Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights

Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights In the summer of 1963, civil rights activists throughout the South risked their lives to end discrimination and segregation in education, housing, employment, and voting. At President Kennedy’s request, nearly 250 lawyers met at the White House where the President urged them to use their legal training to move the struggle for the protection of civil rights from the streets to the courts. As a result, the National Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and its regional affiliates were born. In 1966, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. opened the northern front in the civil rights movement. As part of the Chicago Freedom Movement’s push for open housing, Dr. King organized freedom fighters to march in all-White southwest side neighborhoods where they were met by violent mobs. These actions laid the groundwork for the country’s passage of the Fair Housing Act. In 1969, in the aftermath of riots, violence, and mass arrests in response to Dr. King’s assassination, and political protest and police brutality at the 1968 Democratic National Convention, a group of Chicago attorneys and law firms formed the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. Since that time, the organization has operated as Chicago’s preeminent non-profit, civil rights legal organization, producing important victories in fair housing, hate crime, education, and other cornerstone civil rights cases.
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We are civil rights lawyers and advocates working to secure racial equity and economic opportunity for all. We provide legal representation through partnerships with the private bar, and we collaborate with grassroots organizations and other advocacy groups to implement community-based solutions that advance civil rights. We are committed to the unfinished business of our nation’s civil rights movement. Our vision is to root out and dismantle deeply entrenched systems of discrimination, racism, and economic oppression. We believe in the power of the law to uplift and give voice to those individuals, organizations, and communities most impacted by poverty and racial disparity, including racial and ethnic groups, religious minorities, women, immigrants, LGBTQ people, and people with disabilities. We identify and disrupt patterns of discrimination. Through longstanding partnerships with member law firms, we provide high quality legal assistance to clients and communities in litigation and transactional matters. We collaborate with community leaders, advocacy organizations, and attorneys to craft and implement community-based solutions and policy reform. We use a broad range of advocacy tools that include direct legal services, impact litigation, policy advocacy, community education, and coalition building. Our current legal projects focus on education, housing, voting and civic empowerment, public safety, and community economic development.

"The vote is the most powerful nonviolent change agent you have in a democratic society. You must use it because it is n...
07/30/2020
Opinion | John Lewis: Together, You Can Redeem the Soul of Our Nation

"The vote is the most powerful nonviolent change agent you have in a democratic society. You must use it because it is not guaranteed. You can lose it." #JohnLewis #GoodTrouble #VotingRights #RacialEquity

Though I may not be here with you, I urge you to answer the highest calling of your heart and stand up for what you truly believe.

TODAY at 3pm! Sign up to attend at https://www.chicago.gov/city/en/depts/bacp/sbc/business_educationworkshopcalendar.htm...
07/29/2020

TODAY at 3pm! Sign up to attend at https://www.chicago.gov/city/en/depts/bacp/sbc/business_educationworkshopcalendar.html #SmallBusiness #Chicago

TODAY at 3:00 PM the BACP Webinar will be Choosing the Right Legal Entity: A Small Business Entity Workshop presented by Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights.
Register: www.chicago.gov/businessworkshops
As an entrepreneur starting a new business, you will be faced with many important decisions; one of the first and most important decisions will be selecting the right legal structure for your business. The legal entity you choose will impact many critical aspects of your business, such as your ability to raise capital, how your company will be managed, its tax treatment, liability protection for managers and more. CLC will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of various business structures including the Sole Proprietorship, C-Corp, S-Corp, LLC, Benefit Corporation, Cooperative Association and more.

Do you know an entrepreneur struggling to start a new business? Tomorrow afternoon, join us for a FREE webinar with Chic...
07/28/2020
Choosing the Right Legal Entity: A Small Business Entity — Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights

Do you know an entrepreneur struggling to start a new business? Tomorrow afternoon, join us for a FREE webinar with Chicago Business Affairs & Consumer Protection on how to choose the right legal entity for your business structure. #SmallBusiness #Chicago

Join us to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of various business structures including the Sole Proprietorship, C-Corp, S-Corp, LLC, Benefit Corporation, Cooperative Association and more.

Illinois' existing, overwhelmingly white-owned cannabis firms are continuing to “rake in profits without competition,” s...
07/27/2020
As new pot licenses delayed indefinitely, global accounting firm pockets $7M from state to rank applicants

Illinois' existing, overwhelmingly white-owned cannabis firms are continuing to “rake in profits without competition,” says our attorney Akele Parnell.

That's why we're working with Cannabis Equity IL to make sure new dispensaries sign a #CannabisCBA and link their prosperity to communities impacted by the War on Drugs.

KPMG was given two no-bid contracts to grade firms applying to open new cannabis businesses, but the process hit a standstill because of the firm’s ban on travel during the pandemic and a contract provision requiring it pick up applications by hand.

