Newly Elected NYC Council Training Part 2

Virtual Event

The Center for Law and Social Justice at Medgar Evers College (CLSJ) is New York State’s only racial justice law center with an explicit mandate to advocate on behalf of New Yorkers of African descent and the disenfranchised. As part of our racial justice advocacy initiatives, CLSJ worked in conjunction with Educated Voter, the Medgar Evers College Public Administration Department (ranked 8th in the nation!) and the DuBois Bunche Center for Public Policy at Medgar Evers College  to develop a training program for newly elected leaders in the New York City Council to understand how to more effectively represent the specific needs and concerns of Black New Yorkers.

This 2-day session is designed to ensure that newly elected NYC Council Members are aware of how structural inequities can be managed such that the most vulnerable New Yorkers are equitably represented.

The February 11th Session will cover the following topics (click here to see the presentation agenda for the Feb 4 session):

  • Session A: Legislative Calendar Management
  • Session B: Culturally Responsive Land Use
  • Session C: Council Finance and Community Based Organizations
  • Session D: City Redistricting and the Impact on Vulnerable New Yorkers

For many New Yorkers, the legislative process is one that contains the promise of effective governance forging a path towards a more just and equitable distribution of resources and political power.

Unfortunately, as noted by the New York City Racial Justice Commission, for Black New Yorkers, the legislative process is also replete with “…structural and institutional laws, regulations, policies, and practices that by design, implementation, or impact, enable and perpetuate inequitable power, access and opportunity.”

The “inequitable power, access and opportunity” noted by the Racial Justice Commission, is distributed or withheld based on race.

For Black New Yorkers, it does not matter if this City Council is one of the most diverse or representative in history. Unless city council members are specifically prepared to navigate the inherent structural inequities built into the legislative process, the diversity of the council – and the potential it represents – will fail to translate into meaningful and substantive change for the New Yorkers who need it most. Legislators must understand the institutional and structural challenges facing Black New Yorkers and other communities of color in order to effectively mitigate these factors in their work. This 2-day program is designed to do just that. For more information, visit the eventbrite link here.

The Future of Multi-Racial America

In the 2020 census, approximately 33 million people (around one in 10) responded that they identify as more than one race. With multi-racial Americans now the fastest growing demographic, what are the implications for New York City and beyond as we move past an easily compartmentalized view of race? How does this affect political representation, the notion of a majority-minority society, and the American psyche as we continue to combat racism?

Featuring: Richard Alba, distinguished professor of sociology at the CUNY Graduate Center and author of The Great Demographic Illusion: Majority, Minority, and the Expanding American MainstreamJenifer Bratter, professor of sociology at Rice University and co-editor of Unmaking RaceLurie Daniel Favors, executive director at the Center for Law and Social Justice at Medgar Evers College and host of The Lurie Daniel Favors Show on Sirius XM’s Urban View; and Michael Li, senior counsel for the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice, NYU School of Law. Moderated by John Mollenkopf, distinguished professor of political science and sociology and director of the Center for Urban Research at the CUNY Graduate Center.

Presented with the Center for Urban Research.

Protecting Our Democracy

Black Caucus of the NYS Public Employees Federation BHM presents: Protecting Our Democracy

Program Agenda:

6:00 Welcome by President Carrie Saunders

6:10 Address by President Wayne Spence

6:30 State Senator Zellnor Myrie

​7:00 Ms. Lurie Daniel Favors Presentation

7:30 Tribute to The Late Congressman John Lewis

Closing Statement by President Carrie Saunders.

Please contact program organizers directly for additional information.

Zoom Meeting ID: 870 3575 4854
Passcode: 038412

Ballot or the Bullet 2022 Workshop (Our Future, Our Vote)

Celebrate Malcolm X Day with the Center for Law and Social Justice as we discuss “The Ballot or The Bullet” and how we put it to use today!

In 1964, Malcolm X gave one of his most impactful speeches known as “Ballot or the Bullet”. He called on the Black community to understand and utilize their political power through the tool of voting while recognizing that it was still one tool among many others. Malcolm X recognized that the government could never and would never fully grant our liberation and that we must recognize the need to combat white supremacy on all fronts as we demand our human rights. In 2022, we are waging much of the same battles to dismantle the system of white supremacy that continues to deny our basic human rights & dignity. This workshop will be the first event held as part of CLSJ’s “Our Future, Our Vote” Voting Rights & Education Campaign and will firmly root the work that we do in the same principles that Malcolm X expressed nearly 60 years ago!

