The New Jersey Institute for Social Justice, NJPAC, and the NAACP New Jersey State Conference Hosts A Conversation on Social Justice with New Jersey's Gubernatorial Candidates on May 1
On Monday, May 1, 2017 at 6:30 pm, the Institute, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, and the NAACP New Jersey State Conference will present, A Conversation on Social Justice with New Jersey's Gubernatorial Candidates, moderated by Elise Boddie, Institute Board member and Rutgers University Professor of Law, and Michael Hill, award-winning NJTV anchor and correspondent. The forum will feature gubernatorial candidates Bill Brennan, Jim Johnson, Raymond Lesniak, Seth Kaper-Dale, Phil Murphy, Steven Rogers, Hirsh Singh, John Wisniewski, and Mark Zinna.
"Our cities hold real promise for addressing some of the greatest social and racial justice challenges of our time: income inequality, unequal access to education, a broken criminal justice system, voter suppression, and systems that deny dignity and human rights," said Ryan P. Haygood, Institute President and CEO. “Just one month ahead of the primary election, this forum will provide an important opportunity for the gubernatorial candidates to share how they will address these critical issues."
The Star Ledger reports:
A report by a social justice group found that, despite Newark's highly touted renaissance, residents hold fewer than one-fifth of all jobs in the city, while the jobs they do hold tend to be at the low end of the pay scale.
The New Jersey Institute for Social Justice Releases A New Report that Seeks to Bridge Dr. King’s “Two Americas”
Newark, New Jersey, April 25, 2017 -- Today, the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice (the “Institute”) released a new report, “Bridging the Two Americas: Employment & Economic Opportunity in Newark & Beyond.” Please click here to read the report and here to read the policy brief.
“Fifty years ago this month, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., looked to Newark and other urban communities and explained that the country consisted of ‘two Americas,’ divided by race,” said Ryan P. Haygood, Institute President and CEO. “Fifty years later, perhaps no other city embodies both the reality of the two Americas and the possibility of bridging these entrenched divides more than the city of Newark. On one hand, as a testament to Newark’s economy, the majority of the people employed here earn more than $40,000 each year. But the poverty rate for Black residents of Newark is a striking 33 percent, more than double the national average for all races. This is part of a broader, troubling picture: Newark residents, incredibly, hold only 18 percent of all jobs in the city. As our report explains, our cities hold incredible promise to advance progressive solutions to finally bridging the two Americas. The solutions to the enduring problem of economic inequality will have to come from the ground up in our cities.”Read more
Civil Rights Groups Call for Voting Reforms to Boost Democratic Participation in New Jersey
Changes Would Make it Easier to Register, Provide Opportunities for Early Voting, and Expand Access for Formerly Incarcerated Individuals
After one of the most divisive and racially-charged presidential elections in recent history, New Jersey lawmakers have an opportunity to promote an inclusive democratic process that maximizes participation from all of its residents, says a new report released by the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice and the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law.
“An Agenda for a Renewed Democracy in New Jersey” recommends three actions the New Jersey legislature can take to safeguard the voting rights of its residents, in particular Black voters: implement automatic voter registration, restore voting rights to residents with past criminal convictions who are living in the community, and set minimum early voting requirements.Read more
The New Jersey Institute for Social Justice Welcomes the Inaugural Judge Debevoise Social Justice Legal Advocacy Fellow
Today, the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice welcomes Scott Novakowski as Associate Counsel and the inaugural Judge Dickinson R. Debevoise Social Justice Legal Advocacy Fellow.
“Scott joins the Institute at a critical moment when our work in building an inclusive democracy, ensuring economic justice, and advocating for transformative criminal justice reform couldn’t be more important," said Ryan P. Haygood, Institute President and CEO. “We are clear here at the Institute that the solutions to the greatest social justice challenges of our time will come from the ground up in our cities. We are honored to have Scott join our team to help fight for the solutions that Judge Debevoise dedicated his career to achieving.”
Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg of the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice says 85 percent of the 500 New Jerseyans polled agreed that the youth justice system should focus on prevention and rehabilitation, rather than locking up juvenile offenders...Weill-Greenberg said it costs New Jersey $200,000 annually to house one juvenile inmate: “This is a policy that has really failed us on a moral footing, as well as a fiscal footing.”
Retha Onitiri with the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice says about 75 percent of adolescents released from a youth prison are arrested again within three years.
“If you shift the funds to community-based programs , we believe the children will be close to home, they will be receiving the services that they need, and that will reduce the level of recidivism.”
A new poll released today by Youth Justice New Jersey shows that nearly 85 percent of people in New Jersey believe the youth justice system should focus more on prevention and rehabilitation, not incarceration and punishment. Youth First, a leading national advocacy organization working to bring an end to youth incarceration, commissioned the poll, which was conducted by GBA Strategies.
“There is no dispute that New Jersey’s youth prisons are a failed experiment—a moral, fiscal, social and racial justice, and public safety failure. These powerful poll numbers demonstrate that people in New Jersey recognize that we must invest our collective resources in a community-based system of care, not in youth prisons,” said Ryan P. Haygood, President and CEO of the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice (the Institute). The Institute is the convening organization for Youth Justice New Jersey—a growing coalition of approximately 50 state-based organizations, advocates, parents, formerly-incarcerated youth, and faith leaders committed to transforming New Jersey’s juvenile justice system.Read more
Make sure to save the date of June 21 for the Institute's annual gala where we will celebrate social justice champions Sharon Taylor of The Prudential Foundation, Sherrilyn Ifill of the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Ralph Izzo of PSEG, and Larry Hamm of the People's Organization for Progress. Information on sponsorships and tickets coming soon.
Institute President and CEO Ryan P. Haygood was honored at the 2017 Newark Boys Chorus School Rainbow Gala at the Newark International Marriott Hotel.Read more