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.

 

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Voter

 

 

In December 2019 – as a result of the collective advocacy of the 1844 No More Campaign led by the Institute – Governor Murphy signed into law voting rights restoration for 83,000 people on probation and parole in New Jersey.

One of those 83,000 was Ron Pierce, the institute’s Democracy & Justice Fellow, whose political voice was silenced for 34 years.

Watch this screening of Voter, a 15-minute documentary about Ron’s journey from a family where voting was everything, to being incarcerated and losing the vote, to becoming a lead voting rights advocate in NJ.

The screening, held with our partners at NJPAC on October 26, 2020, was complemented by a discussion including remarks from Governor Murphy, Asw. Shavonda Sumter and other people who have had their votes restored.

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

 

In the News

Advocates Respond to Low Voter Turnout in Newark Municipal Election

May 12, 2022

Newark – The following can be attributed to Ryan P. Haygood, President & CEO of the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice, Deborah Smith Gregory, President of the Newark NAACP and Vivian Cox Fraser, President and CEO of the Urban League of Essex County, in response to Newark's low voter turnout in Tuesday's municipal election.

"Tuesday’s Municipal Election in Newark had a dismally low voter turnout. While disappointing, it was hardly surprising given the long history of low turnout in Newark.

Jersey City Passes Resolution Endorsing NJ Reparations Task Force Legislation

May 11, 2022

JERSEY CITY – On Wednesday night, the Jersey City Council passed a resolution endorsing state legislation (S386/A938) to establish a Reparations Task Force in New Jersey

Jersey City is the tenth location to pass such a resolution, following East Orange, South Orange, Maplewood, Plainfield, Montclair, Newark, Trenton, and Essex and Mercer Counties.  

"It is critical that the legislation to create a New Jersey Reparations Task Force move forward," said Jersey City Council President Joyce Watterman. "Black Americans have yet to receive reparations for state sanctioned slavery. It is time that America, and New Jersey, look into the mirror and correct that wrong, and take actions to live up to our ideal as a society truly based on the premise that all of us are created equal. I am proud that our Council is endorsing the state legislation to establish a Reparations Task Force.” 

Social Justice Organizations Issue Dissent to Report from Task Force for the Continued Transformation of Youth Justice in New Jersey

May 10, 2022

NEWARK – The New Jersey Institute for Social Justice, the NAACP New Jersey State Conference, Latino Action Network and Salvation and Social Justice (the “Social Justice Task Force Members”) today issued a dissent to a report issued by the Task Force for the Continued Transformation of Youth Justice in New Jersey (the “Youth Justice Task Force”) that calls for the construction of three new youth prisons in New Jersey.

The Social Justice Task Force Members are part of the larger Youth Justice Task Force created by an executive order signed by Governor Murphy on October 26, 2018. The task force report comes over four years after former Governor Christie’s January 8, 2018 announcement that Jamesburg and Hayes youth prisons were to be shut down. Those two prisons, in addition to JMSF, remain open today. (The Youth Justice Task Force report contains a previously filed objection raised by the Social Justice Task Members.)

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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