The Institute on Race and Justice is affiliated with a number of community-based organizations throughout the city of Boston. The following groups have either participated on the IRJ Community Advisory Board or collaborated with the IRJ to host events around relevant social justice issues or initiatives.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is the nation’s foremost advocate of individual rights litigating, legislating, and educating the public on a broad array of issues affecting individual freedom in the United States. The ACLU of Massachusetts provides legal representation for individuals and groups whose civil liberties have been threatened or denied and submits amices curiae on behalf of the American Civil Liberties Union in court cases in which civil liberties issues have arisen. The goal of the Foundation’s litigation program is not only to provide legal representation in individual cases, but also to establish legal precedents that will be of enduring value in Massachusetts and across the nation.
The Black Ministerial Alliance of Greater Boston (BMA) is an alliance of over 80 churches of various denominations. As part of its mission, the BMA demonstrates its ability to create positive change in the Boston area.
The mission of the Higher Education Resource Center is to provide inner-city young people and their families with the tools necessary for overcoming hurdles to higher education by using the church as the setting and principal resources for this effort.
The Boston Police Department is dedicated to working in partnership with the community to fight crime, reduce fear and improve the quality of life in our neighborhoods.
Boston Public Schools is committed to transforming the lives of all children through exemplary teaching in a world-class system of innovative, welcoming schools.
The Boston Ten Point Coalition brings together African-American churches and clergy with the Boston Police and community-based organizations to fight gun and gang violence in Boston communities, as well as to help at risk youth. Under the Adopt-A-Gang program, city churches have agreed to keep their doors open and serve as drop-in centers to provide sanctuary for troubled youth. The Boston Ten-Point Coalition Operation 2006 participated in Boston’s Operation Ceasefire neighborhood forums, at which youth were given zero tolerance messages and offered services. The Coalition also is linked to Boston’s strategy to prevent youth violence.
The mission of the The Civil Rights Project (CRP) at Harvard University is to help renew the civil rights movement by bridging the worlds of ideas and action, and by becoming a preeminent source of intellectual capital and a forum for building consensus within that movement. IRJ co-sponsored a conference with CRP on School-to-Prison Pipeline, in an effort to better understand how educational institutions can work in concert with community and public agencies to implement programs of intervention and prevention and to commission research that will explore how school policies and practices may be affecting the flow of certain students into the criminal justice system.
Created by the Massachusetts Legislature in 1997, Commonwealth Corp. is committed to ensuring that businesses have access to a pipeline of highly skilled workers and that youth and adults in Massachusetts have pathways to good jobs. Its’ mission is to strengthen the skills of Massachusetts youth and adults by investing in innovative partnerships with industry, education and workforce organizations. Commonwealth Corp. seeks to meet the immediate and emerging needs of businesses and workers so they can thrive in a dynamic economy. Across the state of Massachusetts, the Commonwealth Corporation designs and executes workforce programs in partnership with businesses, educators, and providers. It supports the development of education and skills training that connect to real job opportunities, with sensitivity to regional economic differences.
The Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative (DSNI) is a nonprofit community-based planning and organizing entity based in the Roxbury/North Dorchester area of Boston. DSNI’s approach to neighborhood revitalization is comprehensive (physical, environmental, economic and human). It was formed in 1984 when residents of the Dudley Street area came together out of fear and anger to revive their neighborhood that was nearly devastated by arson, disinvestment, neglect and redlining practices, and protect it from outside speculators. DSNI’s mission is: To empower Dudley residents to organize, plan for, create and control a vibrant, diverse and high quality neighborhood in collaboration with community partners.
The Ella J. Baker House is a non-profit, community-based organization that provides direct service to thousands of high-risk youth and their families by working and living in the trenches in Dorchester’s Four Corners neighborhood in Boston, Massachusetts. Baker House has developed creative strategies and partnerships, through the practice of doing what it takes to serve the pressing needs of our neighbors and clients. Baker House combines a settlement-house-style community youth center with direct outreach in the streets, courts and correctional facilities, helping high-risk youth avoid violence, achieve literacy, and access jobs.
The Grove Hall Safe Neighborhood Initiative is a collaborative effort between primary partners (Boston Police District B2, MassHousing, Project Right, Inc., community residents, and property management companies) to reduce crime, improve the quality of life, and to increase the efficiency of local criminal justice operations within the Grove Hall area. IRJ attends and occasionally facilitates regularly scheduled meetings and may assist with the development of a unified database through which common information on federal, state, and local agencies working to reduce crime can be accessed and shared. IRJ also participated in the planning and design team meetings for the development of the New Boston Pilot Middle School, at 270 Columbia Road in Dorchester, currently known as the Lila G. Frederick Middle School.
The Justice Resource Institute works in partnership with individuals, families, communities and government to pursue the social justice inherent in opening doors to opportunity and independence. JRI is a leader in social justice, with over 100 diverse programs meeting the needs of underserved individuals, families and communities. The agency is committed to excellence, delivering targeted services that support the dignity of each person.
La Alianza Hispana (The Hispanic Alliance), founded in 1970, is a community based, non-profit organization dedicated to promoting Latino self-determination, advocating for equal access to basic services, and combating the effects of poverty, discrimination and the stress of migration. La Alianza Hispana provides linguistically and culturally appropriate services primarily to the Latino community of greater Boston and also advocates for equal access to basic human services for all. We are a far-reaching, multi-service agency that offers universal supports such as job training, health and wellness clinics, and assistance to families at risk, teen pregnancy prevention, and street youth outreach.
Boston Career Link’s mission is to provide state of the art services that successfully connect the businesses and job seekers of Greater Boston. The one-stop career center operated by Goodwill, offers universal access to a broad range of career counseling services, career resources, workshops, job fairs, and special programs to connect job seekers looking to advance or change careers with employers.
The mission of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE) is to ensure equity in the administration of justice and in the provision of public service to all communities, and to serve as the conscience of law enforcement by being committed to justice by action. The goal of NOBLE is to be recognized as a highly competent public service organization that is at the forefront of providing solutions to law enforcement issues and concerns, as well as to the ever-changing needs of our communities.
The Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) is a national membership organization of progressive police executives from the largest city, county and state law enforcement agencies. PERF is dedicated to improving policing and advancing professionalism through research and involvement in public policy debate.
The efforts of Project RIGHT, Inc. focus on grassroots organizing and community development activities. Project RIGHT assists residents of the Roxbury / Grove Hall community by building the capacity of resident based organizations and supporting their organizing and civic activities. Through organizing direct action, advocacy, education, and coalition building, Project RIGHT promotes resident leadership and neighborhood stabilization.
Roxbury Community College is a co-educational public institution of higher education offering Associate Degrees and certificate programs. RCC’s primary objective is to provide residents of the Commonwealth optimum opportunity for access to a college education.
(RYI) is a community-based non-profit organization whose mission is to help youth caught in cycles of poverty, victimization, and violence to transition successfully to adulthood. RYI first started to help decrease recidivism among young men and women from the Roxbury District Court. Today, RYI serves youth up to 22 years of age in Boston’s juvenile justice or child welfare system with innovative supportive programs.
Established by the Committee for Public Counsel Services, the Youth Advocacy Project began in 1992 with a goal of protecting and advancing the legal and human rights of children and promoting their healthy development. YAP’s mission is based on two core beliefs: children, like adults, have human and legal rights. At the same time, children are different from adults. Physically, cognitively, emotionally, and psychologically they are works in progress they require stability and protection to develop their capacities for intelligence, productivity, and empathy. We strive therefore to make the juvenile justice system in Massachusetts one in which children’s rights are respected and their potential for growth is nourished. It is in this way that the courts can facilitate the development of personal strengths and diminish the risk of recidivism in children. In working to actualize our mission, we have developed several complementary forms of advocacy.
Youth Opportunity Unlimited (YOU) is a federally funded, job readiness program that will infuse a variety of educational, social, and recreational activities to help young people (14 – 21) prepare for the world of work and to further their education. YO Boston will coordinate services with community agencies, employers, educators, and other supporters of youth development. YO Boston is committed to creating and expanding youth programming in a way that will continue to meet the needs of our young people. Serving youth and families identified as having the most depressed living, health, work and educational opportunities in the city. Youth Opportunity Boston will provide creative outlets, help youth develop leadership, and foster a sense of empowerment that will expand their employment and educational bases.