Who We Are

The Legal Aid Justice Center partners with communities and clients to achieve justice by dismantling systems that create and perpetuate poverty. Justice means racial justice, social justice, and economic justice.

 

Achieving justice means:
   

    • integrating individual representation, impact litigation, policy advocacy, and organizing strategies.
        
    • working in and with communities.
        
    • identifying and addressing root causes while mitigating acute impacts.
        
    • expanding impact in an effort to reach all Virginia communities.

 

Racial justice means:
   

    • the proactive reinforcement of policies, practices, attitudes, and actions that produce equitable power, access, opportunities, treatment, impacts, and outcomes for all. (Source: Shriver Center Racial Justice Institute) 
        
         

SUPPORTING STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES

 

    • We believe that the individual legal problems of our clients are inextricably linked to overarching systems of injustice and oppression.
        
    • We believe that legal and organizing strategies can effectively dismantle the social, racial and economic systems that marginalize communities and keep people in poverty.
        
    • Because we live in a racially structured society that causes racial inequity across systems, we cannot effectively address poverty without addressing race. Poverty is a racial justice issue.
        
    • Creating long-term, sustainable change in communities experiencing poverty is the essential foundation for our impact advocacy.
    • Direct representation is part of our strategy to fight systems of injustice and oppression.
        
    • Viewing individual cases in the context of larger social and political systems enables us to set priorities and deploy our resources for the greatest positive impact.
        
    • We commit to continuously examining whether we and the organizations we work with operate in ways that align with the race equity and justice values and goals we support. This commitment includes ensuring that race equity is reflected in policies and practices for recruitment and hiring, work acceptance, priority-setting, governance, organizational culture, communications, and community partnerships and accountability, particularly with low-income communities of color. (Source: This language echoes the commitments made by the Washington Race Equity & Justice Initiative)
        
          

Source:  LAJC 2020-2025 Strategic Plan

 

 

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