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.



The Institute was proud to host the 1619 Project's Nikole Hannah-Jones and an esteemed panel.

 Watch the livestream here


"The United States is a nation founded on both an ideal and a lie."

With her unvarnished 100k at the role of slavery and its legacy on the making of our nation, Nikole Hannah-Jones tells us that "[w]ithout the idealistic, strenuous and patriotic efforts of black Americans, our democracy today would most likely look very different—it might not be a democracy at all."

In front of a sold-out crowd at NJPAC, the award-winning journalist discussed the NYT Magazine's 1619 Project, a multi-media initiative marking the 400th anniversary of the arrival of Black people in Jamestown, Virginia, the system of slavery that followed, and its enduring legacy in America.

Nikole was introduced by Shané Harris (Executive Director, The Prudential Foundation), and joined by a distinguished panel of scholars and advocates, moderated by Marcia W. Brown (Rutgers University- Newark), who brought the conversation home to New Jersey. Panelists included Ryan P. Haygood (President and CEO, New Jersey Institute for Social Justice), Prof. Elise Boddie (The Inclusion Project at Rutgers Law School), Rev. Charles F. Boyer (Pastor and Founder Of Salvation and Social Justice), Marley Dias (Creator of #1000BlackGirlBooks campaign) and Richard Roper (Public Policy Consultant).

Presented in association with the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice, Prudential, The Inclusion Project at Rutgers Law School, and Salvation & Social Justice

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In the News

The New Jersey Institute for Social Justice’s COVID-19 Statement

March 30, 2020

The New Jersey Institute for Social Justice is monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic closely, including its impact on the communities we advocate for every day.

Voting Rights Advocates Urge Gov. Murphy and Sec. of State Way to Ensure Robust Elections During Public Health Crisis

March 27, 2020


Voting Rights Advocates Urge Gov. Murphy and Sec. of State Way

to Ensure Robust Elections During Public Health Crisis


Groups’ Letter Details Steps to be Taken to Avoid Disenfranchisement


NEWARK – The New Jersey Institute for Social Justice, the League of Women Voters of New Jersey, and the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey sent a letter Thursday evening to Gov. Phil Murphy and Sec. of State Tahesha Way laying out steps that must be taken in order to ensure that upcoming elections in New Jersey are successful and robust, even during the current public health crisis.

“As we address our elections, it is paramount to prioritize health and safety, while also ensuring a thriving participatory democracy. Voting must be categorized as an ‘essential service’ and voters must have multiple options for accessing the ballot during this crisis. We are most concerned with communities, such as communities of color and the disability community, that historically face obstacles to the ballot,” said the groups in the letter.

Coronavirus Delays Newark's School Board Election Until May

March 23, 2020
Tapinto Newark Staff Reports

Newark's school board election will be delayed until May 12 and will be a vote-by-mail-only election in an effort to protect voters and ensure fairness to candidates during this unprecedented public health crisis, Gov. Phil Murphy said Thursday.

Newark's school board election was initially scheduled for April 21, but the continuing spread of the coronavirus in New Jersey prompted the governor to sign an Executive Order delaying the election for all districts that hold it in April. Many school districts several years ago moved their elections to November.

“As the coronavirus outbreak continues to unfold, we must take aggressive and swift action to help mitigate further spread and flatten the curve,” Murphy said. “My top priority is to keep New Jerseyans healthy and safe during this pandemic, and these new measures will ensure that all New Jersey voters are able to safely exercise their right to vote and be engaged in our democracy.”

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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