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.

Human Rights Magazine - New Issue Available!

Volume 46, No. 2

This issue of Human Rights magazine focuses on policing in America. The horrific events of 2020 have brought heightened attention to a longstanding problem of policing in America.

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Civil Rights Leader Clarence B. Jones to be Awarded Thurgood Marshall Award

The Section is thrilled to announce that it will honor legendary civil rights leader 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., Mr. 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, Mr. 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.

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Atlanta lawyer and activist C. Elisia Frazier to receive ABA Robert F. Drinan Award

The American Bar Association Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice will honor long-time Section leader and former Section Chair C. Elisia Frazier with its Father Robert F. Drinan Award during a virtual reception at 4:00 p.m. CT/5:00 p.m. ET on February 19, 2020, during the ABA Midyear Meeting.

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CRSJ's Free Legal Answers Volunteer Day of Service

Inspired by Martin Luther King, Jr.'s unending committee to service and improving the lives of others, the ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice will celebrate Dr. King's birthday by volunteering for Free Legal Answers on Friday, January 15, from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. EST. Sign up in advance and join us as we volunteer and answer questions together - we will receive a brief tutorial, hear from our Chair on the importance of pro bono work and discuss questions and volunteer experiences as we socialize. We encourage you to join and share your expertise with those who need it the most!

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2021 CRSJ Section Midyear Meeting

We invite you to attend our 2021 Midyear Section Meeting. If you want to become active, but are unsure where to start, join us as we discuss the civil rights & social justice issues that 2020 has presented us with and how CRSJ plans to address them in the new year.

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Chair Angela J. Scott Pens First FY21 Chair's Column

Section Chair Angela J. Scott pens her first column of the bar year. In her column, she focuses on the impact of this year and the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and calls for justice for the African American community.


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2020 US Elections Aftermath: A Social Justice Policy Summit

In the wake of the 2020 US presidential elections, the ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice Rights of Immigrants Committee - in strategic partnership with the German Marshall Fund of the United States - hosted a policy summit designed to advance racial equity and social justice principles. Over the course of two days, the interdisciplinary conference explored myriad manifestations of interpersonal, structural, and institutionalized discrimination to create enhanced awareness around these issues. The convening culminated in concrete community-driven policy recommendations to achieve positive social, political, and legal reform to ensure a better tomorrow for all.

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Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice Voting Rights Service Initiative

The ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice is proud to partner with the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law on election protection. The national, nonpartisan Election Protection coalition works year-round to ensure that all voters have an equal opportunity to vote and have that vote count. Made up of more than 100 local, state and national partners, Election Protection uses a wide range of tools and activities to protect, advance and defend the right to vote.

Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice

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2020-21 Section Chair Angela Scott Enters New Bar Year with New Initiatives

Section Chair Angela Scott ushers in a the 20-21 Bar Year with brand new initiatives and a new slogan: United for Civil Rights Through Service. During the course of the year, she plans to develop the Section's first podcast, begin a new Fellows Program, lead a Voting Rights Service Project, and more! In her video, she details her full plans for the upcoming year.

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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.

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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!