The New Jersey Institute for Social Justice uses cutting-edge racial and social justice advocacy to empower people of color by building reparative systems that create wealth, transform justice and harness democratic power—from the ground up—in New Jersey.



Marking Juneteenth: The Ongoing Quest for Freedom in New Jersey

Watch our Juneteenth panel of Institute experts discussing how to #DoRacialJustice in this critical moment.


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

Hear from NJ Youth about What They Need to Stay Out of the Criminal Justice System


In the News

Trump’s Challenge to New Jersey’s Plan for Vote-by-Mail Threatens Voting Rights, Advocacy Groups Say in New Legal Filing

August 31, 2020



Trump’s Challenge to New Jersey’s Plan for Vote-by-Mail Threatens Voting Rights, Advocacy Groups Say in New Legal Filing


Campaign Legal Center (CLC) and New Jersey Institute for Social Justice, on behalf of clients NAACP-New Jersey and League of Women Voters New Jersey, filed a motion late Monday to intervene in a lawsuit brought by President Trump, which challenges New Jersey’s plan to send all active registered voters a vote-by-mail ballot during the pandemic. The parties argue that changing New Jersey’s current voting plan could cause widespread voter confusion, hinder voters’ access to voting by mail during a pandemic which might deter people from voting in person, and undermine voters’ ability to vote in a safe and effective manner.

“Voters in New Jersey are relying on receiving their absentee ballots automatically in the mail. Altering course at this time could prevent voters from being able to participate in the presidential election,” said Paul Smith, Vice President, Litigation and Strategy at Campaign Legal Center (CLC). “Mail voting is safe and secure. The only people who can vote by mail or absentee are voters who have verified their eligibility and identity with an election official. Because of COVID-19, it is important that anybody who is concerned about their health be able to vote by absentee ballot to encourage their participation and keep them safe.”

Plaintiffs in NJ Lawsuit Establishing Fair Ballot Signature Match Process Applaud Ballot Cure Act

August 31, 2020



Plaintiffs in NJ Lawsuit Establishing Fair Ballot Signature Match Process Applaud Ballot Cure Act

Bill Signed by Governor Codifies and Strengthens Lawsuit Resolution


NEWARK— Plaintiffs and their counsel in the LWV New Jersey v. Way lawsuit today applauded the New Jersey legislature for passing, and Gov. Phil Murphy for signing, the Ballot Cure Act (A4276), establishing a notice and cure process for mail-in and provisional ballots in New Jersey for future elections. The bill was signed by the Governor late Friday and codifies into law provisions from the lawsuit settlement as well as other voter protections advocated for by the parties.

Institute Responds to Gov. Murphy’s Budget Address

August 25, 2020



Institute Responds to Gov. Murphy’s Budget Address


NEWARK – The New Jersey Institute for Social Justice today issued the following statement in response to Gov. Murphy’s budget address:

“There is much to be encouraged by in the budget proposal announced by Gov. Murphy today.

"We are heartened that Governor Murphy is investing $5 million toward early voting. It is more important than ever to invest in broadening and strengthening our democracy. Early voting – which we have long called for – will do just that.

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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