Our Powerful Rally for Youth Justice Reform

"Leaving [Jamesburg] made me realize that the same way I came in is the same way I came out -- empty and lost," said Marcus, a Newark student. 

A package of apprenticeship bills based on the Institute’s policy recommendations are making their way through the NJ legislature|

On Thursday, May 16, Senior Counsel and Director of the Economic Mobility Initiative Demelza Baer testified before the New Jersey General Assembly Labor Committee in support of four bills, which were unanimously passed by the Committee. These bills include A-4604 (S-3066), which would support the development of three adult apprenticeship pilot programs in high-growth industries in the northern, central, and southern regions of the state; A-4655 (S-3063), which would provide tuition fee waivers for apprenticeship courses at public colleges and universities, and county vocational schools; A-4656 (S-3064), which would establish a task force to develop a state plan to diversify apprenticeships, especially by gender, race, and disability status, through industry-specific recommendations; and A-4829 (S-3068), which would establish a peer-to-peer statewide apprenticeship mentoring program for women, people of color, and people with disabilities, all groups that are currently under-represented in federally-registered apprenticeship programs. The Institute's written testimony is available here.

Coalition of Black Organizations Challenges Status Quo in Trenton

WNYC News reports: 

Black voters in New Jersey were critical to Gov. Philip Murphy’s ascent to the state’s highest political office. The former Goldman Sachs banker and Democrat had never held public office before. And a majority of whites —53 percent — voted for his opponent, former Republican Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, in New Jersey’s 2017 gubernatorial race.

But 94 percent of black voters pulled the lever for Murphy.

As Bernie Sanders Says 'No Apologies' for His Position, 70+ Groups Back Call for Prisoner Voting Rights

Common Dreams reports:

The advocacy organizations called on all 2020 presidential candidates to "publicly commit to ending felony disenfranchisement"


Governor Murphy Taps Faith Leaders Support For Criminal Justice Reform

TAPinto Newark reports: 

NEWARK, NJ - Two weeks after the governor’s office released a statement announcing a new secure youth residential center in North Jersey, Governor Phil Murphy stood before a crowd of Black, Christian faith leaders and members at the African Methodist Episcopal Church New Jersey Annual Conference asking for support, ensuring that his vision for a progressive state includes social-justice oriented criminal justice reform to change predatory laws and systems that disproportionately keep black people behind bars.

NJ Proposal Would Use Tax Dollars to Match Savings Accounts For Working Poor

New Jersey 101.5 reports:

A new report is proposing helping the working poor in New Jersey move ahead by using taxpayer funds and donations to create matching savings accounts.

Demelza Baer, the director of the economic mobility initiative at the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice, said the report calls for a new program to help Garden State residents earning below the median income

Bernie Sanders Is Right: We Should Let the Boston Marathon Bomber Vote

Reason reports: 

Incarcerated people are already paying their debt to society. What good does it do the rest of the population to take away their right to have a say?


Baraka Clarifies Stance on Youth Jails, Rehabilitation Centers

TAPinto Newark reports: 

NEWARK, NJ - Mayor Ras Baraka clarified his position on new youth rehabilitation centers and jails on WBGO’s “Newark Today” after the release of a joint statement with the governor showed support for a new secure youth residential center.


United Black Agenda Group and 150 Years is Enough Campaign Respond to Governor Murphy’s Youth Justice Statement

April 19, 2019

Newark, NJ—The United Black Agenda Group and the 150 Years is Enough Campaign issued the following response to Governor Phil Murphy’s April 18 statement regarding the state’s plan to build more youth prisons in New Jersey.

Baraka Sides With Murphy in Announcement of New Youth Rehabilitative Center

TAPinto Newark reports: 

NEWARK, NJ - Mayor Ras Baraka came out in support of establishing a new youth rehabilitation center in an undisclosed North Jersey location just days after saying no new ones should be built.