The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is America’s premier legal organization fighting for racial justice. Founded in 1940 under the leadership of Thurgood Marshall, who subsequently became the first African American U.S. Supreme Court Justice, LDF was launched at a time when the nation’s aspirations for equality and due process of law were stifled by widespread, state-sponsored racial inequality. From that era to the present, LDF’s mission has always been transformative: to achieve racial justice, equality, and an inclusive society.
Through litigation, advocacy, and public education, LDF seeks structural changes to expand democracy, eliminate disparities, and achieve racial justice in a society that fulfills the promise of equality for all Americans. Working in four inter-related focus areas—Political Participation, Criminal Justice Reform, Economic Justice, and Education Equity— LDF seeks to:
- Achieve full African American civic engagement and participation in the democratic process.
- Diminish the role of race in the criminal justice system.
- Increase fairness and African American participation in all aspects of economic life.
- Afford greater access to racially integrated, high quality public education for students of color and eliminate racial disparities in education.
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