Great to see this challenge filed yesterday.Reminder for activists dealing with federal officers that you can connect to...
07/24/2020
Black Lives Matter, activists go to court to avoid Portland-style federal response to protests, while other groups say CPD has abused protesters

Great to see this challenge filed yesterday.

Reminder for activists dealing with federal officers that you can connect to a free attorney through calling:

➡️ (773) 309-1198 for National Lawyers Guild of Chicago
➡️1-800-LAW-REP4 for First Defense Legal Aid

#BlackLivesMatter #PoliceAccountability #Chicago

As federal agents prepared to come to Chicago with the stated goal of stopping violence, activist groups voiced fear that those forces would be used to quell protests against police brutality.

Do you care about student safety and racial equity?On August 4, our Transforming School Discipline Collaborative is hold...
07/24/2020

Do you care about student safety and racial equity?

On August 4, our Transforming School Discipline Collaborative is holding a virtual convening with students, teachers, and policy wonks.

Join us at at https://www.transformschooldiscipline.org/sb-100-convening-2020 #EducationEquity #SB100 #Illinois

As schools face unprecedented challenges in supporting students & families, join our Transforming School Discipline Collaborative on August 4, 2020 for a virtual convening to explore the issues and build knowledge with community. #EducationEquity #SB100 #Illinois

More info at https://www.transformschooldiscipline.org/sb-100-convening-2020

From 2012 to 2018, less than 2% of Chase’s home purchase lending in Chicago went to Black neighborhoods and just under 5...
07/23/2020
Nonprofit To Chase Bank: Give Chicago’s Black And Latino Neighborhoods $1 Billion

From 2012 to 2018, less than 2% of Chase’s home purchase lending in Chicago went to Black neighborhoods and just under 5% went to Latino neighborhoods, compared with 80% — $6 billion — that went to white neighborhoods.

All the more reason to protect the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), the vital anti-redlining law that holds banks accountable to local community needs. #ProtectTheCRA #RacialEquity

Donna Clarke of Neighborhood Housing Services wants Chase to invest $1 billion, mostly in the form of home loans and small business loans.

The Chicago Park District Board has voted unanimously to move forward with the process to rename to rename Douglas Park ...
07/22/2020
Will Douglas Park Be Renamed For Frederick Douglass? After Years Of Student Activism, Park District Calls Emergency Meeting To Decide

The Chicago Park District Board has voted unanimously to move forward with the process to rename to rename Douglas Park for Black abolitionist Frederick Douglass instead of slavery advocate Stephen A. Douglas.

Good work by these student activists! #Chicago #RacialHistoryMatters

West Side students lobbied the city to rename the park for years to no avail. But after protesters tried to pull down the Columbus statue, the city is listening.

We have been proudly sitting with the Obama CBA Coalition  and providing legal support throughout this process, which ha...
07/21/2020
Lightfoot, Taylor to roll out compromise ordinance on housing protections near Obama Center

We have been proudly sitting with the Obama CBA Coalition and providing legal support throughout this process, which has yielded one of the most significant affordable housing victories in recent memory.

“The fight is not over,” said Jawanza Malone of Kenwood Oakland Community Organization. “We have more work to do, but this victory shows us that organizing works.”

#ObamaCBA #CommunityBenefitsAgreement #AffordableHousing

Ald. Jeanette Taylor (20) is backing an ordinance proposed by Mayor Lori Lightfoot laying out a suite of affordable housing programs for Woodlawn, putting to rest a year-long feud between the two l…

Local School Councils (LSC's) have been asked to vote on whether to keep cops in #Chicago schools - but LSC's have long-...
07/20/2020
Some Chicago School Councils Tasked With Voting On Police In Schools Aren’t Following The Rules

Local School Councils (LSC's) have been asked to vote on whether to keep cops in #Chicago schools - but LSC's have long-standing issues around transparency, participation, and training that make many ill-suited to the task. #EducationEquity #PoliceFreeSchools

The process so far underscores long-standing issues around the transparency of the groups, how much they are supported and trained, and lackluster participation.

“When you see something that’s not right, that's not just, you have to stand up. You have to speak out. And you have to ...
07/18/2020

“When you see something that’s not right, that's not just, you have to stand up. You have to speak out. And you have to get in the way.” -Rep. John Lewis

Today we remember his legacy and celebrate the courage of this visionary civil rights leader, even as we mourn his passing. May his memory be a blessing. #JohnLewis #CivilRights #GoodTrouble

We salute John Lewis for an extraordinary life dedicated to fighting for justice, full access to the ballot and equality for all. The Lawyers’ Committee extends condolences to his family and those across the nation mourning his loss. He was a civil rights giant. #goodtrouble #restinpower

Thank you Kinslahger for donating us the profits from your delicious new tropical stout, 'Black is Beautiful'! Order you...
07/15/2020
Local breweries release Black is Beautiful beer

Thank you Kinslahger for donating us the profits from your delicious new tropical stout, 'Black is Beautiful'!

