NAACP Legal Defense Fund : Defend, Educate, Empower

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"The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund is simply the best civil rights law firm in American history." -- President Obama

Thurgood Marshall Institute

Please visit the Thurgood Marshall Institute’s website here.

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The Thurgood Marshall Institute 

is a multidisciplinary center within the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF). Launched in 2015, the Institute complements LDF’s traditional litigation strengths, arming LDF with dedicated support for three critical capabilities in the fight for racial justice: research, targeted advocacy campaigns, and organizing. The Institute also houses LDF’s Archives —a collection of materials that document the legal arm of the Civil Rights Movement. The idea of creating the Institute was first introduced in 1993, following the passing of Thurgood Marshall. 

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Quote by Thurgood Marshall: "It is a challenge to our ability to implement, in a practical, constructive way, our basic belief in democracy."


The core of the Thurgood Marshall Institute’s mission is providing high-level data collection, social science research, and legal analysis that complement LDF’s litigation and policy advocacy. Learn more. 

Community Organizing

Community organizing has always been an integral part of LDF’s approach to addressing civil rights challenges. Today, TMI’s organizers facilitate trainings for a range of communities to help them understand their own power and capabilities.
Learn more.


Our archives department preserves LDF’s legacy, serves as a vessel of institutional knowledge, and provides research assistance to TMI and LDF staff. TMI’s archives staff serve three major functions: building and managing an archival repository of LDF’s historic records; providing library services including research support; and overseeing present-day records management. Learn more. 


The Institute connects LDF’s efforts and past victories to cross-cutting research, targeted advocacy, and public education. To achieve this, TMI and its staff host and participate in a diverse array of events to strengthen partnerships in the civil rights, academic, and advocacy communities. Learn more.