Awareness, Resolve, Action: The Way Forward

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Release Date: 
Friday, June 19, 2020

Today – Juneteenth -- we mark the formal end of slavery in the United States. Traditionally, for some, this has been a day of family celebrations, picnics and parades. For others, today marks a new awareness of the raw history of Emancipation, Jim Crow and slavery’s persistent legacy.

For more than a century, NLADA has spearheaded the movement to increase access to legal assistance for low income communities. Recently, we have been laser focused on the challenges created by COVID-19. At the same time, we continue the difficult work – with our members – to tackle the underlying structures, biases and ignorance of systemic racism. The NLADA community of civil legal aid attorneys, public defenders and client advocates are on the front lines battling the barriers to justice created by the intersection of race and poverty. NLADA members are key to the work that this moment demands.

Let us pledge to make this year’s commemoration of Juneteenth a turning point in ensuring access to justice for all. This is a mission moment for NLADA. We invite you to join us as we rededicate ourselves to truly equal justice and lean in to eradicate racial inequity.

NLADA is here to help. We have developed tools to assist you in making the changes you want to see in your organizations and communities. Bookmark our Racial Justice Webpage to stay updated as we continuously refresh the resources there. We encourage you to:

  Join us in making this your mission moment, too. Together we will make enduring change.

The National Legal Aid & Defender Association, founded in 1911, is America’s oldest and largest nonprofit association devoted to excellence in the delivery of legal services to those who cannot afford counsel. NLADA has pioneered access to justice at the national, state and local levels through the creation of our public defender systems and other important institutions from The Sentencing Project to the Legal Services Corporation. A leader in the development of national standards for civil legal aid and public defense, NLADA also provides advocacy, training and technical assistance for equal justice advocates across the country.