Advocacy Academy Session 6

Advocacy Academy Participants: Session 6 of our 11 week advocacy training program begins at 6pm.

This program train participants in issue organizing, community-driven lobbying, roles and duties of elected officials and government agencies, budgeting and proposal writing, fundraising and strategies for influencing policy. Led by the esteemed Celeste Morris, CEO of MorrisAllsop Public Affairs.

June Primaries are Over: What Comes Next?

Who voted? Who won? What’s next?

Join us to build community and political power together!

The first round of NY primaries is over. Our work isn’t done after we cast our vote, and it’s more important than ever to stay engaged in the civic process. Are you ready for what comes next? The Center for Law and Social Justice will host a virtual workshop on July 12 to review this primary election and how these elections affect our communities. We will discuss voter engagement strategies and how redistricting, party nominations, and more will play a role in the 2022 election process.

WHEN: Tuesday, July 12, 7:00pm
WHERE: Virtual on Zoom – Register via Eventbrite at

Breaking Down the Ballot Series: Racial Justice Is On The Ballot!

Virtual Event

Racial Justice, Climate Justice & so much more are on the ballot this election!

On November 8th, NYC voters will have the opportunity to vote on four ballot proposals: one related to climate justice and three that address racial justice in our city government. Your votes will have a direct impact on the functioning of NYC & NYS government.

If New Yorkers vote the three racial justice ballot initiatives into law this November – it will require every NYC agency to embrace a racial justice framework. Join the Center for Law & Social Justice “Our Future, Our Vote” Voting Rights & Education Campaign as we kick off our Workshop Wednesdays Series at 7pm on October 5th with a breakdown of what ballot proposals are and what these specific 2022 ballot proposals can mean for OUR FUTURE with the power of OUR VOTE! To attend the workshop, sign up through this link and we will do our part to get you everything you need to be #VoteReady this election!

Trusted Messenger Training

The Center for Law & Social Justice’s “Our Future, Our Vote” Voting Rights & Education Campaign needs your help to build community power! Click here to sign up to be a CLSJ Trusted Messenger & use your platform to help us build political power that produces the representation & resources necessary for our communities to thrive! #CLSJ #OurFutureOurVote #TrustedMessenger #UseYourVoice

Celebration of Legacy: Honoring Esmeralda Simmons & the Future of CLSJ

Giando on the Water 400 Kent Avenue, Brooklyn, New York

Date: Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Time: VIP Reception 6:30 pm | Dinner 7:30 pm

Location: Giando on the Water, 400 Kent Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11249

Dress Code: Creative/Cultural Black Tie 

Link for ticket purchase: Click here for ticket purchase.

Event Description:

Join us for an unforgettable evening at The CLSJ Celebration of Legacy: Honoring Esmeralda Simmons and the Future of CLSJ! This summer gala commemorates nearly four decades of the Center for Law and Social Justice’s (CLSJ) work at Medgar Evers College, honoring our founding Executive Director Esmeralda Simmons, Esq., and embracing the next chapter of our journey.

For four decades, CLSJ has been at the forefront of advocating for racial justice and empowering New Yorkers of African descent and the disenfranchised. This special night marks our commitment to continue that legacy and further our impact in the years to come.

Event Highlights:

  • A VIP reception at 6:30 PM, followed by dinner at 7:30 PM, set against the stunning backdrop of Giando’s on the Water
  • Recognition of Civil Rights legend Esmeralda Simmons’ exceptional leadership and contributions to the community
  • Presentation of CLSJ’s most significant milestones and introduction of 2023 strategic initiatives
  • Networking opportunities with fellow community leaders, advocates, and supporters


Advocacy Academy Spring Session

The eleven-week Civic Engagement virtual course is designed to empower students with the knowledge, language, and skills necessary for structuring and implementing impactful programs, services, and changes within their community. Led by the dynamic Celeste Morris, a seasoned expert in civil leadership and the founder of the program, this course offers a transformative experience.

Sign Up For Our Mailing List