Non-profit

NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF)

This is a logo for NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. (link)
Location:

NEW YORK, NY

Tax ID:

13-1655255

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Budget (2015):

Revenue: $18,480,121
Expenses: $14,892,538
Assets: $54,303,424

The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF) is the litigation and legal policy affiliate of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). LDF uses strategic litigation and legal advocacy to advance a left-of-center agenda focused on issues related to African American and ethnic minority interests.[1] [2]

History

The NAACP LDF was founded as a part of the NAACP in 1940 by civil rights lawyer Thurgood Marshall, who would later serve as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court.[3] In 1957, LDF became a separate entity, but it remains closely affiliated with the NAACP.[4]

Early in its history, the LDF advocated for the desegregation of public schools and the overturn of the 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson Supreme Court decision, which legalized “separate but equal” segregation laws.[5] The organization’s advocacy and litigation resulted in the landmark Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education in 1954, which overturned the previous Plessy decision and segregation precedent. Afterwards, intense opposition to the ruling resulted in the LDF filing and litigating several more lawsuits in order to enforce the new Brown standard.[6]

The organization later played a role in advocating for the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Fair Housing Act, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.[7]

Since its initial court victories, the LDF has taken a further leftward bent towards what it deems “racial justice, equality and an inclusive society,” focusing its litigation on liberal economic policies and left-wing criminal justice reform.[8]

LDF has litigated other major Supreme Court cases such as Furman v. Georgia (1972), which challenged the constitutionality of the death penalty on the grounds of racial bias, leading to temporary halt of the practice and Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin (2016), which upheld the university’s affirmative action “race-conscious admissions program” for applying students.[9]

Starbucks “Racial Bias Training”

As of July 2018, Heather McGhee of Demos and Sherrilyn Ifill of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund served as curriculum advisers for Starbuck’s racial-bias training. They also released a separate report outlining suggestions for how Starbucks could achieve a “full-scale racial equity overhaul.”[10]

Federal Judicial Confirmations

After a publication from the left-of-center “news” organization Buzzfeed reported January 2019 on statements made by Neomi Rao, President Trump’s nominee for the D.C. Court of Appeals, the LDF made a statement against her confirmation. In the statement, the organization accused Rao of offensive language regarding date rape and “hostility to civil and human rights principles of equality.” [11]

Programs and Affiliates

In 2015 LDF began a program called the Thurgood Marshall Institute (TMI) with the help of Chuck Feeney’s offshore collection of foundations, Atlantic Philanthropies.[12] According to its website, TMI is a research, advocacy, and organizing branch of the LDF.[13]

The Earl Warren Legal Training Program, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, was created to offer African-American legal studies students scholarships in order to promote civil rights and public interest work.[14]

Funding

LDF is funded with grants from major left-of-center organizations. Since 1998, LDF has received significant funding from the Ford Foundation ($23 million as of 2015), and in 2016 received a $7.5 million grant from the foundation as an investment in the “long-term capacity and sustainability of social justice organizations.”[15][16] Between 1998 and 2010, the Rockefeller Foundation gave LDF $1.125 million in funding.[17]

Liberal billionaire George SorosFoundation to Promote Open Society and Open Society Foundations (OSF) are amongst the biggest funders of LDF, giving $2,623,000 and $965,206, respectively.[18] Jonathan Soros, gave an additional $400,000 through his and his wife’s Jennifer and Jonathan Allan Soros Foundation.[19]

Tides Foundation, a leftist pass-through organization and donor-advised fund manager, has given the LDF over $1 million.[20] Jewish Communal Foundation, a donor advised fund provider, has given LDF over $1 million as of 2015.[21] Another donor advised fund provider, Schwab Charitable Fund, has given LDF over $4 million in grants.[22]

Ploughshares Foundation, which aided the Obama administration’s controversial 2015 Iran Deal, has given LDF $285,000.[23]

Since 2001, the New York Community Trust has given over $5.6 million to LDF, and the San Francisco Foundation has given LDF $164,000.[24]

Notable Vendors

According to LDF’s 2016 Form 990, the organization contracted the Podesta Group, a now-defunct lobbying firm started by Tony Podesta, a Clinton operative and brother of Center for American Progress (CAP) founder John Podesta, for $156,280.[25]

People

Sherrilyn Ifill became the president and director-counsel of the NAACP LDF in 2012. Following her graduation from law school, Ifill participated in a fellowship at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).[26] Prior to joining LDF, Ifill served as board chair of the Open Society Foundations’ United States Programs.[27]

LDF has hired a number of former Obama administration employees including Melanie R. Newman, its Chief Public Engagement and Communications Strategist. Newman is the former Director of the Office of Public Affairs at the United States Department of Justice.[28] She is also the former Democratic National Committee National Press Secretary.[29]

Director of Policy Todd A. Cox was the former director of the Office of Communications and Legislative Affairs for the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission under the Obama administration.[30] His employment background also includes a senior fellowship and the Director of Criminal Justice Policy at the Center for American Progress.[31][32] Cox also worked in a leadership role at Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and as a Program Officer for the Ford Foundation.[33][34]

