LDF is America’s premier legal organization fighting for racial justice. Through litigation, advocacy, and public education, LDF seeks structural changes to expand democracy, eliminate disparities, and achieve racial justice in a society that fulfills the promise of equality for all Americans. LDF also defends the gains and protections won over the past nearly 80 years of civil rights struggle and works to improve the quality and diversity of judicial and executive appointments.
LDF has been a separate 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization from the NAACP since 1957.
Through comprehensive legal advocacy, legislative proposals, policy initiatives, community organizing, coalition-building and research, LDF is expanding opportunities for children to learn together in safe and nurturing environments that produce the best citizens of tomorrow. LDF is actively working to eliminate policies that contribute to racial disparities in the American educational system, from early childhood education through post-secondary schooling. Learn more about our work.
“We have to speak up because Donald Trump has move the line and the standard of what is decent, what is acceptable in public life, and among leaders.” LDF’s President and Director-Counsel Sherrilyn Ifill discussed the President’s comments about Baltimore with Chris Hayes on MSNBC’s All in with Chris
Redistricting is important because it is the means to access political representation. When it is done fairly it makes the ideal of “one person, one vote” a reality. Unfortunately, when redistricting is done unfairly, it can make it harder for you or other members of your community to elect your preferred candidates and have your voices heard in government. How and where legislative districts are drawn in your state may ultimately determine who gets elected and makes important decisions about the lives and health of you and your community.
Record numbers of Black people and other people of color have registered for and participated in recent elections. And Census estimates show that our country continues to grow more racially and ethnically diverse.
Let’s use that momentum to make sure that we are all counted in 2020!
During the November 2018 midterm election, Florida voters overwhelmingly voted yes on Amendment 4, which restored voting rights to 1.4 million individuals with prior felony convictions. In June 2018, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a law requiring people to pay fines, fees, and restitution before regaining the right to vote–undercutting the recently restored voting rights of millions of Floridians.
Within hours of the Governor signing the law, we filed suit to block the new law that undermines voting rights restoration.
We are currently challenging Macy use of an unnecessary punitive criminal history screening policy. Our lawsuit argues that Macy’s policy disproportionately disqualifies Black and Latinx applicants and employees from job opportunities in violation of Title VII of Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the New York City Human Rights Law.
We filed an amicus brief in the Supreme Court arguing that the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition of excessive fines applies to the states. The brief traces the history of the Fourteenth Amendment, showing that it was adopted in order to empower the federal government to prevent the states from infringing the equal rights of Americans, especially Black Americans. On this basis, we argue that the Fourteenth Amendment incorporates the Eighth Amendment’s Excessive Fines Clause, making it applicable to the states. Review our brief in Timbs v. India
LDF sued the Department of Justice to compel the release of records detailing the department’s role in the decision to reinstate a citizenship question on the upcoming 2020 U.S. Census. The lawsuit filed Friday by LDF, along with non-partisan ethics watchdog American Oversight, asks the court to order DOJ to comply with a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request submitted by LDF seeking a range of documents about the citizenship question.
Low-income families of color are being forced out of their homes because of rapidly rising water prices. Although there have been important strides in recognizing that access to water is a human right, few studies have explored the effect unaffordable water prices have on Black communities in particular. Americans must think of this crisis not only as an environmental justice issue, but as a racial justice one too.