Urban Justice Urban Justice Center individual rights - social change

The Urban Justice Center serves New York City's most vulnerable residents through a combination of direct legal service, systemic advocacy, community education and political organizing.

We often defend the rights of people who are overlooked or turned away by other organizations. We reach a wide-ranging client base through our Projects.

News and Events

Workers’ Rights Dialogue and Discussion of "Life, Interrupted"

Sex Workers Project Co-Director Crystal Deboise to discuss sex workers rights and human trafficking with Denise Brennan, author of “Life, Interrupted.”

Bluestockings Book Store
7 PM, Thursday, April 17
172 Allen St.


  • Leah Obias, Damayan Migrant Workers Association
  • Crystal DeBoise, Sex Workers Project
  • Denise Brennan, Georgetown University

Moderator: Florrie Burke, Chair Emeritus, the Freedom Network

City Council Awards CDP a Proclamation in Recognition of Outstanding Post-Sandy Work

On Monday, April 7th, the New York City Council issued CDP a Proclamation in recognition of their legal, research, and advocacy work in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.

The Proclamation, signed by City Council Recovery and Resiliency Committee members Chin, Menchaca, Mendez, Richards, and Treyger, recognizes CDP's post-Sandy recovery work of building power in affected low-income communities and empowering organizations and individuals to engage with city government.

Way to go CDP!

SNP's Miranda: NYCHA residents need to be treated as partners of NYPD

Public Housing Tenants crave safer hallways, but legacy policing practices silence these stakeholders while failing to prevent crime. In response, Safety Net Project Managing Director Denise Miranda took to the Daily News to stress the importance of rebuilding partnerships between residents and the NYPD.

Read more:

PDF "NYCHA residents need to be treated as partners of NYPD, not harassed: Urban Justice Center managing director," Daily News, April 6, 2014

De Blasio Picks 5 Members for Rent Board

Mayor de Blasio appoints UJC Associate Director Harvey Epstein to the Rent Guidelines Board, which determines rents for rent-regulated apartments in NYC. A big congratulations to Harvey and all the staff at the Community Development Project! Read more:

PDF "De Blasio Picks 5 Members for Rent Board," The New York Times, March 27, 2014

HRP is Pleased to Announce the Participants and Facilitators for our 2014 Human Rights Institute!

HRP is very pleased to announce the participants and facilitators that participated in our ninth annual Human Rights Institute, a selective three-day professional development program we co-sponsored with the US Human Rights Network. The institute brought together exceptional social justice advocates from across the country. Participants learned about the domestic applicability of human rights mechanisms, networked with other organizations, and joined the growing movement fighting for human rights in the United States. The 2014 cohort of fellows, who represent diverse issue areas and geographic locations, are passionate advocates and activists dedicated to promoting cultural, economic and social justice. The facilitators are some of the leading voices in the human rights field, and we're grateful that they joined us for this.

Please click here for more information about our extraordinary participants and facilitators.

Join UJC at the Museum of the City of New York for a Night Out!

A Night Out will return this year on Wednesday, June 18th for an evening of music, food, drinks, art, and dancing – all for a great cause!

This year, we're excited to announce that MSNBC star Chris Hayes will be joining us.

After last year's incredibly successful event, which featured Senator Cory Booker and The Breakfast Club from Power 105.1, we have decided to once again hold A Night Out at the magnificent Museum of the City of New York. A Night Out is a fantastic celebration of UJC's anti-poverty legal work, as well as a wonderful event for our hundreds of young supporters in the legal, financial, and professional fields. The event features exclusive nighttime access to all museum galleries, sponsored cocktails and dinner, music, a silent auction, and much, much more.

Order tickets here!

DVP Offers Free Legal Clinics

The Domestic Violence Project at the Urban Justice Center is offering free legal clinics on "Domestic Violence and Financial Repercussions" at the Manhattan Family Justice Center. The clinic will be offered until the end of June 2014, approximately twice a week. To make an appointment, contact Atossa Movahedi or Stephanie Davidson or call (212) 602-2868.

Download our flyer here.

New York City Council Human Rights Report Card Released

On March 25th, the Human Rights Project at the Urban Justice Center released its sixth annual New York City Council Human Rights Report Card. The Report Card is the only comprehensive assessment of New York City Council members' legislative records across a range of human rights areas including housing, workers' rights, justice, health, disability rights, government accountability, and voting. It is a tool to hold Council members, and the Council as a legislative body, accountable and to help us move toward a City in which all have their human rights fulfilled.

The Report Card is available in its entirety for a suggested donation of $10. Upon ordering, you will receive free access to a digital version of the Report Card along with your hard copies. To order the Report Card and to receive the password to access the electronic version, please visit the Human Rights Project page.

Read coverage in the press:

PDF "NY Councilmen earn top scores on human rights," NY Daily News, March 25, 2014

PDF "Human Rights Project releases report card on City Council," AM New York, March 25, 2014

PDF "And the city council's champion for human rights is ...," Labor Press, March 27, 2014

PDF "NYC human rights report card grades council members," Amsterdam News, March 30, 2014

Sex Worker’s Project Co-Director Crystal DeBoise On HuffPost Live

On March 20th, SWP Co-Director Crystal DeBoise spoke on a Huffington Post Live discussion panel, responding to issues arising from a new NIJ study that looked at the economies of prostitution in the US. Issues discussed included the legitimacy of the study as well as the legalization of prostitution and the remaining stigma against sex workers. DeBoise discussed human trafficking in the context of sex work as well as the benefits of decriminalizing prostitution.

SWP's Sienna Baskin on "All In"

Sex Workers Project Co-Director Sienna Baskin debates sex work legalization on All In with Chris Hayes, from the March 13, 2014 show.

New Report on NYC Public Housing After Sandy

CDP is pleased to share our newest report, Weathering the Storm: Rebuilding a More Resilient New York City Housing Authority Post-Sandy.

The report, using data from 600 surveys, interviews and background research, reveals some of the major issues that NYCHA residents have faced since Hurricane Sandy, such as slow and inadequate repairs, malfunctioning boilers, mold and a lack of job opportunities. The report offers practical and effective solutions that the new NYCHA Chair and City leadership can use as a roadmap as they partner with community-based organizations to assess how to spend Sandy-related funds, revise NYCHA's emergency procedures and consider broader NYCHA reforms.

This report was produced and written in collaboration with community organizations across the City, including Alliance for a Greater New York (ALIGN), Alliance for a Just Rebuilding (AJR), Community Voices Heard (CVH), Faith in New York (FINY), Families United for Racial and Economic Equality (FUREE), Good Old Lower East Side (GOLES), New York Communities for Change (NYCC) and Red Hook Initiative (RHI).

Read the full report and executive summary.

Read coverage in the press:
PDF NY Daily News: "17 months after Hurricane Sandy, NYCHA residents are still waiting for repairs: report," March 11, 2014
PDF Wall Street Journal: "Sandy Left Scars on Housing, Report Says," March 12, 2014

Renters Hope for Promised Freeze as de Blasio Prepares to Fill Guidelines Board

PDF NY Times: "Renters Hope for Promised Freeze as de Blasio Prepares to Fill Guidelines Board," March 9, 2014

Willets Point Shops Ink Deal

PDF Wall Street Journal: "Willets Point Shops Ink Deal," March 9, 2014 (Move to the Bronx Brings Residential-Retail Development Closer to Reality)

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