Equal Justice Initiative
Program: Access to Arts
Area of Work: Arts
Grant Purpose: Legacy Museum
The Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) is a nonprofit organization founded by widely acclaimed public interest lawyer and bestselling author, Bryan Stevenson. EJI is committed to ending mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the U.S., to challenging racial and economic injustice, and to protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society. They provide legal assistance to people who have been illegally convicted, unfairly sentenced, or abused in state jails and prisons. EJI also challenges the death penalty and excessive punishment and provides re-entry assistance to formerly incarcerated people. Additionally,
EJI is committed to changing the narrative about race in America by addressing the history of racial injustice and the narratives that have sustained that injustice over generations. In 2018, they opened The Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration, to educate visitors about the legacy of, and connections between, the domestic slave trade, racial terrorism, the Jim Crow South, and the world’s largest prison system.
Purpose: To provide support for programs and operations of The Legacy Museum.
The Legacy Museum employs unique technology to dramatize the enslavement of African Americans, the evolution of racial terror lynchings, legalized racial segregation and racial hierarchy in America. Relying on rarely seen first-person accounts of the domestic slave trade, research materials, videography, exhibits and recently composed content on segregation, the Museum shares the history of racial inequality and its impact on a range of contemporary issues from mass incarceration to police violence.
Since they opened in April 2018, the Legacy Museum and the National Memorial for Peace and Justice have received critical acclaim and drawn more than 750,000 visitors from across the country and around the world, including church groups, students, teachers, legislators, community groups, executive leadership teams and board members from top companies and nonprofits, and lawmakers. The Legacy Museum, along with the National Memorial for Peace and Justice are helping to reshape the national discussion regarding race in America.