The First Chartered Branch of the NAACP | Established, 1911

LEGAL REDRESS


 

 

 

If you have a complaint of racial discrimination, we can help direct you to legal services organizations that can help.  Please note that the Boston Branch of the NAACP does not provide legal representation.


Please contact us at legal@bostonnaacp.org for more information.

 

If you are the victim of a crime, please contact your local Boston Police Department.


If you have an issue outside the City of Boston, please contact:

NAACP National Office for issues outside of Massachusetts

Juan Cofield (jmcofield@aol.com), President of the New England Area Conference of the NAACP for issues in Massachusetts, but outside of Boston.

 

We are currently seeking families who have applied for admission to a Boston exam school and have been denied admission.  Please contact Jose Lopez at education@bostonnaacp.com to provide your name and contact information.

 

Below please find additional resources.  You can click on the name of the organization to be routed to its website.

Civil Rights Organizations Providing Legal Representation


American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Massachusetts The American Civil Liberties Union is our nation’s guardian of liberty, working daily in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties that the Constitution and laws of the United States guarantee everyone in this country.


Lawyers Committee For Civil Rights or Lawyers for Civil Rights Lawyers for Civil Rights (LCR), formerly the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under The Law, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to involve the private bar in providing legal services to address racial discrimination. LCR is affiliated with the national Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights.  The principal mission of LCR is to secure, through the rule of law, equal justice under law. The Committee’s major objective is to use the skills and resources of the bar to obtain equal opportunity for minorities by addressing factors that contribute to racial justice and economic opportunity. Given our nation’s history of racial discrimination, de jure segregation, and the de facto inequities that persist, historically LCR's primary focus was to represent the interest of African Americans and other racial and ethnic minorities, where doing so could help to secure justice for all. Today the LCR focuses on immigration matters and other issues of concern within communites of color more generally.  The Lawyers’ Committee implements its mission and objectives by marshaling the pro bono resources of the bar for litigation, public policy advocacy, and other forms of service by lawyers to the cause of civil rights.


NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) has its roots in the NAACP under the leadership of NAACP legal pioneer Charles Hamilton Houston.  In 1940, then NAACP lawyer established the NAACP Legal Defense Fund to support the increasing civil rights litigation across the United States.  In 1957 the NAACP Legal Defense Fund became an entirely separate organization from the NAACP yet LDF remains a partner of the NAACP in the fight for justice.  LDF’s primary mission has been to provide legal assistance to poor African Americans, however its work over the years has brought greater justice to all Americans.

Direct Service Resources


ADL-New England The ADL fights anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry, defends democratic ideals and protects civil rights for all. ADL’s New England Regional Office serves Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

 

Greater Boston Legal Services GBLS represents individuals and families, assisting with individual client needs as well as systemic problems. We also represent community groups and provide community legal education. We give advice and represent people in court, before agencies, and before city councils and the state legislature. GBLS traces its roots to 1900 with the founding of the Boston Legal Aid Society. GBLS was formed in 1976 by the union of the Boston Legal Aid Society and the Boston Legal Assistance Project. In 1996 we merged with Cambridge & Somerville Legal Services. Today, GBLS is New England ‘s largest legal services organization.

 

Suffolk University Law School Juvenile Justice Center As one of its many programs, Suffolk University Law School students in the Juvenile Defender Clinic represent children charged with delinquency offenses in Juvenile Court. Clinic students will handle all aspects of delinquency cases from arraignment through trial. Students may also represent clients in related proceedings, such as probation revocation hearings, CHINS cases, and administrative proceedings with the Department of Youth Services or the Department of Children and Families.

 

The Innocence Project The Innocence Project is a non-profit legal clinic affiliated with the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University and created by Barry C. Scheck and Peter J. Neufeld in 1992. The project is a national litigation and public policy organization dedicated to exonerating wrongfully convicted people through DNA testing and reforming the criminal justice system to prevent future injustice. As a clinic, law students handle case work while supervised by a team of attorneys and clinic staff. Most of our clients are poor, forgotten, and have used up all legal avenues for relief. The hope they all have is that biological evidence from their cases still exists and can be subjected to DNA testing. All Innocence Project clients go through an extensive screening process to determine whether or not DNA testing of evidence could prove their claims of innocence. Thousands currently await our evaluation of their cases.

