Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) provides free legal assistance to about 2,000 people per year. They have won new trials, reduced sentences or exonerations for over 140 death row prisoners. As a result of EJI's successful litigation campaign challenging juvenile life without parole sentences, thousands of people who were condemned to die in prison for juvenile offenses have been resentenced and hundreds have been released. EJI also provides a myriad of resources designed to help other lawyers achieve justice for their clients.
EJI also uses investigative research, reports, community education and advocacy to address the nation’s history of racial inequality. They built and operate the Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration and National Memorial for Peace and Justice, which have been visited by over a million people since opening in 2018. EJI has also installed over sixty lynching markers nationwide (with duplicate markers installed at the Memorial) to commemorate the victims of these horrific hate crimes.
In 2020, Bently Foundation granted Equal Justice Initiative $200,000 to support their general operations which helped EJI: provide 750 teachers with resources about racial injustice and the need for criminal justice reform; launch a webpage providing educators with free access to resources about lynching and reconstruction; enhance COVID safety protocols at the Legacy Museum and National Memorial for Peace and Justice; build a new Legacy Museum that is four times the size of the original and includes new content on the transatlantic slave trade, reconstruction, lynching, segregation, and mass incarceration; include in the museum a new art gallery with major works from celebrated Black artists; dedicate dozens of new lynching markers, and; continue to represent hundreds of clients and continue to fight for justice system reform.
Photos courtesy of EJI/ Human Pictures: "National Memorial for Peace and Justice Corridor 3"; "National Memorial for Peace and Justice: Raise Up by Hank Willis Thomas"