Other Group

Law for Black Lives (L4BL)

Website:

www.law4blacklives.org/

Location:

New York, NY

Status:

Project of NEO Philanthropy

Formation:

2015

Type:

Racial Advocacy Organization

Executive Director:

Marbre Stahly-Butts

Law for Black Lives (L4BL) is a self-described “political organization” [1] that includes more than “6,000 radical lawyers, legal workers, and law students.” [2] [3] L4BL members in 48 states support the dismantling of current government systems and democratize access to legal resources and protections. [4]

L4BL follows the lead of radical-left Movement for Black Lives and organizes Mama’s Bail Out Day, [5] which bails black mothers out of jail prior to Mother’s Day. [6] [7] L4BL is in collaboration with radical-left DefundPolice.org, [8] has worked with the radical-left National Lawyers Guild, [9] and supports defunding the police. [10] [11]

Marbre Stahly-Butts is the executive director of Law for Black Lives. In 2013, she was an Open Society Foundations Soros Justice Fellow [12] at the left-of-center Center for Popular Democracy. [13]

L4BL is fiscally sponsored by the left-of-center NEO Philanthropy. [14] In 2021, L4BL received $750,000 grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation through NEO Philanthropy for “equitable recovery.” [15] In 2020, L4BL received funds from the George Soros-funded Open Society Foundations. [16]

History and Leadership

Law for Black Lives is a self-described “political organization” [17] that was founded in 2015 at a two-day event organized by the Center for Constitutional Rights and a steering committee of lawyers. [18] [19] L4BL has grown to include more than “6,000 radical lawyers, legal workers, and law students,” [20] [21] in 48 states who dismantle current government systems and democratize access to legal resources and protections. [22] L4BL is committed to implementing a critical race theory-inspired intersectional, anti-racist practice throughout its work. [23] As of February 2022, L4BL is a project of the left-of-center NEO Philanthropy. [24]

Marbre Stahly-Butts is the executive director of Law for Black Lives. In 2013, she was an Open Society Foundations-funded Soros Justice Fellow [25] at the left-of-center Center for Popular Democracy. [26] While in law school, Stahly-Butts worked with the left-of-center Equal Justice Initiative and the Prison Policy Initiative. [27] In April 2021, she taught a course on critical race theory at the CUNY School of Law. [28] Stahly-Butts is also on a membership team of the Movement for Black Lives (M4BL) Policy Table [29] and a primary author of M4BL’s “Reparations Now Toolkit.” [30]

Activities

Law for Black Lives follows the lead of radical-left Movement for Black Lives in its activities. As a “female-led legal arm of the black liberation movement,” [31] L4BL supports defunding the police, [32] [33] prioritizes bail reform, decriminalization efforts, land reform, the establishment of cooperatives, and reparations. [34]

L4BL organizes Mama’s Bail Out Day, which bails black mothers out of jail prior to Mother’s Day, often using membership fees to fund the program. [35] [36] L4BL is in collaboration with radical-left DefundPolice.org, [37] has worked with the radical-left National Lawyers Guild, [38] and has worked as “protest watchers” to document police conduct at protests. [39]

Publications

Law for Black Lives also publishes a comprehensive bail toolkit, an education curriculum, and a guide for reimagining safety in communities, which was co-sponsored by the left-of-center Center for Popular Democracy and the Black Youth Project (BYP). [40]

Until Freedom Comes: A Comprehensive Bailout seeks to abolish bail and “mass incarceration” and claims that “white supremacy started to be established [in America] when Christopher Columbus arrived in 1492.” [41] The document provides sample documents, press releases, fundraising emails, and other documents to support the collection of bail funds. [42]

Transformative Bail Curriculum is a document which seeks to end bail as a “limited, but necessary, step towards ending mass incarceration. The curriculum was published after convening 20 black-led organizations including Black Lives Policy Table, Color of Change, Project NIA, W. Hayward Burns Institute, Brooklyn Community Bail Fund, Critical Resistance, Southerners on New Ground (SONG), and Andrea Ritchie. [43]

Freedom to Thrive analyzes policing budgets in major American cities and identifies a “participatory budget in which the public has the power to defund the Chicago Police Department” as one of the “people’s priorities.” [44]

National Bail Out Collective

Law for Black Lives is on the advisory committee for left-wing National Bail Out Collective, which is sponsored by the Highlander Research and Education Center. [45] [46] Other Groups in this collective include Color of Change, Southerners on New Ground (SONG), Black Lives Matter Memphis, the Black Alliance for Just Immigration, Brooklyn Community Bail Fund, Los Angeles Community Action Network, Dignity and Power Now, Essie Justice Group, Dream Defenders, Movement for Black Lives, Philadelphia Community Bail Fund, Texas Organizing Project, the Ordinary People Society, National Bailout, and Baltimore Action Legal Team. [47] National Bail Out seeks to abolish bail and mass incarceration and claims that “white supremacy started to be established [in America] when Christopher Columbus arrived in 1492.” [48]