Government Resources


Massachusetts Attorney General's Office- Civil Rights Division The Massachusetts Attorney General's Office, Civil Rights Division enforces and safeguards Constitutional and statutory civil rights and liberties on behalf of Massachusetts residents and visitors. The division works to end discrimination, ensure equal and meaningful opportunity for Massachusetts residents to participate in civic society, and protect individual rights of free speech and privacy.  Click here to file a complaint or call  (617) 963-2917.

 

Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD) The mission of the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination is to eradicate discrimination in the Commonwealth by investigating and prosecuting Complaints of Discrimination that occur in Employment, Housing, Public Places, Access to Education, Lending, and Credit. We also offer training to help prevent discrimination from occurring. Click here to file a complaint. or for English call (617) 994-6000 / for Español, 中文, Kreyòl Ayisyen, русский, Português, call (617) 994-6071.

 

City of Boston’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR) The mission of the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) is to eliminate discrimination and ensure fair and equal access to housing, public services, accommodations and participation in activities. The office strives to reduce procedural, attitudinal and communication barriers for persons living and working in the City of Boston . The Office of Civil Rights was created in 1995 as a human rights umbrella agency responsible for enforcing and coordinating all anti-discrimination ordinances in the City of Boston . OCR consists of three main program areas: The Boston Fair Housing Commission (BFHC), The Human Rights Commission (HRC), and the Commission for Persons with Disabilities (CPWD).

 

State Office of Minority and Women Business Assistance (SOMWBA) SOMWBA is an agency within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts helping promote the development of business enterprises and non-profit organizations owned and operated by minorities or women.

Professional Organizations


Massachusetts Black Lawyers Association (MBLA) Since 1973, the Massachusetts Black Lawyers Association has provided a valuable network and visible presence for attorneys of color within the Massachusetts legal community. The MBLA is responsible for providing its membership professional development and career advancement through trainings, continued education and mentorship programs. The MBLA also sponsors forums on current topics of interest to persons in the legal community, and seeks collaborations with other bar associations and professional organizations, particularly in interest of providing services to the communities of color.

 

Health Care for All Boston HCFA seeks to create a consumer-centered health care system that provides comprehensive, affordable, accessible, culturally competent, high quality care and consumer education for everyone, especially the most vulnerable. We work to achieve this as leaders in public policy, advocacy, education and service to consumers in Massachusetts . Health care for all is a simple idea. Everyone has a right to health care. While simple, the reality is that hundreds of thousands of people in Massachusetts do not have access to the health care they need. That’s why there’s Health Care For All, the organization. Health Care For All is dedicated to making quality, affordable health care accessible to everyone, regardless of income, social or economic status. We seek to empower Massachusetts consumers to know more about our health care system and to become involved in changing it. We are especially concerned about the most vulnerable members of society — the uninsured, low-income elders, children, people with disabilities and immigrants. Our work combines policy analysis , information referral, personal and legal advocacy, community organizing and public education. See the Disparities Action Network .

Helpful Information


Civil Rights Laws and Regulations Massachusetts has a rich and exemplary history in promoting maximum levels of independence and inclusion in all aspects of society for people with disabilities. Includes:

 

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Information

 

Disability Laws in Massachusetts The Massachusetts Office on Disability (MOD) was created to increase awareness of the rights of persons with disabilities, both by persons with disabilities themselves and by the larger community.

 

Massachusetts Civil Rights Act (MCRA)  The MCRA protects your right to use public parks, attend schools, live peacefully, and enjoy other basic rights free from bias-motivated threats, intimidation, coercion and violence. These rights are the heart of our safety, well-being and freedom.

 

Voting Rights The Elections Division of the Secretary of State’s Office has written regulations that apply to site access, parking, entrances, voting equipment, etc. All municipalities are responsible for following these regulations. The position of the Massachusetts Attorney General is that all federal, state and municipal elections must be accessible to persons with disabilities.