Non-profit

New Jersey Institute for Social Justice

Website:

www.njisj.org/

Location:

NEWARK, NJ

Tax ID:

22-3478143

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Budget (2019):

Revenue: $1,933,973
Expenses: $2,474,900
Assets: $6,074,901

Formation:

1997

Type:

Civil Rights Advocacy Group

The New Jersey Institute for Social Justice (NJISJ) is a New Jersey-based, left-of-center civil rights organization. Notably active in the city of Newark, the NJISJ publishes research on racial discrimination in housing, employment, and incarceration, pushing for left-of-center policy change in those areas. The NJISJ also sits on the Newark Police Department’s Independent Monitor to promote left-of-center policy on policing. [1]

Founding and History

The New Jersey Institute for Social Justice (NJISJ) was founded in 1997 by lawyer Alan Lowenstein and his private foundation, the Alan V. and Amy Lowenstein Foundation. [2] Alan Lowenstein was best known for his work as the chairman of the Newark Charter Commission, which he led in its 1953 restructuring of the city of Newark’s government to allow for direct election of its mayor and city council. [3]

The NJISJ was largely inactive until 1999, when, in an apparent response to the death of Amy Lowenstein, the organization suddenly received hundreds of thousands of dollars in gifts. [4] Lowenstein used the sale of his family’s steel business to fund this rapid expansion. [5] Alongside the Alan V. and Amy Lowenstein Foundation, early funders of the nonprofit included the Prudential Foundation, the Sagner Family Foundation, and the Victoria Foundation. [6]

The NJISJ’s original officers and board of trustees consisted of several prominent New Jersey legal scholars. Most notable among them were former U.S. Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach, Senior Judge for the District Court of New Jersey Dickinson R. Debevoise, and Douglas S. Eakeley, chairman of the Legal Services Corporation and former Assistant Attorney General of New Jersey. [7] The nonprofit’s first executive director was Kenneth Zimmerman, former director of the left-of-center Open Society Policy Center’s U.S. programs and a litigation partner at Lowenstein Sandler law firm. [8]

The NJISJ’s early work focused on researching urban housing and schooling discrimination in New Jersey. It slowly grew throughout the 2000s to include prison and voting policy change in its mission. [9] The nonprofit frequently received six-figure grants from the renamed Lowenstein Foundation, the left-of-center Nicholson Foundation, and the now-defunct JEHT Foundation. [10]

In 2007, Cornell William Brooks became executive director of NJISJ. Under his leadership, the organization expanded its workforce development programs and spearheaded the state’s adoption of subsidized bonds for university construction projects that utilized services from underrepresented populations. [11] Alongside then-Mayor of Newark Cory Booker (D), the NJISJ also championed several left-of-center prisoner re-entry bills, which were among the first in the nation. [12]

In 2014, Brooks left the NJISJ to become president of the NAACP, and in 2015, the NJISJ hired Ryan Haygood as its next executive director. [13]

In 2016, the U.S. Department of Justice selected NJISJ to be part of the Newark Police Department’s Independent Monitor, which oversees the conduct of the Newark Police Department. [14]

Present Activities

The New Jersey Institute for Social Justice (NJISJ) publishes research on what it terms as “The Three Pillars of Social Justice”: economic disparities, criminal justice, and electoral policy. Using this research, NJISJ pushes for related policy changes, which often align with left-of-center and Democratic policies. [15]

The NJISJ was among the left-leaning nonprofits which supported New Jersey’s 2021 expansion of early voting, which critics called a rash, politically motivated decision that neglected the logistical concerns behind updating voter rolls and machines. [16]

Finances

The New Jersey Institute for Social Justice (NJISJ)’s most recent publicly available financial filings from 2019 show total revenues of $1,933,973 and total expenses of $2,474,900. [17]

Leadership

The executive director of the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice (NJISJ) is Ryan Haygood. Prior to joining NJISJ, Haygood was the deputy director of litigation at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. While at the NAACP, he was a noted opponent of voter identification laws, which he alleged were racially discriminatory. [18] According to the NJISJ’s most recent publicly available financial filings from 2019, Haygood draws a yearly salary of $211,200. [19]