Conferences

“Incubated by the National Bailout Collective,” Law for Black Lives also hosts webinars and conferences. [49] [50] In 2022, it will partner with the left-of-center Center for Constitutional Rights, Advancement Project, Forward Justice, Movement Law Lab, Highlander Research and Education Center, Community Justice Project, and others for the Lawyering for Liberation: Defending Black Lives, Building Black Power conference. Topics for discussion at this conference include the critical race theory-influenced concept of abolition, anti-capitalism, internationalism, black queer feminism, and disability justice. [51]

Funding

Law for Black Lives is fiscally sponsored by the left-of-center NEO Philanthropy. [52] L4BL is also in partnership with Network for Good to process additional online donations. [53] L4BL also receives funds from annual membership fees [54] and merchandise sales on its website. [55]

In 2021, L4BL received a grant from the left-of-center Change.org [56] and a $750,000 grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation via NEO Philanthropy for “equitable recovery.” [57] In 2020, L4BL received funds from the George Soros-funded Open Society Foundations [58] and $100,000 from Open Philanthropy Project. [59] L4BL received $295,000 from left-of-center Borealis Philanthropy [60] and $150,000 from Open Philanthropy Project in 2019. [61]

L4BL has also received $100,000 from Astraea Foundation in 2018; [62] $100,000 from Wellpsring Philanthropic Fund in 2017;  [63] and $10,000 from the Warsh Mott Legacy Foundation via the left-progressive Center for Constitutional Rights. [64]

