutions to the manifestations of systemic racism in New Jersey. The conference is sponsored by t...

Thu, May 31, 2018
06:00 PM

439 S Broad St, Ste. 106, Trenton, NJ 08611, United States Studio B Bakery & Bistro
Trenton, NJ

New Leaders Council 2018 Fellows Fundraiser

Institute President and CEO Ryan Haygood will be speaking at the New Leaders Council (NLC) 2018 Fellows Fundraiser, “Talk the Talk and Walk the Walk: Moving New Jersey Forward.” Institute Associate...

Tue, Jun 05, 2018
06:00 PM

491 Irvington Ave, Newark , NJ 07106, United States Newark Police 6th Precinct Station
Newark , NJ

Community Forum: Consent Decree

Please join us at a community forum hosted by the Newark Police Division on the Consent Decree. You can read the Consent Decree here:

Tue, Jun 19, 2018
06:00 PM

1 Center St, Newark, NJ 07102, United States New Jersey Performing Arts Center
Newark, NJ

The Institute's 13th Annual Gala

Please join us on June 19, 2018 (Juneteenth) for the Institute's 13th annual gala! Please click here for information on tickets and sponsorships.

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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