Our Social Justice Accelerator turns good ideas into great results. Just listen to our first cohort!
“As a young executive director, the mentorship and guidance provided by UJC’s leadership team on everything from fundraising to hiring has been invaluable.”
-Jamie Sgarro, Founder, AsylumConnect (now InReach)
AsylumConnect’s free technology connects users to verified LGBTQ+ affirming and immigrant friendly legal, medical, mental health and social services in seconds, 24/7. The first-of-its-kind resource platform is designed to address the unique needs of the most vulnerable members of the LGBTQ+ community.
In just our first year at UJC, we expanded our free resource website and mobile app to list verified safe services across 25 U.S. states and launched in Canada. At the same time, our platform was accessed by over 12,000 users across 147 countries (over 9,500 users in America). For our work helping persecuted LGBTQ+ people find safety, our executive director Jamie Sgarro was also named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 Class of 2020 (Law & Policy). When AsylumConnect reaches scale, every LGBTQ+ person will know where it is safe to go for help regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, immigration status or income level. Learn more at www.asylumconnect.org
“UJC connected me to potential funders, assisted me with the intimidating 501c3 application process, and strategized with me as I set up my organization’s programming and services.”
Lauren Blodgett, Founder – The Brave House
The Brave House is a sisterhood for young immigrant women in New York City. We focus on supporting survivors of gender-based violence and we strive to protect the legal rights of our members, enhance their career opportunities, and co-create a space where they can connect, have fun, and be brave.
Since launching in spring of 2019 as part of the first cohort of the Social Justice Accelerator, we have grown membership to 65 young women from 12 different countries across the world. Our mission is to promote wellness, life skills, and a sense of belonging so that all girls can thrive regardless of where they are from or what they have been through.As the only non-profit in NYC working specifically with immigrant girls, we are able to offer specialized, trauma-informed services and events, which range from art therapy to dance class to financial literacy and English tutoring.
“We’ve had the invaluable opportunity to learn from and network with all the other amazing projects at UJC as we grow our cause and fight for social justice.”
Tim Nevius, Founder – College Athlete Advocacy Initiative
While at UJC, we worked with lawmakers and fellow advocates to help shape and influence historic reform in college sports. We submitted amicus briefs on two big recent Supreme Court victories for athletes, and created our first ever PSA on college athletes, which has been viewed and shared by tens of thousands of people across the internet.
We have also represented college athletes in challenging matters, including the Nebraska softball team, which made national news in speaking out against the abuse and mistreatment they suffered.
Our executive director has been called upon to offer testimony in support of proposed legislation and is frequently cited in the media as a leading voice for the College Athlete Advocacy. We have made enormous strides, but the progress has just begun!
“With the support of UJC, Power of Purpose gained immediate credibility and has grown from an idea to a non-profit poised to change the lives of Bronx youth.”
Jenay Nurse & Kwame Thompson, Founders – Power of Purpose
Since our official launch, PoP has mentored over 250 Bronx youth through our various programs. In the summer of 2019, PoP launched a 12-week basketball tournament for at-risk youth. The tournament teams were purposely devised to include youth who were affiliated with rival gangs, and all youth were required to receive mentoring before and after each game. According to Captain Keiyon S. Ramsey, the commanding officer of the local police precinct, “The Top of the Hill tournament is directly responsible for having no shootings amongst my Housing Developments… this was a safe place run by the community and for the community.”
Fresh off this success, the leaders of PoP were mentored by Urban Justice staff to successfully apply for our first major grant, creating a school-based mentoring program at the Urban Assembly Charter School for Computer Science (“Comp Sci High”). We’re excited to grow from here!
“SJA helped S.T.O.P. quickly go from a launch plan to an internationally-recognized leader in the fight against government surveillance.”
Albert Cahn, Founder – Surveillance Technology Oversight Project
S.T.O.P. was founded in 2019 to highlight the discriminatory impact of surveillance on Muslim Americans, immigrants, and communities of color.
Just during our time at UJC, S.T.O.P. brought suits against the NYPD and MTA on behalf of vulnerable New Yorkers demanding transparency, accountability, and an end fo biased surveillance tactics. We backed legislation requiring serious reforms to the NYPD disclosure and use of high-tech surveillance tools. And S.T.O.P. held dozens of know your rights trainings, panel discussions, and other educational events. We’ve helped build national coalitions and appeared in hundreds of articles and op-eds to change the public discourse on the most pressing privacy issues in the country. We’re fighting for the future – thanks to UJC and the SJA.