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Section Projects

The Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice houses three ABA projects: the Death Penalty Due Process Review Project, the HIV/AIDS Impact Project, and the Court Watching Project, which is conducted with the ABA Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defense.

Our Initiatives

CRSJ Chair Chat

This platform is designed to bring together legal scholars, advocates, thought leaders and activists committed to fighting for social justice, protecting our democracy, and upholding the rule of law, and to share strategies for tackling the existing and emerging civil rights issues facing our country. Please tune in for the Chair Chat and share these chats will your friends and colleagues!


About - the Chair Chat

Perfecting Democracy

Perfecting Democracy, an initiative of the ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice, recruits lawyers and law students to volunteer to assist organizations engaged in nonpartisan efforts to protect fair elections and the right to vote.

About - Perfecting Democracy

Environmental Justice Task Force

The EJTF has jurisdiction over matters affecting how both the ABA and its member lawyers address issues related to environmental justice in their practices. As set forth in Resolution 513 among other things, advocating for legislation and policy, and working with all levels of government to establish environmental justice laws, regulations, guidelines, policies, and best practices that reflect the right of every human being to dignity and a clean and healthy environment.

About - the Task Force

Post-Dobbs Reproductive Rights Action

The Section and the Standing Committee on Pro Bono are developing a reproductive rights initiative in response to the Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization decision and the myriad legal issues and needs arising from that decision. The initiative will include both a pledge to provide pro bono legal services by law firms and individual lawyers, as well as a comprehensive collection of resources to support attorneys in their work, both pro bono and compensated. The ABA will collaborate with other organizations to identify pro bono opportunities for lawyers interested in volunteering and to assist in collecting resources addressing the legal issues. Content produced by ABA entities is encouraged and will be included as resources. The ABA also actively seeks content from other organizations and entities to promote education and resource-sharing.

21-Day Practice on Creating Inclusive Spaces and Combating Islamophobia

The 21-Day Practice invites participants to complete a syllabus of short daily assignments (typically taking 15 – 30 minutes), over 21 consecutive days. In addition to certain readings focused on the Muslim American experience, including perspectives on Muslim history, identity and culture, and the experience of anti-Muslim bias in America. There are assignments that focus on the unique experience of Muslim lawyers in America, as well as assignments that explore how lawyers of all races can and must share in the work of bringing greater racial equity to the legal profession.

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21-Day Practice on Combating Antisemitism

The ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice held its 21-Day Practice on Combating Antisemitism earlier this year. The current movement for equality in America provides an opportunity for us to consider how we — as individuals, as lawyers, and as a Section — are meeting this moment.

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Policy Implementation Initiative

The mission of the Section's Policy Implementation Initiative is to support the advocacy of the Section's leadership in support of adoption of civil rights and social justice policy and legislation at the federal, tribal, territorial, state and local levels.

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Civil Rights Civics Institute

As the Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice, we strive to educate both lawyers and the public about related law and policy so everyone can more effectively participate in our democracy. We believe that civic literacy fosters unity. The Civil Rights Civics Institute (CRCI) consists of short, educational videos answering student-generated questions on a wide range of civil rights related civics topics. We gathered questions from students around our nation and reached out specifically to those in traditionally underserved communities. We are now working to provide answers to those questions through both video and written responses.

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One Section, One Book

For the 2021-2022 bar year and in keeping with this year’s theme of “Unity Through Civic Literacy,” we will read Schoolhouse Burning: Public Education and the Assault on American Democracy by Derek W. Black. This terrific book will enlighten our understanding of the right to a quality public education in America and inform our work toward this year’s theme.

About the Book

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Critical Race Theory Web Series

In partnership with the African American Policy Forum, the Section is developing a four-part webinar series on Critical Race Theory (CRT), held in conjunction with the Section's quarterly Council Meetings. Over the past year, Critical Race Theory has been increasingly misrepresented by the Right in an organized, widespread effort to stifle racial justice and gender equity, and weaken our multiracial democracy. In response to these attacks, AAPF held a 5-day Critical Race Theory Summer School in mid-August 2021 to educate participants about the origins, principles, and insights of Critical Race Theory, and to chart a path forward. This series will build upon the presentations and explore the implications for the legal profession.

About - the Series

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Web Series

Held in conjunction with the Section's quarterly meetings, CRSJ is offering this four-part webinar series on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion topics.

About - the Series

Voting Rights Service Initiative

The Voting Rights Service Initiative is designed to protect and advance the voting rights of vulnerable populations, including people with disabilities, those residing in long-term care facilities and people with limited English proficiency. The Section launched this initiative by partnering with Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law on Election Protection, and by creating a voting rights toolkit to equip community leaders to identify and prevent voter suppression that vulnerable populations may face.

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Civil Rights Connection

Civil Rights Connection is a multi-component, collaborative initiative designed to facilitate collaboration and information sharing within the civil rights legal community. As part of this project, the Section is creating a state-by-state listing of civil rights and social justice pro bono opportunities from across the country. If you have such opportunities with your organization or firm, the Section would like to include you in this directory in the hopes that it can assist in recruiting additional volunteers to assist in your important work. Please complete the brief survey below.

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The Civil Rights Lawyer Webinar Series

There are so many ways to advance civil rights and social justice, and the time could not be more opportune to explore pathways into the profession of the civil rights lawyer. This four-part series provides insights and perspectives about pursuing a career in the realm of civil rights law. Panelists include law professors, policy advocates, civil rights litigators, public interest lawyers, federal agency attorneys, law clerks, and a range of others who will discuss their career trajectories and lessons learned in their work to advance civil rights.

Latest Program:

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Free Legal Answers Volunteer Partnership

The Section is proud to join ABA Free Legal Answers to offer several volunteer opportunities during the 2020-21 bar year. ABA Free Legal Answers is an online virtual legal clinic through which income-eligible clients can post civil legal questions to be answered by pro bono attorneys from their state. ABA Free Legal Answers continues to serve as a valuable pro bono resource for attorneys and clients as it is entirely virtual and can address many basic legal questions that arise, both typical and pandemic-based.

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