Thurgood Marshall Institute at the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, Inc.

Signatory: Janai S. Nelson, Associate Director-Counsel, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.

Joined: December 2015

Contact: Janai S. Nelson, Associate Director-Counsel, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.

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Since 1940, LDF has strategically used impact litigation to establish groundbreaking legal and social precedent and advance civil rights for all African Americans.

The Thurgood Marshall Institute at LDF meets a long-standing need to complement LDF’s litigation strengths in a more robust, formal way. Elements of the Institute—such as social science research and community organizing—have been part of LDF’s work in varying degrees over the course of its history.

The goal of research at the Thurgood Marshall Institute is to develop and advance new models, theories, analyses, and data on racial and social justice that can constructively inform LDF’s advocates and allies, thought leaders, decision makers, and others, as well as assist LDF’s campaigns, communications, and other advocacy.

The Thurgood Marshall Institute’s “Fellows Program” engages the best scholars and experts to produce cutting-edge research on pertinent civil rights issues, including issues related to African Americans and the U.S. educational and criminal justice systems, the economy, and the political process.

Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization and has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF.