LDF’s mission has always been transformative: to achieve racial justice, equality, and an inclusive society.
The new political landscape and a retrenchment in key areas of civil right poses unprecedented threats to the hard-won gains of the last half century. From new assaults on voting rights, to a renewed push to undermine equal access to quality education, to the reversal of criminal justice and policing reform, we face significant challenges in every area of our work.
The Urban Justice Center is a non-profit legal services and advocacy organization serving the New York City area. It is known as an incubator for progressive programs and initiatives and for being a significant legal presence in the struggles of New York's poverty stricken and minority populations. Urban Justice Center won the 2020 Webby People’s Voice Award for Law in the category Web.
Founded in 1984 as the Legal Action Center for the Homeless by Douglas Lasdon, the Urban Justice Center (UJC) works for vulnerable New Yorkers through direct civil legal, political organizing, legislative advocacy and policy education. Some of the UJC's important legal victories in aid of the indigent include Doe v. City of New York, Tolle v. Dinkins, and joint legal action with other groups against the Grand Central Partnership and the 34th Street Partnership for hiring homeless employees at $1 an hour. The UJC's community building and immigrant aid programming was also recently recognized by New York City by their naming as finalists in the Competition THRIVE.
Originally operating from a burned-out building in Harlem staffed only by Lasdon the UJC has relocated to Lower Manhattan and as of 2013 has a staff of over 100 with an operating budget of over $7.5 million. The UJC has provided 96,000 people with community legal education and has closed 8,881 cases thus far. Real estate deals undertaken by Lasdon in 2007 led to the $5.7 million sale, close to 10 times the initial amount paid for, of the UJC office space at 666 Broadway in 1997. The UJC's headquarters are located on Rector Street, and were purchased with its real estate profits and a $5 million grant from New York City.
The UJC is made up of 10 anti-poverty projects devoted to specific goals and clientele. Projects are led by directors who are empowered to manage the staffing, fundraising and advocacy work for their individual projects almost autonomously. The Executive Office of the UJC provides overhead funding for the organization and overall mission direction. The Executive Office led by the UJC’s Founder and Executive Director along with two Associate Directors and maintains a support staff of administrators, development and financial officers.
Cory Booker, United States Senator from New Jersey, former UJC Staff Attorney
Raymond Brescia, Law professor, former UJC Associate Director and Community Development Project Director
Harvey Epstein, New York State Assemblyman, former Associate Director and Community Development Project Director
NEW YORK, NY 10006-1738 | Tax-exempt since April 1940
Classification (NTEE) Minority Rights (Civil Rights, Social Action, Advocacy)
Nonprofit Tax Code Designation: 501(c)(3) Defined as: Organizations for any of the following purposes: religious, educational, charitable, scientific, literary, testing for public safety, fostering national or international amateur sports competition (as long as it doesn’t provide athletic facilities or equipment), or the prevention of cruelty to children or animals.
Donations to this organization are tax deductible.
The Guild is best known for our work defending the rights of protesters through our Mass Defense and Legal Observer Programs, which have been providing legal support for movements for social justice for 50 years.