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California Black Freedom Launches Program to Protect Racial Justice Orgs From Legal Threats

Bo Tefu, Lila Brown, and Antonio Ray Harvey | California Black Media

The California Black Freedom Fund (CBFF) today announced the Legal Education, Advocacy, and Defense (LEAD) for Racial Justice initiative.

The program provides racial justice organizations in California with resources to fight legal threats that have been increasing in the state – and around the country – since the United States Supreme Court’s 2023 ruling that banned colleges and universities from considering race in the admissions process.

According to CBFF, an advocacy organization committed to ending institutional and systemic racism, hundreds of nonprofit organizations and philanthropic institutions will benefit from the imitative.

“The racial justice movement is under attack by opponents who want to stop our progress,” said Marc Philpart, Executive Director of CBFF.

“While racial justice efforts remain legal and necessary, opponents to affirmative action are sowing confusion and fear. LEAD aims to provide the tailored guidance and information organizations need at this moment.”

According to the CBFF, LEAD will ensure nonprofits and foundations serving Black communities and communities of color have ongoing legal analysis, in-depth training, and a bank of legal support hours and pro bono representation.

The program’s legal partners are Adler & Colvin, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), Public Counsel, and Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area (LCCR SF).

“Throughout California, organizations led by those most impacted have worked tirelessly to push California toward systemic transformation, and they need our support more than ever,” said Kendra Fox-Davis, Chief Program Officer at the Rosenberg Foundation, a non-profit that supports advocates of racial justice efforts across California.

“LEAD will help organizations and their funders better understand the legal landscape and our continued capacity to engage in racial justice programming and grantmaking,” Fox-Davis continued. “It will ensure that grantees and funder partners can combat misinformation and double down on our commitment to racial justice.”

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