Order your 4-pack for $15 today here: http://kinslahger.com/bib #BlackIsBeautifulBeer #Chicago

In early June, as protests following the death of George Floyd erupted across the country, the brewers behind hyper-local Kinslahgher began asking what they could do to help.

Our Program Counsel Akele Parnell will be talking about cannabis and organizing as advocates for equity at this FREE tow...
07/15/2020
Setting the Record Straight with Growmentum Lab — Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights

Our Program Counsel Akele Parnell will be talking about cannabis and organizing as advocates for equity at this FREE town hall discussion starting at 3:30pm today! #CannabisEquityIL #CannabisCBA #Illinois

Join our Program Counsel Akele Parnell for part two of this town hall discussion hosted by Growmentum Lab to set the cannabis licenses announcements and related issues straight.

Are you a beer drinker? Do you support racial justice? When you buy this delicious new tropical stout from Kinslahger, t...
07/14/2020

Are you a beer drinker? Do you support racial justice?

When you buy this delicious new tropical stout from Kinslahger, the profits will be DONATED to support our civil rights work! Get a 4-pack for $15 at http://kinslahger.com/bib

#BlackIsBeautifulBeer #Chicago #RacialEquity

AVAILABLE NOW
Many of you know our friend and brewer Russhane Dawkins hails originally from Jamaica. In that part of the world Tropical Stout is one of the most popular beer styles. Russhane took the lead on developing a recipe for a lager fermented version of that style here at Kinslahger that we piloted with great results a little while back. Now we've taken it full scale.

It's a great beer, but more importantly, we've joined a group of breweries across the country in adopting a program initiated by Weathered Souls Brewing Co. to package the beer under the Black is Beautiful label and to donate proceeds to a local charity supporting social justice. Russhane selected a respected local organization that works to secure racial equity and economic opportunity for all, the Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights, as our beneficiary partner. We're excited to be working with these folks and hope that you will join us in supporting their work. Order yours at kinslahger.com/bib
#blackisbeautifulbeer

“Eligible voters – and particularly voters of color – are at risk of disenfranchisement,” said Senior Counsel Ami Gandhi...
07/13/2020
Advocacy Groups Sue Indiana Over Statute Limiting Election Day Lawsuits

“Eligible voters – and particularly voters of color – are at risk of disenfranchisement,” said Senior Counsel Ami Gandhi. #VotingRights #Indiana #RacialEquity

Advocacy groups are suing Indiana over a state law that prevents voters from asking a court to extend polling place hours on Election Day when there are problems voting.

Today we filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of Common Cause Indiana challenging an Indiana law that blocks voters from as...
07/08/2020
Lawsuit: Indiana election law on polling hours strips Hoosiers of Constitutional rights

Today we filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of Common Cause Indiana challenging an Indiana law that blocks voters from asking the courts to extend voting hours when there are problems at the polls.

While Indiana’s law potentially burdens every voter, it has a particular impact on the voting rights of Black and Latinx citizens who are the most affected by polling place closures, long lines, and equipment malfunctions. #Indiana #VotingRights #RacialEquity

A political watchdog group has filed a lawsuit to overturn an Indiana election law prohibiting Hoosiers from petitioning a court to keep polls open.

Students and activists have fought for years for police-free schools, saying Black and Brown students face disproportion...
07/08/2020
Northside College Prep votes to remove its CPD officer, becomes first CPS school to do so

Students and activists have fought for years for police-free schools, saying Black and Brown students face disproportionately harsh treatment by officers who turn typical childhood behavior into a criminal record — causing the so-called “school-to-prison pipeline.” #PoliceFreeSchools #EducationEquity #Chicago

The decision comes as debates rage over whether to terminate a $33 million contract between Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Police Department.

We're glad to see our friends at Chicago Freedom School School free of this bogus order. There needs to be an investigat...
07/07/2020
City Settles Chicago Freedom School Lawsuit After Group Was Cited For Offering Food To Protesters Trapped Downtown

We're glad to see our friends at Chicago Freedom School School free of this bogus order.

There needs to be an investigation of how the CPD uses city agencies like this to intimidate and muzzle civil protests. #PoliceAccountability #Chicago

The school now plans to continue its work training primarily Black and Brown youth the fundamentals of community organizing without the fear of reprisal.

Thank you Kinslahger for donating us the proceeds from your 'Black is Beautiful' tropical stout! Stay tuned - online sal...
07/06/2020

Thank you Kinslahger for donating us the proceeds from your 'Black is Beautiful' tropical stout! Stay tuned - online sales open next week for pickup or delivery. #BlackIsBeautiful Weathered Souls Brewing Co.

