The Board met during September 2020 to discuss grant applications. As a result of that discussion, the Board made the following grants to four worthy organizations.
Click on each Grantee’s name below to read more about their organization and the case for which they received funding.
Rooted in the dreams of immigrants and inspired by the promise of opportunity, Asian Americans Advancing Justice advocates for an America in which all Americans can benefit equally from, and contribute to, the American dream. Our mission is to advance the civil and human rights for Asian Americans and to build and promote a fair and equitable society for all. AAJC is the voice for the Asian American community – the fastest-growing population in the U.S. – fighting for our civil rights through education, litigation, and public policy advocacy.
THE CASE: La Union Del Pueblo Entero v. Ross (D.Md.). On September 13, 2019, AAJC with co-counsel filed a lawsuit challenging the Trump administration’s plan to collect and provide incomplete citizenship data to the states for purposes of redistricting as an unconstitutional and racially discriminatory scheme intended to deprive Latinos, Asians, and non-citizens of equal representation. On July 21, 2020, after issuance of the Presidential Memorandum excluding undocumented individuals from the apportionment base, the court granted Plaintiffs’ motion to amend the complaint. On August 4, 2020, the government announced their continued efforts to ensure minorities are undercounted and underrepresented by ending field collection of data for the decennial census one month early on September 30, 2020. Accordingly, Plaintiffs sought declaratory, injunctive, and mandamus relief to prevent the government from carrying out its unlawful and racially discriminatory plans.
Grant Contact: Niyati Shah, Director of Litigation, 1620 L Street, NW, Suite 1050, Washington, DC 20036, 202.815.1098, email@example.com
Disability Rights New York (DRNY) provides free civil legal and advocacy services to advance and protect the rights of people with disabilities across New York State. DRNY is committed to enabling those we serve to exercise their own life choices and fully participate in community life by engaging in both individual and systemic advocacy, targeting areas such as health care, housing, employment, community integration, education, prisoner rights, voter rights, and income maintenance.
THE CASE: Jose Hernandes, et. al. v. New York State Board of Elections, et. al. SDNY 1:20-cv-04003-LJL; DRNY led a coalition of disability right groups and several New York voters with disabilities in filing a lawsuit against the New York State Board of Elections for excluding New Yorkers with disabilities from their Absentee Ballot program. The Complaint can be found at: https://www.dropbox.com/s/9ihq2g9wzd9vsak/Filed%20Complaint.pdf?dl=0
New York’s Absentee Voting program requires voters to fill out a paper ballot using a pen or marker and to return the ballot by mail. The plaintiffs have print disabilities (i.e. blindness, low vision, physical disabilities, learning disabilities), and are unable to independently mark a paper ballot. The Absentee Voting program provides no alternatives to accommodate individuals with print disabilities who vote from home. DRNY and its co-counsel assert that the plaintiffs should be provided as the lawsuit seeks with a fully-accessible absentee voting program, electronic ballot delivery, and secure electronic ballot return.
Gender Justice is a nonprofit legal and policy advocacy organization based in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Founded by accomplished plaintiffs’ attorneys ten years ago, Gender Justice’s mission is to advance gender equity through the law. Gender Justice’s programs, strategic and impact litigation, policy advocacy, education, and movement building work to fight gender discrimination and add protections to our civil rights. Gender Justice advocates for new policies and laws that work to improve the ways the United States addresses gender injustice and acts as a resource for lawmakers hoping to gain a stronger understanding of gender rights and equality.
THE CASE: Andrea Anderson vs. Grand St. Paul CVS, LLC dba CVS Pharmacy #10397; CVS Health Corporation; CVS Pharmacy, Inc.; Aitkin Pharmacy Services, LLC dba Thrifty White Pharmacy; CVS Pharmacist #1; George Badeaux; Gender Justice is representing a rural Minnesota woman who was forced to contact three pharmacies and travel over 100 miles in blizzard conditions to fill her emergency contraception prescription. In 2019, Gender Justice filed a complaint on behalf of this individual who was denied service by pharmacists at two pharmacies in rural Minnesota - the McGregor Thrifty White and Aitkin CVS - when she sought to fill a prescription for emergency contraception in January 2019. The complaint filed in Minnesota’s Ninth Judicial District states that her experience constitutes illegal discrimination based on sex and that denying her service based on her pregnancy-related health care needs violates the Minnesota Human Rights Act.
Grant contact: Megan J. Peterson, Executive Director, firstname.lastname@example.org, 651-789-2090
For almost 50 years, the National Center for Youth Law (NCYL) has fought to advance justice by defending the rights of children and improving the systems impacting their lives. NYCL focuses on complex challenges that disproportionately affect children and communities of color and on solutions that require multiple public systems to change their policies, practices, and culture by filing litigation in the areas of immigration, juvenile justice, education, health, child welfare, and child trafficking.
THE CASE: LUCAS R. v. AZAR; Lucas R. v. Azar is a federal class action lawsuit filed in 2018 on behalf of unaccompanied migrant children and youth by NCYL and co-counsel: the Immigration Law Clinic at University of California Davis, the Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law, and the law firm, Cooley LLP. Plaintiffs allege that the Office for Refugee Resettlement (ORR), a program operated by the Administration of Children and Families (ACF), violates the legally protected rights of children in ORR custody. Lucas R. seeks to enforce constitutional protections for unaccompanied children in federal custody. At its core, this case seeks to protect the civil liberties of some of our most vulnerable children and youth. Thousands of class members in ORR custody will be directly impacted by the outcome of this lawsuit. Our expertise at the intersection of children’s rights, immigrant rights, and disability rights will improve the health, safety and well-being of all children and youth in ORR custody.
In November 2018, Federal District Judge Dolly Gee denied ORR’s Motion to Dismiss and certified five national classes of children in ORR custody subject to the challenged policies and practices, allowing this case to move forward as a class action. Over the course of 2020, NCYL has been actively engaged in discovery, reviewing thousands of pages of documents produced by the government, conducting depositions, and analyzing evidence needed in order to prevail on our claims. NCYL has also facilitated nine expert reports in anticipation of Motions for Summary Judgment this Fall. This case is currently scheduled for a six-week trial in January 2021.
Grant Contact: Marie Lim, Development Manager, Mlim@youthlaw.org, (510) 920-3511