6. Social Justice Organizations

6.1. Civil Rights Groups

Leadership Conference on Civil and Human 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.
Color of Change
The nation’s largest online civil rights organization building grassroots political power for African-Americans and working for social change for all people.
Race Forward
A public policy institute advancing racial justice through research, advocacy and journalism (it publishes Colorlines).
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 andpublishes The Public Eye magazine.
American Association for Access, Equity and Diversity (AAAED)
The association of professionals managing affirmative action, equal opportunity, and diversity programs. Formerly, the American Association for Affirmative Action (AAAA).
Action Center on Race and the Economy (ACRE)
Provides research and communications infrastructure and strategic support for local organizations working on campaigns to win structural change by directly taking on the financial elite that are responsible for pillaging communities of color, devastating working class communities, and harming our environment.
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.
A civil rights organization working to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of minority group citizens of the United States. Formerly the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
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.
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.
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. Formerly, the National Council of La Raza (NCLR).
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.
OCA-Asian Pacific American Advocates
Works to advance the social, political, and economic well-being of Asian Pacific Americans in the United States. Formerly the Organization of Chinese Americans.
Showing Up For Racial Justice (SURJ)
Through community organizing, mobilizing, and education, seeks to move white people to act as part of a multi-racial majority for racial justice.

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 Americans Advancing Justice (AAJC)
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.
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.
America’s Voice
Works to guarantee full labor, civil, and political rights for immigrants and their families.
United We Dream
An immigrant-youth-led network of 100,000 immigrant youth and allies and 55 affiliate organizations in 26 states that advocates for the dignity and fair treatment of immigrant youth and families, regardless of immigration status.
National Immigration Forum
Advocates for the value of immigrants and immigration to our nation and promotes responsible federal immigration policies, addressing today’s economic and national security needs while honoring the ideals of our Founding Fathers, who created America as a land of opportunity.
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.
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

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

and 1.3. Progressive Lobbying and Electoral Action Groups

People’s Action
Coordinator of hundreds of local community organizationsin in 29 states fighting for community over greed, justice over racism, and people and planet over big corporations. A merger of 5 groups: National People’s Action (NPA), USAction, Campaign for America’s Future (CAF), the Institute for America’s Future, and the Center for Health Environment and Justice (CHEJ).
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.
DART — Direct Action and Research Training Center (DART)
A network of 22 grassroots, nonprofit, religious congregation-based community organizations working to win justice on issues facing their communities.
Faith in Action
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. Formerly, PICO National Network.
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. Formerly, the Center for Community Change.
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.

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.
The Arc
Promotes and protects the human rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and actively supports their full inclusion and participation in the community throughout their lifetimes.
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.
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.

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 Circles
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.

6.11. Family Advocacy Groups

Futures Without Violence
Develops innovative strategies to prevent domestic, dating, and sexual violence, stalking, and child abuse.
Works to increase family economic security, to end discrimination against women and mothers, and to build a nation where both businesses and families can thrive by educating the public and mobilizing massive grassroots actions.

6.12. Feminist / Women’s Liberation Groups

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.
Works to improve the lives of women and girls of all identities, and all people impacted by sexism, by disrupting patriarchy and creating a cost for sexism.
Equal Rights Advocates (ERA)
A national civil rights organization dedicated to protecting and expanding economic and educational access and opportunities for women and girls, specializing in advocating for the rights of women in minimum wage jobs, women of color, and immigrant women.
9to5, National Association of Working Women
Works for economic security for all women, particularly women of color.
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)
Fights for gender justice, taking on issues that are central to the lives of women and girls.
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 LGBTQ Task Force
Advances full freedom, justice and equality for LGBTQ people. The first national lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender 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 Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR)
Works to advance the civil and human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their families through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education.
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.
Works for freedom for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people from religious and political oppression through the practice of relentless nonviolent resistance.
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. Formerly, the Federation of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays.
National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC)
Dedicated to the empowerment of Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer and same gender loving (LGBTQ/SGL) people, including people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA).
Pride at Work
Organizes mutual support between the organized labor movement and the LGBTQ+ community to further social and economic justice.
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.
OutRight Action International
Works to secure the full enjoyment of the human rights of all people and communities around the world 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).
URGE: Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity
Engages young people in creating and leading the way to sexual and reproductive justice for all by providing training, field mobilization, and national leadership for a youth-driven agenda.
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 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.
National Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice
Builds Latina power to guarantee the fundamental human right to reproductive health, dignity, and justice.
Champions policies that put women in charge of their reproductive health worldwide. Formerly, Population Action International.
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.