COMING SOON
Many of you know our friend and brewer Russhane Dawkins hails originally from Jamaica. In that part of the world Tropical Stout is one of the most popular beer styles. Russhane took the lead on developing a recipe for a lager fermented version of that style here at Kinslahger that we piloted with great results a little while back. Now we've taken it full scale and will have it available in cans later this month.

It's a great beer, but more importantly, we've joined a group of breweries across the country in adopting a program initiated by Weathered Souls Brewing Co. to package the beer under the Black is Beautiful label and to donate proceeds to a local charity supporting social justice. Russhane selected a respected local organization that works to secure racial equity and economic opportunity for all, the Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights, as our beneficiary partner. We're excited to be working with these folks and hope that you will join us in supporting their work.
#blackisbeautifulbeer

"When we celebrate freedom, we must do justice to the rights of all eligible voters," says Senior Counsel Ami Gandhi on ...
07/06/2020
OTL #716: Protecting voting rights, Fireworks on the rise, The Secret History of Holle Thee Maxwell

"When we celebrate freedom, we must do justice to the rights of all eligible voters," says Senior Counsel Ami Gandhi on Saturday's Outside the Loop RADIO.

Ami talks with Mike Stephens about Illinois' new election law and racial disparities at the ballot box starting around minute 8:00. #VotingRights #Illinois

Mike Stephen learns about the effort to protect voting rights in IL with Ami Gandhi of the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights, discusses the increase in fireworks in Chicagoland with…

As schools face unprecedented challenges in supporting students & families, join our Transforming School Discipline Coll...
07/01/2020

As schools face unprecedented challenges in supporting students & families, join our Transforming School Discipline Collaborative on August 4, 2020 for a virtual convening to explore the issues and build knowledge with community. #EducationEquity #SB100 #Illinois

More info at https://www.transformschooldiscipline.org/sb-100-convening-2020

How can Chicago's current cannabis businesses show support and solidarity behind the Movement for Black Lives and simila...
06/30/2020

How can Chicago's current cannabis businesses show support and solidarity behind the Movement for Black Lives and similar initiatives?

Our attorney Akele Parnell joins The TRiiBE TONIGHT at 6pm on Youtube & Facebook to talk through the issues. Details here: https://bit.ly/3dMqPBB #CannabisEquityIL #CannabisCBA

The TRiiBE — along with TRiiBE contributor Mark Braboy — is bringing together a dynamic group of panelists to discuss cannabis equity for Black Chicago.

Watch TRiiBE Tuesday live via The TRiiBE's Youtube & pages TONIGHT at 6 p.m. Details here. https://bit.ly/3dMqPBB

“We have a health pandemic first, then there is the economic impact of the health pandemic,” says our Pro Bono Works dir...
06/30/2020
Small businesses have COVID-19 questions, and the legal profession is working to answer them

“We have a health pandemic first, then there is the economic impact of the health pandemic,” says our Pro Bono Works director Erica Spangler Raz.

“It’s disproportionately affecting the communities that we serve, and now, with everything else that is going on, there is actually awareness about it. That’s leading to more people wanting to help Black-owned businesses and Latinx-owned businesses.” #COVID19 #SmallBusiness #RacialEquity

Small businesses are struggling. It’s been more than three months since the COVID-19 pandemic forced them to shut down, send their employees home and get by on little-to-no income.

An extraordinary must-read from Pulitzer-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones, who headlined our 50th Anniversary Gala...
06/29/2020
From the Magazine: ‘It Is Time for Reparations’

An extraordinary must-read from Pulitzer-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones, who headlined our 50th Anniversary Gala last year. #RacialJustice #Reparations #RacialEquity

Nikole Hannah-Jones explains the history of economic injustice and argues that if black lives are to truly matter in America, the nation must finally pay its debts.

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Question: I have been denied to use the restroom at my job on multiple occasions. I’ve brought issues to management and the said they addressed the issue. I was continually denied to use the restroom and was even told I need to take Pepto Bismol. I have IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and I’m currently pregnant. Now I’ve never had issues going to the bathroom until I announced the pregnancy but now it’s almost every day so I am forced to put my two weeks in to reduce stress on my body! Isn’t it illegal to deny someone to use the bathroom and what can I do about this because I really do need my jobs benefits for my unborn child. I was previously told I was sterile and couldn’t have kids so trying to take precautions so I don’t lose my little miracle. I’ve been told to sue but I don’t think I can honestly afford it financially! Please help!
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We've made a few eligibility changes for our nonprofit and small business applicants! Check out our new applications. #SmallBusiness #Nonprofits