Change the South,
Change the Nation


Change the South.
Change the Nation.

Join us in supporting movements that are transforming the country.

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Sign up to receive email updates about our movement work, campaigns, volunteer opportunities, events, and legal cases.

What We Do

Forward justice is a nonpartisan law, policy, and strategy center dedicated to advancing racial, social, and economic justice in the U.S. South.

We are organizers, lawyers, creatives, strategists and directly impacted people dedicated to ensuring that the ‘we’ in We the People is truly inclusive and representative of ALL Americans.

Our work catalyzes success for movements and expands democratic opportunities for people affected by injustice. The victories we achieve together accelerate national change.

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Here’s How We Do It

We serve as a strategic partner for nonprofit organizations, coalitions, and networks at the forefront of movements organizing for a more just, equitable, and free South.

Change laws, policies, and practices

The first reconstruction era in the US abolished slavery; the second advanced civil rights. We must now usher in the third reconstruction of America to ensure that liberty and justice for ALL is a tangible reality.


Build a base of people and organizations

We work with people and organizations to protect existing systems that foster equity, rebuild systems that only work for a select few, and to create new policies and systems that fit our vision of a south that’s equitable for everyone.


Shift narrative, culture, and values

We provide platforms and opportunities for directly impacted people to share their stories and speak truth to power to challenge and change narratives about the criminal legal system, poverty, racial injustice, and our right to access the ballot.



Covid Decarceration Resources

We’ve reached a landmark settlement with the state of North Carolina that will result in the unprecedented early release of at least 3,500 people in custody inside state prisons. We invite you to use and share this page as a resource as we continue navigating the coming weeks and months together in our effort to quickly and safely reduce the population in state prisons to save lives.

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Uplifting Emerging Black Leaders of Today

As our nation stands in this pivotal moment, we want to introduce you to some of the emerging leaders of today who are leading in the movement and community to help ensure that we’re able to build strong Black Futures for generations to come.

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Building Black Futures

As we celebrate Black History Month and the wins and lessons from social movements of the past, we must also think about the Black Futures that are being built right now.

This week we’re uplifting our partners at Leading into New Communities (LINC) and Wash Away Unemployment.

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Voices From the Inside: The Impact of COVID-19 on Incarcerated People

The COVID-19 pandemic presents a clear and urgent crisis for those currently incarcerated or at risk of becoming incarcerated, as prisons and jails present the highest risk of illness from the virus.


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NC Copwatch Launch

Forward Justice launched, an interactive website that allows community members to access department & officer stop, search, and use of force data for every traffic stop reported in NC.


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FAQ for Voting with a Criminal Record in NC

In September, a three judge panel ruled that thousands of people on community supervision whose inability to pay fines and fees extended their probation and parole can now register to vote.

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Event: Voting is Power Unleashed! #MoralMonday Mass Assembly

Forward Justice is proud to partner with the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival and NAACP Legal Defense Fund for this evening of information and inspiration.

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Amicus Briefs Filed in Support of Plaintiffs in the Community Success Initiative, et. al., v. Moore Case

Multiple amicus curiae briefs have been filed in support of Plaintiffs in the Community Success Initiative, et. al., v. Moore case in Wake County Superior Court, regarding the restoration of voting rights for individuals currently on probation or post-release supervision for a felony conviction in North Carolina.

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Amicus Briefs Filed In Support of NC NAACP in Photo Voter ID Case Appeal

On July 20, 2020, three amicus curiae briefs were filed in support of Plaintiffs-Appellees in N.C. NAACP v. Raymond, the photo voter ID appeal in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals (Case No. 20-1092).

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Stories from the Second Chance Alliance chapters

The official launch of the “Clean Slate Campaign” took place on May 7, 2019 at the bi- annual Second Chance Advocacy Day, which has occurred since 2011, and is anchored by Forward Justice, Community Success Initiative, North Carolina Justice Center and other Second Chance Alliance (SCA) members.

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Dontae’s Story

Dontae Sharpe, now Forward Justice R.I.S.E. Fellow, freed after serving 26 years in case of wrongful conviction.

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