Advancement Project

The Advancement Project is a politically liberal American nonprofit organization that focuses on racial justice issues.[1] The organization has a national office in Washington, D.C., as well as a California-specific office based in Los Angeles.[2]

Advancement Project
Advancement Project logo.png
FounderPenda Hair and Constance L. Rice
TypeNon-profit corporation
PurposePolitical advocacy
HeadquartersWashington, D.C.
Region served
United States Edit this at Wikidata

Organization overviewEdit

The Advancement Project was founded in 1999 by civil rights lawyers in Los Angeles and Washington D.C.[3]

The organization is made up of two offices: Advancement Project National Office (based in Washington, D.C.) and Advancement Project California.[2]

Advancement Project Co-Director Judith Browne Dianis

The executive director of the Advancement Project's national office is Judith Browne Dianis.[4] The executive director of the California-based office is John Kim.[5] The founding co-directors include Advancement Project co-founders Constance L. Rice, Stephen R. English, and Molly Munger.[5]


Advancement Project National OfficeEdit

The Advancement Project National Office is known for its opposition to voter ID laws[6][7] and advocates for automatic voting rights restoration for all felons.[8][9] This includes working with Voice of the Experienced (VOTE), a Louisiana non-profit organization in 2017.[10] In 2018, the organization was also actively involved in the passage of Amendment 4 in Florida, which restores voting rights to most ex-felons.[11]

The Advancement Project National Office also advocates for an end to school disciplinary measures which it believes disproportionately put minority children into a school-to-prison pipeline.[12][13] In 2018, the organization's national office partnered with the Alliance for Educational Justice and released a national report on the state and impact of police presence in schools.[14][15]

The organization has taken part in Moral Mondays protests, which are liberal demonstrations against Republican public policies.[16][17]

In 2019, Ben & Jerry's partnered with the Advancement Project on a campaign focused on criminal justice reform.[18] [19] The campaign included efforts to shut down a St. Louis jail, Workhouse, and other similar jails.[18]

Advancement Project CaliforniaEdit

In 2017, Advancement Project California launched RACE COUNTS which surveyed California's counties to rank them according to racial disparity. The disparities were measured based on economic opportunity, healthcare access, education, housing, democracy, crime and justice, and environment.[20] Marin and Imperial County were ranked highest for racial disparity.[21]

In 2019, the organization reported on the lack of child care facilities in the state.[22] In April 2020, the organization advocated for a pause on permanent California school closings during the COVID-19 pandemic. The organization identified the schools at risk of permanent closure within the most densely populated counties in California.[23] The organization also asked the state to invest in communities impacted by COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders based on children who do not have access to early education or child care.[24]

In May 2020, the organization released a policy brief showing the disproportionate number of COVID-19 cases between Black or Latino residents and white residents in Los Angeles County.[25] The policy brief also showed that communities with higher poverty rates had more COVID-19 cases than wealthier communities.[25][26]

Board of directorsEdit

Both Advancement Project's National Office in Washington, D.C. and Advancement Project California are governed by a 16-member board of directors.[27] As of 2019, the board included Bill Lann Lee, Joe Alvarez, Arlene Holt Baker, Harry Belafonte, Stephen R. English, Rinku Sen, Helen Kim, Daniel Leon-Davis, Ash-Lee Henderson, Alberto Retana, Barrett S. Litt, Molly Munger, Katherine Peck, Constance L. Rice, Tom Unterman, and Jesse Williams.[4][5]


  1. ^ Moore, Solomon (September 13, 2007). "Gangs Grow, but Hard Line Stirs Doubts". New York Times. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
  2. ^ a b Range McDonald, Patrick; Stewart, Jill (March 27, 2012). "Molly Munger's Prop. 38 Is Spoiling Jerry Brown's Prop. 30. She's Not Sorry". LA Weekly. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
  3. ^ Ferriss, Susan (January 14, 2013). "School discipline reform groups question proposals for armed security". Center for Public Integrity. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
  4. ^ a b "Advancement Project 2018 Annual Report" (PDF). Retrieved 2020-03-25.
  5. ^ a b c "2019 Annual Impact Report Advancement Project California" (PDF). Retrieved 2020-03-25.
  6. ^ Wilson, Reid (October 2, 2014). "Voting rights advocates want Supreme Court to block Wisconsin voter ID law". Washington Post. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
  7. ^ Lachman, Samantha (March 23, 2015). "Supreme Court Won't Consider Challenge To Wisconsin Voter ID Law". Huffington Post. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
  8. ^ Mock, Brentin (February 1, 2013). "What's Next For the Voting Rights Movement?". The Nation. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
  9. ^ Murphy, Ryan (July 16, 2013). "McDonnell outlines process for restoring voting rights for felons". Daily Press. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
  10. ^ "Civil rights groups fight to restore ex-felon voting rights". Louisiana Weekly. Retrieved 2020-06-04.
  11. ^ "More than a million convicted felons in Florida won their voting rights back. Now what?". Miami Herald. Retrieved 2020-05-19.
  12. ^ Nave, R.L. (May 13, 2015). "Defining Effective School Discipline in JPS". Jackson Free Press. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
  13. ^ Maxwell, Zerlina (November 27, 2013). "The School-to-Prison Pipeline Is Targeting Your Child". Ebony. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
  14. ^ "New Website Tracks School Police Violence Against Students of Color". Diverse. 2019-08-27.
  15. ^ "Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley Tackles The 'PUSHOUT' Of Black Girls At School". Essence. 2019-09-17.
  16. ^ Among, Maryalice (June 24, 2013). "'Moral Mondays' in North Carolina". MSNBC. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
  17. ^ Keyes, Scott (June 28, 2013). "The Biggest Liberal Protest Of 2013". Think Progress. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
  18. ^ a b "Ben & Jerry's Takes on Criminal Justice Reform with New Flavor, Justice Remix'd". The Root. Retrieved 2020-04-28.
  19. ^ "Ben & Jerry's New Ice Cream Flavor Takes Aim At Racism In The Criminal Justice System". Huffpost. 4 September 2019. Retrieved 2020-04-28.
  20. ^ "Think race isn't a problem in California? New report shows otherwise". Orange County Register. 2017-12-01. Retrieved 2020-04-06.
  21. ^ "Marin ranks worst in racial disparity in new statewide analysis". 15 February 2018.
  22. ^ "Obstacles deter many California child care providers from building, expanding facilities". EdSource. Retrieved 2020-04-20.
  23. ^ "Advocates urge Newsom to order schools not to permanently close any buildings". EdSource. Retrieved 2020-07-14.
  24. ^ Stavely, Zaidee. "Preschool and child care plans slashed under California governor's proposed budget". EdSource. Retrieved 2020-07-22.
  25. ^ a b "Coronavirus ravages poorer L.A. communities while slowing in wealthier ones, data show". Los Angeles Times. 2020-05-28. Retrieved 2020-07-16.
  26. ^ Champlin, Caroline. "There's Unequal Risk And More Than One Curve Suggested In COVID-19 Data". LAist. Archived from the original on 2020-07-01. Retrieved 2020-07-20.
  27. ^ "Board of Directors" Archived 2015-02-04 at the Wayback Machine, Advancement Project

External linksEdit