6. Social Justice Organizations



6.1. Civil Rights Groups

Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR)
A coalition of more than 200 diverse national organizations working to promote and protect the civil and human rights of all persons in the United States.
National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA)
Works to eliminate housing discrimination and to ensure equal housing opportunity for all people through leadership, education and outreach, membership services, public policy initiatives, advocacy, and enforcement.
Center for Third World Organizing (CTWO)
A training and resource center that promotes and sustains direct-action organizing in communities of color to build a social justice movement led by people of color.
Applied Research Center
A public policy institute advancing racial justice through research, advocacy and journalism.
Political Research Associates (PRA) — PublicEye.org
A research center that works to facilitate public understanding of the threat posed to human rights by oppressive and authoritarian right-wing movements in the United States.
American Association for Affirmative Action (AAAA)
The association of professionals managing affirmative action, equal opportunity, diversity and other human resource programs.
Center for Media Justice (CMJ)
Develops and teaches creative, effective, and participatory communications and media activism strategies that support the fight for racial justice, economic equity, and human rights.

6.2. Civil Rights Constituency Groups

National Urban League
Works for racial equality for African-Americans, fights institutional racism, and provides direct service to minorities in the areas of employment, housing, education, social welfare, health, law, consumer rights, and community and minority business development.
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
A civil rights organization working to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of minority group citizens of the United States.
National Council of Negro Women (NCNW)
A council of national African American women’s organizations that lead, develop, and advocate for women of African descent as they support their families and communities.
Black Radical Congress (BRC)
Works to promote dialogue among African American activists and scholars on the left; to discuss critical issues on the national and international scene that pertain to the Black community; to explore new strategies and directions for progressive political, social and cultural movements; and to renew the Black radical movement through increased unified action.
RainbowPUSH Coalition
A progressive organization of workers, women, and people of color founded by Jesse Jackson that fights for social change.
A. Philip Randolph Institute
Works with black trade unionists to fight for racial equality and economic justice.
National Congress of American Indians (NCAI)
Works to secure the rights and benefits of Indians under treaties with the United States, to give the public a better understanding of the Indian people, and to promote the common welfare of American Indians and Alaska Natives.
National Council of La Raza (NCLR)
Works for civil rights and economic opportunities for Hispanic Americans and as a national umbrella organization for more than 300 formal affiliates in 41 states.
League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC)
Works to advance the economic condition, educational attainment, political influence, health, and civil rights of Hispanic Americans through community-based programs operating at more than 700 LULAC councils nationwide.
Japanese American Citizens League (JACL)
Works to protect the rights of all segments of the Asian Pacific American community.
Organization of Chinese Americans (OCA)
Works to advance the social, political, and economic well-being of Asian Pacific Americans in the United States.

6.3. Legal Defense of Civil Rights Groups

NAACP Legal Defense Fund
Uses advocacy and litigation to achieve racial justice, focusing specifically on issues of education, voter protection, economic justice, and criminal justice.
Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF)
Works to foster sound public policies, laws, and programs to safeguard the civil rights of the 40 million Latinos living in the United States and to empower the Latino community to fully participate in our society.
Asian American Justice Center
Works to advance the human and civil rights of Asian Americans through advocacy, public policy, public education, and litigation.
Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
Marshals the pro bono resources of the bar for litigation, public policy advocacy, and other forms of service by lawyers to the cause of racial justice and economic opportunity.
Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC)
Combats hate, intolerance, and discrimination through education and litigation.
Appleseed
A network of independent public interest law centers that use pro bono help to develop practical and lasting solutions to chronic injustices in public education, health care, child welfare, justice, and immigration.
Brennan Center for Justice
Uses scholarship, public education, and legal action to find innovative and practical solutions to intractable problems in the areas of democracy (voting), poverty, and criminal justice.
Fisher, Sheehan & Colton
A small research and consulting firm that provides technical assistance to public and private organizations involved with the quest for social justice.

6.4. Immigration Rights Groups

National Immigration Project
A network of lawyers, law students, legal workers, and community advocates working to defend and expand the rights of all immigrants in the United States, regardless of legal status.
Immigrant Voting Project
A resource network dedicated to promoting discussion about allowing immigrants to vote in local elections as an innovative way to promote civic participation and responsibility among incipient Americans and better educate and prepare them for eventual citizenship; to give voice to one of the last disenfranchised segments of the population; and to increase government accountability in communities with large immigrant populations.
National Immigration Law Center (NILC)
Dedicated to protecting and promoting the rights of low income immigrants and their family members.

