Equal Justice Initiative

Region of Impact
United States
Total funding
$2.4 million
Funding began in
2016
Focus
Inclusion

Overview

Using data to change the narrative on race in America

What they do

The Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) is committed to ending mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States, to challenging racial and economic injustice, and to protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society.

EJI was founded by Bryan Stevenson, a widely acclaimed public interest lawyer who has dedicated his career to helping the poor, the incarcerated and the condemned. EJI has won relief for over 120 wrongly convicted or illegally sentenced death row prisoners in Alabama and currently represents over 100 people condemned to die when they were children. EJI won major challenges banning life without parole sentences imposed on children in the United States Supreme Court.

In addition to providing legal assistance, EJI is working to change the conversation around racial injustice in the United States by deepening our understanding of history. EJI recently published the report Lynching in America: Confronting the Legacy of Racial Terror, which detailed how more than 4000 racial terror lynchings which took place between 1877 and 1950 profoundly reshaped our nation's demographics and contributed to the present-day criminalization of African Americans. By bringing such events to the fore, EJI hopes to foster a deeper examination of our past and promote reconciliation.

How we're helping

Google.org has also given $2.4 million in grant funding to support two projects that further EJI's racial justice work: a museum examining African American history and a national memorial to lynching victims. The museum, From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration, will explore the legacy of slavery, racial terrorism, segregation, and contemporary issues of mass incarceration, excessive punishment, and police violence. The Memorial to Peace and Justice will be the nation's first prominent memorial to lynching victims and will help communities publicly engage with the legacy of racial terror.

Project gallery

Exhibit commemorating victims of racial injustice, in which jars full of soil from Alabama lynching sites are arranged on shelves
A group gathers around a plaque on a city street. The plaque describes how warehouses in the area were historically used in the slave trade.

More inclusion projects