References

  1. “About.” NAACP LDF. Accessed July 11, 2018. http://www.naacpldf.org/about-ldf.
  2. “About.” NAACP LDF. Accessed July 11, 2018. http://www.naacpldf.org/about-ldf.
  3. “About.” NAACP LDF. Accessed July 11, 2018. http://www.naacpldf.org/about-ldf.
  4. “NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. 2016-2017 Annual Report.” IDF Website. Accessed July 9,2018. http://www.naacpldf.org/files/case_issue/Annual_report_06_22_2018_opt__.pdf
  5. “History.” NAACP LDF. Accessed July 11, 2018. http://www.naacpldf.org/history.
  6. “History.” NAACP LDF. Accessed July 11, 2018. http://www.naacpldf.org/history.
  7. “History.” NAACP LDF. Accessed July 11, 2018. http://www.naacpldf.org/history.
  8. “History.” NAACP LDF. Accessed July 11, 2018. http://www.naacpldf.org/history.
  9. “History.” NAACP LDF. Accessed July 11, 2018. http://www.naacpldf.org/history.
  10. Siegel, Rachel. “Starbucks’s ‘full-scale Racial Equity Overhaul’ Will Take More than an Afternoon, outside Review Says.” The Washington Post. July 02, 2018. Accessed July 05, 2018. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/business/wp/2018/07/02/starbucks-still-needs-a-full-scale-racial-equity-overhaul-outside-review-says/?utm_term=.a492f27c0f90.
  11. “The Most Extreme Trump Judicial Nominees Pending in the Senate: Neomi Rao, nominated to the DC Circuit.” The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. Uploaded March 2019. Accessed March 8, 2019. Original URL: http://civilrightsdocs.info/pdf/judicial-nominations/2018/most-extreme/TOC/Neomi-Rao.pdf; Available here: https://www.influencewatch.org/app/uploads/2019/03/neomi-rao-opposition-group-statements.pdf
  12. [1] “Mission.” The Thurgood Marshall Institute at LDF. Accessed July 12, 2018. https://www.tminstituteldf.org/about/mission/.
  13. “Mission.” The Thurgood Marshall Institute at LDF. Accessed July 12, 2018. https://www.tminstituteldf.org/about/mission/.
  14. “Scholarships.” NAACP LDF. Accessed July 12, 2018. http://www.naacpldf.org/scholarships.  
  15. “Grant Visualizer: NAACP.” Foundation Search. Accessed July 11, 2018. http://www.foundationsearch.com/
  16. “NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. 2016-2017 Annual Report.” IDF Website. Accessed July 9,2018. http://www.naacpldf.org/files/case_issue/Annual_report_06_22_2018_opt__.pdf
  17. “Grant Visualizer: NAACP Legal.” Foundation Search. Accessed July 11, 2018. http://www.foundationsearch.com/
  18. “Grant Visualizer: NAACP Legal.” Foundation Search. Accessed July 11, 2018. http://www.foundationsearch.com/
  19. “Grant Visualizer: NAACP Legal.” Foundation Search. Accessed July 11, 2018. http://www.foundationsearch.com/
  20. “Grant Visualizer: NAACP Legal.” Foundation Search. Accessed July 11, 2018. http://www.foundationsearch.com/
  21. “Grant Visualizer: NAACP Legal.” Foundation Search. Accessed July 11, 2018. http://www.foundationsearch.com/
  22. “Grant Visualizer: NAACP Legal.” Foundation Search. Accessed July 11, 2018. http://www.foundationsearch.com/
  23. “Grant Visualizer: NAACP Legal.” Foundation Search. Accessed July 11, 2018. http://www.foundationsearch.com/
  24. “Grant Visualizer: NAACP Legal.” Foundation Search. Accessed July 11, 2018. http://www.foundationsearch.com/
  25. NAACP Legal Defense & Education Fund, Inc, Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax, 2016, Schedule A, section B.
  26. “Sherrilyn Ifill.” NAACP LDF. Accessed July 11, 2018. http://www.naacpldf.org/sherrilyn-ifill.
  27. “Sherrilyn Ifill.” NAACP LDF. Accessed July 11, 2018. http://www.naacpldf.org/sherrilyn-ifill.
  28. “Melanie R. Newman.” NAACP LDF. Accessed July 12, 2018. http://www.naacpldf.org/melanie-r-newman.
  29. “Melanie R. Newman.” NAACP LDF. Accessed July 12, 2018. http://www.naacpldf.org/melanie-r-newman.
  30. “Todd Cox.” NAACP LDF. Accessed July 12, 2018. http://www.naacpldf.org/todd-cox.
  31. “RELEASE: Center for American Progress Welcomes Todd A. Cox as New Senior Fellow.” Center for American Progress. April 22, 2015. Accessed July 12, 2018. https://www.americanprogress.org/press/release/2015/04/22/109661/release-center-for-american-progress-welcomes-todd-a-cox-as-new-senior-fellow/.
  32. “Todd Cox.” NAACP LDF. Accessed July 12, 2018. http://www.naacpldf.org/todd-cox.
  33. “Todd Cox.” NAACP LDF. Accessed July 12, 2018. http://www.naacpldf.org/todd-cox.
  34. “Ford Foundation Annual Report 2015.” Ford Foundation Website. Accessed July 9,2018. https://www.fordfoundation.org/media/1532/ar2005.pdf

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. Jonathan Soros
    Board Member
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: June - May
  • Tax Exemption Received: April 1, 1940

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2015 Jun Form 990 $18,480,121 $14,892,538 $54,303,424 $7,312,078 N $15,682,220 $1,955,956 $628,503 $1,030,010 PDF
    2014 Jun Form 990 $12,911,115 $13,084,487 $51,965,428 $6,909,362 N $9,560,800 $2,205,519 $675,383 $690,046 PDF
    2013 Jun Form 990 $24,248,320 $15,430,352 $51,082,143 $8,640,573 N $7,461,310 $432,555 $543,360 $527,131 PDF
    2012 Jun Form 990 $16,855,581 $15,541,541 $35,098,865 $3,834,130 N $14,091,387 $1,709,356 $629,921 $419,813 PDF
    2011 Jun Form 990 $14,111,313 $13,000,596 $34,154,559 $2,327,183 N $10,923,245 $253,474 $682,281 $249,698 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF)

    40 RECTOR STREET 5TH FLOOR
    NEW YORK, NY 10006-1738