6.5. Criminal Justice Groups

Innocence Project
Works to achieve the exoneration and release of factually innocent inmates through post-conviction DNA testing and works to create a network of schools, organizations, and citizens that can effectively challenge wrongful convictions.
Sentencing Project
An independent source of criminal justice policy analysis, data, and program information for the public and policy makers.
Prison Policy Initiative (PPI)
Documents the impact of mass incarceration on individuals, communities, and the national welfare, and produces accessible and innovative research to empower the public to participate in creating better criminal justice policy.
Justice Policy Institute (JPI)
Works to enhance the public dialog on incarceration through accessible research, public education, and communications advocacy with the goal of ending society’s reliance on incarceration.
The Justice Project — Campaign for Criminal Justice Reform (CCJR)
Works to address unfairness and inaccuracy in the American criminal justice system.
Critical Resistance
Seeks to build an international movement to end the Prison Industrial Complex by challenging the belief that caging and controlling people makes us safe.
Grassroots Leadership
Seeks to put an end to abuses of justice and the public trust by working to abolish for-profit private prisons.
Justice Strategies
Promotes humane, effective approaches to criminal justice and immigration reform through rigorous analysis, high-quality research, and practical policy solutions.

6.6. Groups Challenging Capital Punishment

National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (NCADP)
Provides information, advocates for public policy, and mobilizes and supports individuals and institutions that share an unconditional rejection of capital punishment.
Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC)
Provides the media and the public with analysis and information on issues concerning capital punishment.

6.7. Community Organizing Groups

Also see 12.3. Progressive Training and Education Groups

Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF)
A network of 57 affiliates that build a political base within society’s rich and complex third sector — the sector of voluntary institutions that includes religious congregations, labor locals, homeowner groups, recovery groups, parents associations, settlement houses, immigrant societies, schools, and others — and then the leaders use that base to compete at times, to confront at times, and to cooperate at times with leaders in the public and private sectors.
Gamaliel Foundation
A network of 60 affiliates representing multi-faith, multi-racial, church-going people who work on social justice campaigns.
Direct Action and Research Training Center (DART)
A network of 19 grassroots, nonprofit, congregation-based community organizations working to win justice on issues facing their communities.
PICO National Network
A national network of faith-based community organizations working to increase access to health care, improve public schools, make neighborhoods safer, build affordable housing, redevelop communities, and revitalize democracy.
Center for Community Change
Works to build the power and capacity of low-income people, especially low-income people of color, to have a significant impact in improving their communities and the policies and institutions that affect their lives.
National People’s Action (NPA)
A coordinating body made up of hundreds of local community organizations across the country who volunteer their time to work on community improvement through local organizing and direct action.
National Organizers Alliance (NOA)
Works to advance progressive organizing for social, economic, and environmental justice and to sustain, support, and nurture the people of all ages who do it.
National Training and Information Center (NTIC)
Works to build grassroots leadership and strengthen neighborhoods through issue-based community organizing.
USAction
A grassroots organization with statewide affiliates in 24 states that campaigns to strengthen social, economic, and health security for all Americans by getting Americans involved in the political process and promoting policies that hold corporate influence in check.

6.8. Disability Rights Groups

Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF)
Works to advance the civil and human rights of people with disabilities through legal advocacy, training, education, and public policy and legislative development.
National Disability Rights Network (NDRN)
Works to create a society in which people with disabilities are afforded equality of opportunity and are able to fully participate by exercising choice and self-determination.
American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD)
A cross-disability member organization dedicated to ensuring economic self-sufficiency and political empowerment for the more than 56 million Americans with disabilities.
Disability Rights Advocates (DRA)
Non-profit law firm dedicated to securing the civil rights of people with disabilities.
Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law
A national legal advocate for people with mental disabilities.
American Council of the Blind (ACB)
Strives to improve the well-being of all blind and visually impaired people by elevating the social, economic, and cultural levels of blind people, improving educational and rehabilitation facilities and opportunities, and promoting greater understanding of blindness and the capabilities of blind people.

6.9. Elder Advocacy Groups

Alliance for Retired Americans
A nationwide organization allied with the AFL-CIO and other partners working to ensure social and economic justice and full civil rights for all citizens, particularly focusing on retiree legislative and political issues.
Gray Panthers
A national organization of intergenerational activists dedicated to social change: age and youth fighting to expand health care programs, promote peace, earn greater rights for the disabled, and create decent housing.
AARP Public Policy Institute
Researches and advocates on a wide variety of issues related to aging especially health and long-term care, economic security, independent living, and consumer issues.
National Academy on an Aging Society
A policy institute that fosters critical thinking about the implications of an aging society.

6.10. Children Advocacy Groups

Children’s Defense Fund (CDF)
Provides research, advocacy, public education, monitoring of federal agencies, assistance to state and local groups, and community organizing on a wide range of issues that affect children and youth, especially poor and minority children and those with disabilities.
National Head Start Association (NHSA)
Dedicated exclusively to meeting the needs of Head Start children and their families.
The Annie E. Casey Foundation
A private charitable foundation dedicated to helping build better futures for disadvantaged children in the US.
First Star
Works to change the U.S. child welfare system (child protective services, family courts, and foster care ) from one of abuse and neglect to one of protection and support.
Foundation for Child Development (FCD)
Supports policy-relevant research about the factors that promote and support the optimal development of children and adolescents.
Teen Talking Circle Project
Provides high school aged youth with weekly single-gender talking circles, called DaughtersSisters and BrothersSons, and monthly mixed-gender circles, called GenderTalks and helps other groups start teen talking circles.
Public/Private Ventures (PPV)
Works to improve the effectiveness of social policies, programs, and community initiatives, especially as they affect youth and young adults.

