"Where you see wrong or inequality or injustice, speak out, because this is your country. This is your democracy. Make it. Protect it. Pass it on". — Justice Thurgood Marshall (1908-1993)
The signature programs and strategic policy initiatives within our Justice Portfolio are designed to ensure equity and fairness in social, civic, economic, legal, and representational matters that influence media, civic participation, cultural norms, and social perception. Adopting a restorative and transformative lens in the implementation of social justice reforms designed to address socioeconomic inequality through the empowerment of those most impacted by poverty. Particular emphasis is placed upon criminal justice reform initiatives, juvenile diversion, and violence prevention programs.
The Justice Thurgood Marshall Center at P.S.103
The Judge AW Center’s Community Invested Violence Intervention Collaborative (C.I.V.I.C.) Baltimore Initiative will add value to The Justice Thurgood Marshall Center at P.S. 103 by bringing a blend of applied academic research, legal advocacy, intervention programming, and ethics training to the beloved community of West Baltimore, MD, in 2023. The C.I.V.I.C. Baltimore Initiative will enable us to address systemic challenges confronting the residents of West Baltimore such as structural and interpersonal violence, at-risks youth detention, the need for legal aid and advocacy, and the need for ethical leadership development education. Through a strategic partnership with the Beloved Community Services Corporation, Inc. of Union Baptist Church, the Judge AW Center has acquired use of this historic site in the heart of West Baltimore, MD, which will serve as the programmatic epicenter of our social impact efforts in the future.
As the lead occupant of this soon-to-be renovated 22K+ sq. ft. facility, the Center will enjoy approximately 5K sq. ft. of space covering two floors for the administration and operation of four signature programs: (1) The Legal Education & Advocacy Division (LEAD)—a legal support services and advocacy initiative to carry forward the legacy of Justice Thurgood Marshall and Clarence Mitchell by advancing the interpretation of law through a lens that emphasizes transformative justice and racial equity; (2) The Transformative Research & Applied Violence Intervention Lab (TRAVAIL) for the Study of Gun Violence, Trauma, and Transformative Justice—a translational research intervention program under the direction of Dr. Joseph B. Richardson, Jr. that uses rigorous interdisciplinary methods to inform the development of a holistic, evidence-based, public health approach to gun violence intervention programming; (3) The Life’s Blueprint Project (LBP)—a juvenile diversion and HIGH Y.I.E.L.D. (Youth Initiative to Empower Leadership Development) beloved community partnership for learning program that aims to operationalize the practice of restorative social justice by shifting the trajectory of at-risk, vulnerable, and resilient youth. Ultimately, the LBP will bridge persistent gaps in opportunity by encouraging, equipping, and empowering our youth, as the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. phrased it, “to achieve excellence in various fields of endeavor;” and (4) The Institute for Ethical Public Leadership & Accountability—an educational initiative to advance the development of ethical public leadership through the implementation of ethical guideposts, continuing education training, and the development of curricula designed to promote accountability among elected and appointed public officials.