Civil Rights and Social Justice

Join Us. Whatever your area of specialization, CRSJ has a place for you. The Section fulfills our role by: raising and addressing often complex and difficult civil rights and civil liberties issues in a changing and diverse society; and ensuring that protection of individual rights remains a focus of legal and policy decisions.

2021 ABA Annual Meeting

August 4-10, 2021

The ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice invites you to join fellow civil rights attorneys, public interest lawyers, social justice advocates, and other legal professionals across the country for the 2021 ABA Annual Meeting.

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Where is the Death Penalty in the U.S. Heading?

On April 24, 2021, a North Carolina nonprofit asked longtime Section leader Ron Tabak to speak on the subject of death penalty trends in the U.S. Ron's expertise in dealing with capital punishment developments has been recognized in many ways, including numerous awards. Listen in for his thought-provoking and insightful commentary.

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Human Rights Magazine - New Issue Available!

Volume 46, No. 4

Public policy decisions in the past have been made that undermine public health safeguards and exacerbate longstanding inequities that place disenfranchised communities at increased risk of experiencing substantial harm. It is the responsibility of scientific and medical communities and lawmakers to address these past practices and work toward restoring faith in science.

Read - the latest issue

ABA-Wide 21-Day Racial Equity Habit-Building Challenge ©

CRSJ is proud to announce our participation in a “21-Day Racial Equity Habit-Building Challenge ©,” and we invite all ABA members to join us. The 21-Day Challenge concept was conceived several years ago by diversity expert Eddie Moore, Jr. to advance deeper understandings of the intersections of race, power, privilege, supremacy and oppression.

Civil Rights Leader to be Awarded Thurgood Marshall Award

Honoring Dr. Clarence B. Jones

The Section is thrilled to announce that it will honor legendary civil rights leader Dr. Clarence B. Jones with the 2021 Thurgood Marshall Award in a virtual celebration during the ABA Annual Meeting. Serving as advisor and lawyer to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Dr. Jones played a pivotal role in many events in the Civil Rights era, including assisting in the drafting of Dr. King’s momentous "I Have a Dream" address; acting as part of the successful defense team for the SCLC in New York Times v. Sullivan; serving as part of Dr. King’s inner circle of advisers, called the “research committee”; and contributing with Vincent Harding and Andrew Young to Dr. King’s “Beyond Vietnam” address at New York’s Riverside Church on 4 April 1967. After Dr. King’s death, Dr. Jones served as one of the negotiators during the 1971 prison riot at Attica, and was editor and part owner of the New York Amsterdam News from 1971 to 1974.

About - the Award

Support the Celebration

Generous donors supporting the Thurgood Marshall Award Celebration help fund the innovative projects and programs implemented by the ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice to ensure that protection of civil rights remains a focus of legal and policy decisions. All sponsors and individual donors will receive recognition during the 2021 Virtual Thurgood Marshall Award Program.

Sponsorship - Opportunities

Member Spotlights

We are proud to showcase the work and accomplishments of our esteemed members. Check out our spotlights of some of our more active members, and learn more about their work, goals, and achievements.

CRSJ 101 – Monthly Membership Event

Attention new and interested CRSJ members! Join Section leaders and staff on Monday, August 2 at 3:00 p.m. ET for a 30-minute event to learn more about the ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice, our projects and initiatives, committee membership, and opportunities to get involved or get published! This event is open to all ABA members and non-members. This recurring membership orientation will occur on the first Monday of every month at 3:00 p.m. ET.

Register - Here

Thank you to our Sponsors!

The Section deeply thanks all of our sponsors of the 2020 Thurgood Marshall Award Celebration. The first-ever virtual Celebration was a monumental success and featured remarks from the esteemed recipient and a conversation on justice and equity between Marian Wright Edelman and Valerie Jarrett. Your generosity allows us to continue our work, including expanded programming and publications in response to COVID-19 highlighting the effects of the pandemic on civil rights and social justice, on elections in particular, and on the fundamental causes of inequality. CRSJ pays every gift forward by giving the legal profession and advocacy community the tools to make positive change.

See the - 2020 Sponsors

Latest Section News

Join Us

Whatever your area of specialization, CRSJ has a place for you. By joining us today, you can help ensure that the world’s largest voluntary professional association continues to uphold the Bill of Rights and the ideals it embodies.


Over the past five decades, the Section and its members have worked on hundreds of issues addressing a broad range of civil rights, civil liberties, and international human rights. Today, the Section continues to promote policies affecting religious freedom, LGBT rights, gender equity, and other significant civil rights issues. Your gift will help make our efforts possible for the next fifty years!