6.11. Family Advocacy Groups

National Research Center For Women & Families (NRC)
Promotes the health and safety of women, children, and families, by using objective, research-based information to encourage new, more effective programs and policies.
Futures Without Violence
Develops innovative strategies to prevent domestic, dating, and sexual violence, stalking, and child abuse.

6.12. Feminist / Women’s Liberation Groups

Center for Women Policy Studies (CWPS)
A feminist policy analysis and research institution working to shape public policy to improve women’s lives and preserve women’s human rights.
National Organization for Women (NOW)
An organization of feminist activists in the United States working to eliminate discrimination and harassment in the workplace, schools, the justice system, and all other sectors of society; secure abortion, birth control, and reproductive rights for all women; end all forms of violence against women; eradicate racism, sexism, and homophobia; and promote equality and justice in our society.
Feminist Majority
Works to promote women’s equality, reproductive health, and non-violence.
Legal Momentum
Advances the rights of women and girls by using the power of the law and creating innovative public policy. Formerly the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund.
National Women’s Law Center (NWLC)
Works to get new laws on the books and enforced; litigates ground-breaking cases in state and federal courts; and educates the public about ways to make the law and public policies work for women and their families.
National Partnership for Women and Families
Promotes fairness in the workplace, quality health care, and policies that help women and men meet the dual demands of work and family. Formerly the Women’s Legal Defense Fund.
Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR)
A scientific research organization working to rectify the limited availability of policy relevant research on women’s lives and to inform and simulate debate on issues of critical importance for women.
MS. Foundation for Women
Supports the efforts of women and girls to govern their own lives and influence the world around them by providing leadership, expertise, and financial support.
American Association of University Women (AAUW)
Promotes education and equity for all women and girls, lifelong education, and positive societal change.
National Coalition for Women and Girls in Education (NCWGE)
Network of more than 50 organizations dedicated to improving educational opportunities for girls and women.
Girls Inc.
Dedicated to inspiring all girls to be strong, smart, and bold, particularly those in high-risk, underserved areas.
Equality Now
Works to end violence and discrimination against women and girls around the world through the mobilization of public pressure, particularly on issues of rape, domestic violence, reproductive rights, trafficking, female genital mutilation, political participation, and gender discrimination.

6.13. Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Liberation Groups

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF)
The first national lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights and advocacy organization and a leading voice for freedom, justice, and equality.
Human Rights Campaign (HRC)
The largest national lesbian and gay political organization working to ensure the basic equal rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.
Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund
Works to achieve full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people, and those with HIV through impact litigation, education, and public policy work.
Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD)
Dedicated to promoting and ensuring fair, accurate and inclusive representation of people and events in the media as a means of eliminating homophobia and discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation.
Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN)
Strives to assure that each member of every school community is valued and respected regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.
National Youth Advocacy Coalition (NYAC)
Advocates for and with young people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning (LGBTQ) in an effort to end discrimination against these youth and to ensure their physical and emotional well being.
Soulforce
Works for freedom for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people from religious and political oppression through the practice of relentless nonviolent resistance.
Parents, Families, & Friends of Lesbians & Gays (PFLAG)
Promotes the health and well-being of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered persons, their families, and friends through support to cope with an adverse society, education to enlighten an ill-informed public, and advocacy to end discrimination and to secure equal civil rights.
The Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation Law and Public Policy
Advances sexual orientation law and public policy through rigorous, independent research and scholarship, and disseminates it to judges, legislators, policy makers, media, and the public.
International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC)
Works to secure the full enjoyment of the human rights of all people and communities subject to discrimination or abuse on the basis of sexual orientation or expression, gender identity or expression, and/or HIV status through advocacy, documentation, coalition building, public education, and technical assistance.

6.14. Family Planning Groups

Planned Parenthood
Operates health centers nationwide that provide high quality, affordable reproductive health care and sexual health information to nearly five million women, men, and teens.
NARAL Pro-Choice America
Fights to protect the right to choose — meaning having access to safe and legal abortion, effective contraceptive options, and quality reproductive health care. Formerly the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL).
Choice USA
Mobilizes and provides ongoing support to the diverse, upcoming generation of leaders who promote and protect reproductive choice both now and in the future.
Physicians for Reproductive Health (PRH)
Works to enable concerned physicians to take a more active and visible role in support of universal reproductive health.
Medical Students for Choice (MSFC)
Works to persuade medical schools to include abortion as a part of the reproductive-health services curriculum to reverse the shortage of providers.
Advocates for Youth
Dedicated to creating programs and advocating for policies that help young people make informed and responsible decisions about their reproductive and sexual health.
Catholics for a Free Choice
Offers a voice for Catholics who believe that the Catholic tradition supports a woman’s moral and legal right to follow her conscience in matters of sexuality and reproductive health.
Population Action International (PAI)
Works to strengthen political and financial support worldwide for population programs grounded in individual rights.
Ipas
Works globally to increase women’s ability to exercise their sexual and reproductive rights and to reduce deaths and injuries of women from unsafe abortion.