April 9, 2019: The New York Bar Foundation recently awarded a grant of $4,820 to the Legal Action Center in support of our New York Sealing and Voting Project. “On behalf of the clients we serve, all of us at the Legal Action Center are incredibly grateful for TNYBF’s support of this critical project, which helps New Yorkers take advantage of a new sealing law to erase the devastating collateral consequences of past justice-involvement,” says LAC President and Director, Paul Samuels. “This first-of-its-kind sealing law in New York State has the potential to allow millions of New Yorkers to clear their records and move forward with their lives.”
People should have the opportunity to rebuild their lives without the countless impediments old criminal records can pose, and The New York Bar Foundation’s support will allow LAC to help individuals and families throughout New York overcome the many discriminatory barriers to employment, housing, education and other critical needs that often coincide with an old conviction. LAC will continue to develop and share resources on both sealing eligibility and process in New York State, as well as the voting rights of residents with criminal records, so they are aware of their right to fully participate in our shared democracy.
The Legal Action Center thanks The New York Bar Foundation for its ongoing support of this crucial work, which will surely have a positive impact on individuals, families, and communities throughout the State. By raising awareness of the need for access to civil legal services and allocating resources to help meet these needs, TYNBF will help make access to justice a reality for New Yorkers and, thereby, enhance the understanding of and respect for the rule of law. “The New York Bar Foundation has allocated nearly $700,000 in grants to more than 85 programs across New York significantly increasing the total dollar amount of grants over the past several years,” said Lucia Whisenand, chair of the Grant Review Committee. “The issues we touch on are extensive and impact people in life changing ways.”
The New York Bar Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organizations, is the charitable arm of the New York State Bar Association. Established in 1950, the Foundation is dedicated to aiding charitable and educational projects to meet the law-related needs of the public and the legal profession. New York Bar Foundation grants assist in: increasing public understanding of the law, improving the justice system and the law, facilitating the delivery of legal services, and/or enhancing professional competence and ethics.
Established in 1973, the Legal Action Center is the only non-profit law and policy organization in the United States whose sole mission is to fight discrimination against people with histories of addiction, HIV/AIDS, or criminal records, and to advocate for sound public policies in these areas.