References

  1. “Values.” Law for Black Lives. Accessed February 19, 2022. https://www.law4blacklives.org/values. ^
  2. “Law for Black Lives Membership Video.” YouTube. Uploaded May 25, 2021. Accessed February 19, 2022. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ykVJGPgz6RE&t=50s. ^
  3. “Welcome to Membership.” Law for Black Lives. Accessed February 19, 2022. https://www.law4blacklives.org/membership. ^
  4. “Spotlight on Fiscal Sponsorship: Law for Black Lives.” NEO Philanthropy. Accessed February 18, 2022. https://neophilanthropy.org/spotlight-fiscal-sponsorship-law-black-lives/. ^
  5. “Mission Statement.” Law for Black Lives. Accessed February 19, 2022. https://www.law4blacklives.org/our-work-1. ^
  6. “Spotlight on Fiscal Sponsorship: Law for Black Lives.” NEO Philanthropy. Accessed February 18, 2022. https://neophilanthropy.org/spotlight-fiscal-sponsorship-law-black-lives/ ^
  7. “Frequently Asked Questions.” Law for Black Lives. Accessed February 19, 2022. https://www.law4blacklives.org/membership-faqs. ^
  8.  “DefundPolice.org.” DefundPolice.org. Accessed February 19, 2022. https://defundpolice.org/about/. ^
  9. “National Lawyers Guild 2020 Annual Report.” National Lawyers Guild. Accessed February 19, 2022. https://www.nlg.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/2020-Annual-Report-Web.pdf. ^
  10. “Tweet.” Twitter. Posted March 2, 2021. Accessed February 19, 2022. https://twitter.com/Law4BlackLives/status/1366765711532691467?cxt=HHwWlsC48YqL3fclAAAA. ^
  11. “Tweet.” Twitter. Posted May 25, 2021. Accessed February 19, 2022. https://twitter.com/Law4BlackLives/status/1397310467928993795?cxt=HHwWhsC9nfSdn-QmAAAA. ^
  12. “Marbre Stahly-Butts.” Open Society Foundations. Accessed February 19, 2022. https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/grants/soros-justice-fellowships?fellow=marbre-stahly-butts&filter_year=2019&current=1. ^
  13. “Our Team.” Law for Black Lives. Accessed February 19, 2022. https://www.law4blacklives.org/about-us. ^
  14. “Spotlight on Fiscal Sponsorship: Law for Black Lives.” NEO Philanthropy. Accessed February 18, 2022. https://neophilanthropy.org/spotlight-fiscal-sponsorship-law-black-lives/. ^
  15. “NEO Philanthropy.” MacArthur Foundation. Accessed February 19, 2022. https://www.macfound.org/grantee/neo-philanthropy-39197/. ^
  16. Racial Justice in the Untied States.” Open Society Foundations. July 13, 2020. Accessed February 19, 2022. https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/newsroom/racial-justice-in-the-united-states. ^
  17. “Values.” Law for Black Lives. Accessed February 19, 2022. https://www.law4blacklives.org/values. ^
  18. “Law for Black Lives Membership Video.” YouTube. Uploaded May 25, 2021. Accessed February 19, 2022. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ykVJGPgz6RE&t=50s. ^
  19. “Law for Black Lives.” Idealist. Accessed February 20, 2022. https://www.idealist.org/en/nonprofit/22b005f8e0c346e49db362034fc09dac-law-for-black-lives-new-york. ^
  20. “Law for Black Lives Membership Video.” YouTube. Uploaded May 25, 2021. Accessed February 19, 2022. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ykVJGPgz6RE&t=50s. ^
  21. “Welcome to Membership.” Law for Black Lives. Accessed February 19, 2022. https://www.law4blacklives.org/membership. ^
  22. “Spotlight on Fiscal Sponsorship: Law for Black Lives.” NEO Philanthropy. Accessed February 18, 2022. https://neophilanthropy.org/spotlight-fiscal-sponsorship-law-black-lives/. ^
  23. “Call for Panel Submissions.” Law for Black Lives. Accessed February 19, 2022. https://www.law4blacklives.org/panel-submissions. ^
  24. “Law for Black Lives C/O NEO Philanthropy.” Law for Black Lives. Accessed February 18, 2022. https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/l4bl. ^
  25. “Marbre Stahly-Butts.” Open Society Foundations. Accessed February 19, 2022. https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/grants/soros-justice-fellowships?fellow=marbre-stahly-butts&filter_year=2019&current=1. ^
  26. “Our Team.” Law for Black Lives. Accessed February 19, 2022. https://www.law4blacklives.org/about-us. ^
  27. “Marbre Stahly-Butts, Esq.” New York City Complaint Review Board. Accessed February 19, 2022. https://www1.nyc.gov/site/ccrb/about/board/marbre-stahly-butts.page. ^
  28. “Allumni Classroom Visit: Lawyering for Liberation: Critical Race Theory with Prof. Marbre Stahly-Butts.” CUNY School of Law. April 15, 2021. Accessed February 19, 2022. https://www.law.cuny.edu/event/alum-visit-to-lawyering-for-liberation-critical-race-theory-class-w-prof-marbre-shaley-butts/. ^
  29. “Marbre Stahly-Butts.” Namati. Accessed February 19, 2022. https://namati.org/network/member/Marbre/. ^
  30. Movement For Black Lives. Reparations Now Toolkit. Accessed February 19, 2022. https://m4bl.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Reparations-Now-Toolkit-FINAL.pdf. ^
  31. “Mission Statement.” Law for Black Lives. Accessed February 19, 2022. https://www.law4blacklives.org/our-work-1. ^
  32. “Tweet.” Twitter. Posted March 2, 2021. Accessed February 19, 2022. https://twitter.com/Law4BlackLives/status/1366765711532691467?cxt=HHwWlsC48YqL3fclAAAA. ^
  33. “Tweet.” Twitter. Posted May 25, 2021. Accessed February 19, 2022. https://twitter.com/Law4BlackLives/status/1397310467928993795?cxt=HHwWhsC9nfSdn-QmAAAA. ^
  34. “Mission Statement.” Law for Black Lives. Accessed February 19, 2022. https://www.law4blacklives.org/our-work-1. ^
  35. “Spotlight on Fiscal Sponsorship: Law for Black Lives.” NEO Philanthropy. Accessed February 18, 2022. https://neophilanthropy.org/spotlight-fiscal-sponsorship-law-black-lives/. ^
