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About the PJC

Founded in 1985, the Public Justice Center uses legal tools to challenge poverty and racial inequity in Maryland and beyond.

We represent people who are standing up for their rights.

And we advocate to change the systems that keep people down.

We work to empower communities and collaborate with advocates to build a just society.

You are an important part of this fight for justice. Whether you’re looking for legal help to defend your rights or looking for ways to work for justice in our communities, you can take action with the Public Justice Center.

Our Race Equity Journey

The Public Justice Center (PJC) was founded in 1985. While the PJC has always been an organization committed to anti-poverty and anti-discrimination, our mindful shift to advancing race equity and anti-racism began in 2014. That year, we partnered with the Racial Justice Institute (RJI) at the Shriver Center on Poverty Law and Baltimore Racial Justice Action (BRJA) to further develop our knowledge of institutional, cultural, systemic, and structural racism and build strategies to advance racial equity within our organization and in our work. BRJA and Camille Holmes of the RJI faculty and the National Legal Aid and Defender Association (in the first year) facilitated a two-year training program for our staff, and we formed a Race Equity Team to coordinate, develop, and facilitate ongoing staff training and to keep racial equity at the center of our work.

We actively incorporate anti-racism and racial equity goals into our advocacy work. For example, we include race equity analyses in our arguments when representing clients and in amicus briefs with the intent of educating courts on racial bias, white supremacy and oppressive systems. We infuse our legislative testimony with evidence of racial disparities and aim to show how laws, rules, and regulations can advance (or hinder) racial equity. We help our clients and the public stand up for their own rights and the rights of communities of color. We partner with community groups, organizers, other legal advocates, direct service providers, policy advocates, and law firms that share our values around racial equity and justice. We seek out BIPOC-led coalitions and social justice efforts and explore how they believe we can best support them in advancing their agendas.