References

  1. “The Three Pillars of Social Justice.” New Jersey Institute for Social Justice. Accessed August 13, 2021. https://www.njisj.org/programs. ^
  2. “Our Mission.” New Jersey Institute for Social Justice. Accessed August 13, 2021. https://www.njisj.org/about. ;  “New Jersey Institute for Social Justice | PACE CENTER.” Princeton University. The Trustees of Princeton University. Accessed August 13, 2021. https://pace.princeton.edu/get-involved/pace-programs/internships-fellowships/guggenheim-internships-criminal-justice/internship-positions/new-jersey-institute-social-justice. ^
  3. Hevesi, Dennis. “Alan Lowenstein, 93, Lawyer, Is Dead; REVISED Newark Government.” The New York Times. The New York Times, May 10, 2007. https://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/10/obituaries/10lowenstein.html. ^
  4. “NJISJ 2001 990.” ProPublica. ProPublica. Accessed August 13, 2021. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/223478143/2002_03_PF%2F22-3478143_990PF_200109. ^
  5. “Our History.” New Jersey Institute for Social Justice. Accessed August 13, 2021. https://www.njisj.org/history. ; “Paid Notice: Deaths Lowenstein, Amy.” The New York Times. The New York Times, August 22, 1999. https://www.nytimes.com/1999/08/22/classified/paid-notice-deaths-lowenstein-amy.html. ^
  6. “NJISJ 2001 990.” ProPublica. ProPublica. Accessed August 13, 2021. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/223478143/2002_03_PF%2F22-3478143_990PF_200109. ^
  7. “History.” History – National Center for Law and Economic Justice. Accessed August 13, 2021. https://nclej.org/history. ^
  8. “Feb. 28: NJ Institute for Social Justice to CELEBRATE 20th Anniversary.” Insider NJ. Accessed August 13, 2021. https://www.insidernj.com/press-release/feb-28-nj-institute-social-justice-celebrate-20th-anniversary/. ^
  9. “NJISJ 2001 990.” ProPublica. ProPublica. Accessed August 13, 2021. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/223478143/2002_03_PF%2F22-3478143_990PF_200109. ^
  10. “NJISJ 2006 990.” ProPublica. ProPublica. Accessed August 13, 2021. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/223478143/2007_05_PF%2F22-3478143_990PF_200609. ^
  11. “Cornell Williams Brooks NAACP Presser .” Internet Archive. Accessed August 13, 2021. https://web.archive.org/web/20160303234627/http://naacp.3cdn.net/53d9ea1e53e77bfe5c_lhm6beqqs.pdf. ; “Anchor Institutions Initiative.” New Jersey Institute for Social Justice. Accessed August 13, 2021. https://www.njisj.org/economic-opportunity/anchor-institutions-initiative/. ^
  12. “Cornell Williams Brooks NAACP Presser .” Internet Archive. Accessed August 13, 2021. https://web.archive.org/web/20160303234627/http://naacp.3cdn.net/53d9ea1e53e77bfe5c_lhm6beqqs.pdf. ^
  13. “Ryan P. Haygood to Lead the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice.” New Jersey Business Magazine. Accessed August 13, 2021. https://njbmagazine.com/njb-news-now/ryan-p-haygood-lead-new-jersey-institute-social-justice/. ^
  14. “Building a New Relationship between the Community and Police.” New Jersey Institute for Social Justice. Accessed August 13, 2021. https://www.njisj.org/reimagining_policing. ^
  15. “The Three Pillars of Social Justice.” New Jersey Institute for Social Justice. Accessed August 13, 2021. https://www.njisj.org/programs. ^
  16. Tully, Tracey. “New Jersey Will Expand Voting Rights, as Some States Limit Them.” The New York Times. The New York Times, March 29, 2021. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/29/nyregion/new-jersey-voting-rights.html. ^
  17. “New Jersey Institute for Social Justice Inc – Nonprofit Explorer.” ProPublica, May 9, 2013. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/223478143. ^
  18. “Ryan P. Haygood to Lead the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice.” New Jersey Business Magazine. Accessed August 13, 2021. https://njbmagazine.com/njb-news-now/ryan-p-haygood-lead-new-jersey-institute-social-justice/. ^
  19. “New Jersey Institute for Social Justice Inc – Nonprofit Explorer.” ProPublica, May 9, 2013. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/223478143. ^
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: September - August
  • Tax Exemption Received: November 1, 1998

  • 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
    2019 Sep Form 990 $1,933,973 $2,474,900 $6,074,901 $1,068,502 N $1,830,155 $0 $129,191 $210,000 PDF
    2018 Sep Form 990 $1,321,937 $1,862,646 $6,856,249 $1,285,827 Y $1,264,884 $0 $103,297 $195,000 PDF
    2017 Sep Form 990 $1,540,826 $1,562,365 $6,449,584 $503,972 Y $1,222,568 $79,063 $117,516 $185,000 PDF
    2016 Sep Form 990 $1,128,698 $1,652,638 $6,223,198 $682,764 Y $1,044,116 $0 $130,377 $354,005 PDF
    2015 Sep Form 990 $1,320,140 $1,873,469 $6,137,879 $397,086 Y $864,837 $0 $130,068 $232,042 PDF
    2014 Sep Form 990 $1,368,691 $1,812,018 $7,400,900 $457,690 Y $941,345 $0 $130,872 $211,471 PDF
    2013 Sep Form 990 $1,494,044 $1,994,407 $7,511,334 $190,536 Y $1,036,532 $0 $169,800 $561,672 PDF
    2012 Sep Form 990 $1,658,665 $2,080,604 $7,517,278 $168,899 Y $1,094,463 $0 $133,554 $229,500 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    New Jersey Institute for Social Justice

    60 PARK PL STE 511
    NEWARK, NJ 07102-5504