  36. “Frequently Asked Questions.” Law for Black Lives. Accessed February 19, 2022. https://www.law4blacklives.org/membership-faqs. ^
  37. “DefundPolice.org.” DefundPolice.org. Accessed February 19, 2022. https://defundpolice.org/about/. ^
  38. “National Lawyers Guild 2020 Annual Report.” National Lawyers Guild. Accessed February 19, 2022. https://www.nlg.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/2020-Annual-Report-Web.pdf. ^
  39.  “Resources for Being Proactive to Influence Positive Change.” Federal Bar Association. Accessed February 19, 2022. https://www.fedbar.org/resources-for-being-proactive-to-influence-positive-change/. ^
  40. Law for Black Lives, Center for Popular Democracy, and Black Youth Project 100. “Freedom to Thrive.” ^
  41. “Until Freedom Comes: A Comprehensive Bailout Toolkit.” National Bail Out. 2018. Accessed February 19, 2022. https://southernersonnewground.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Until-Freedom-Comes-A-Comprehensive-Bailout-Toolkit.pdf. ^
  42.  “Until Freedom Comes: A Comprehensive Bailout Toolkit.” National Bail Out. 2018. Accessed February 19, 2022. https://southernersonnewground.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Until-Freedom-Comes-A-Comprehensive-Bailout-Toolkit.pdf. ^
  43.  Color of Change, The Movement for Black Lives, Law for Black Lives, Brooklyn Community Bail Fund, Project NIA, SONG. “Transformative Bail Reform.” Accessed February 19, 2022. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1o9UyprQgHsaNo-zDmsJTaUPgrOJDLBK_/view. ^
  44.  [1] The Center for Popular Democracy, Law for Black Lives, and Black Youth Project 100. “Freedom to Thrive.” Accessed February 19, 2022. https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5500a55ae4b05a69b3350e23/t/595cf69b1b631b031e0542a5/1499264677929/Freedom+to+Thrive+Web.pdf. ^
  45. “Frequently Asked Questions.” National Bail Out. Accessed February 19, 2022. https://www.nationalbailout.org/faqs. ^
  46. “Funding.” National Bail Out. Accessed February 19, 2022. https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5ee3e6daef2dae4504c991d1/t/5f21aee29066042cd11e025b/1596042981080/NBO+Gift+Instructions+%281%29.pdf. ^
  47. “Until Freedom Comes: A Comprehensive Bailout Toolkit.” National Bail Out. 2018. Accessed February 19, 2022. https://southernersonnewground.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Until-Freedom-Comes-A-Comprehensive-Bailout-Toolkit.pdf. ^
  48. “Until Freedom Comes: A Comprehensive Bailout Toolkit.” National Bail Out. 2018. Accessed February 19, 2022. https://southernersonnewground.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Until-Freedom-Comes-A-Comprehensive-Bailout-Toolkit.pdf. ^
  49. “Webinars.” Law for Black Lives. Accessed February 19, 2022. https://www.law4blacklives.org/webinars. ^
  50. “Law for Black Lives Membership Video.” YouTube. Uploaded May 25, 2021. Accessed February 19, 2022. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ykVJGPgz6RE&t=50s. ^
  51. “Call for Panel Submissions.” Law for Black Lives. Accessed February 19, 2022. https://www.law4blacklives.org/panel-submissions. ^
  52. “Spotlight on Fiscal Sponsorship: Law for Black Lives.” NEO Philanthropy. Accessed February 18, 2022. https://neophilanthropy.org/spotlight-fiscal-sponsorship-law-black-lives/. ^
  53. “Law for Black Lives C/O NEO Philanthropy.” Law for Black Lives. Accessed February 18, 2022. https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/l4bl. ^
  54. “Membership Information.” Law for Black Lives. Accessed February 19, 2022. https://www.law4blacklives.org/membershipinformation. ^
  55. “Featured Products.” Law for Black Lives. Accessed February 19, 2022. https://law-for-black-lives.creator-spring.com/. ^
  56. “change.org Partners with North Star Fund to Distribute $5.5 million to 35+ Black-led organizations.” Cision PR Newswire. September 15, 2021. Accessed February 19, 2022. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/changeorg-partners-with-north-star-fund-to-distribute-5-5-million-to-35-black-led-organizations-301377957.html. ^
  57. “NEO Philanthropy.” MacArthur Foundation. Accessed February 19, 2022. https://www.macfound.org/grantee/neo-philanthropy-39197/. ^
  58. “Racial Justice in the Untied States.” Open Society Foundations. July 13, 2020. Accessed February 19, 2022. https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/newsroom/racial-justice-in-the-united-states. ^
  59. “Law for Black Lives – Criminal Justice Reform.” Open Philanthropy. April 2020. Accessed February 19, 2022. https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/criminal-justice-reform/law-for-black-lives-criminal-justice-reform-2020. ^
  60. “Borealis Philanthropy.” Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax. (Form 990). 2019. Schedule I. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/464598642/202002879349300645/full. ^
  61. “Law for Black Lives – Criminal Justice Reform.” Open Philanthropy. May 2019. Accessed February 19, 2022. https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/criminal-justice-reform/law-for-black-lives-criminal-justice-reform. ^
  62. “Astraea Foundation Inc.” Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax. (Form 990). 2017. Schedule I. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/132992977/201901359349307560/full. ^
  63. “Wellspring Philanthropic Fund Inc.” Return of Private Foundation. (990-PF). 2017. Part XV. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/223692921/201932879349100313/IRS990PF. ^
  64. “Warsh Mott Legacy.” Return of Private Foundation. (990-PF). 2015. Part XV. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/680049658/201721509349100452/IRS990PF ^
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