WASHINGTON, DC – In 1984 Ronald McKeithen was sentenced to die in prison for a convenience store robbery in Birmingham, Alabama. No one was physically injured in the robbery, and no shots were fired, but life without parole was the mandatory sentence under the state’s “three strikes” law. Ronald spent 37 years in prison until Alabama Appleseed took on his case in 2020 and won his release.
The Appleseed Foundation is pleased to welcome seven new members to our Board of Directors. At its May meeting in Montgomery, Alabama, the Appleseed Foundation Board unanimously elected Beverly Allen, Sharie Brown, Pete Davis, Lisa Dewey, Daniel Dominguez, Markus Green, and Richard Jerome. We are thrilled to be joined by seven individuals who will bring such remarkable expertise to the organization.
18 Organizations Call on U.S. Secretary of Transportation to Ensure Equity in Infrastructure Spending
WASHINGTON, DC -- This week, the Appleseed Foundation, the Shriver Center on Poverty Law, and 16 members of the Appleseed Network and the Shriver Center’s Legal Impact Network joined together in an urgent letter to U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg. The organizations call on Secretary Buttigieg to ensure that all Americans, regardless of race, color, or national origin, benefit from the newly passed Bipartisan Infrastructure Law by putting Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 at the forefront of the federal government’s funding decisions and spending oversight.
Last week, Alabama’s legislature passed a $1.3 billion plan to build two new 4,000 bed prisons in the state. The billion-dollar prison construction bill contains no funding for necessary medical and mental health care, no funding for rehabilitative services and safety programs, no funding for reentry support to reduce recidivism, and no plan for how Alabama will staff two new megaprisons when the state is only able to staff its existing prisons at 40%.
WASHINGTON, DC – The power of pro bono partnerships and advocacy networks to resolve complex community challenges was a main theme among speakers at the Appleseed Foundation’s annual Pillars of Justice Celebration on September 9. The event’s speakers, including Pillar of Justice Award honorees John Johnson of Edgeworth Economics and the Law Firm Antiracism Alliance (LFAA), shared examples of pro bono partnerships that have provided concrete benefits on a broad range of issues, including economic advancement, systemic racism, and the rule of law.
I am thrilled to announce the launch today of the Appleseed Network Opportunity Fund, established and made possible by the generous support of John Johnson, the CEO and Co-Founder of Edgeworth Economics and Edgeworth Analytics.
Four Centers Within the Appleseed Network File Public Comments with the U.S. Department of Education on the State of School Discipline in America
Advocacy Organizations Urge Biden Administration to Ramp Up Enforcement of Federal Civil Rights Laws in Schools Across the United States
WASHINGTON — Four member organizations of Appleseed, a network of justice centers, submitted public comments to the United States Department of Education on Thursday, July 22, concerning the national state of school discipline. By focusing on four questions posed by the Department of Education to the public, Texas Appleseed, Massachusetts Appleseed Center for Law & Justice, South Carolina Appleseed Legal Justice Center, and Kansas Appleseed illustrate how school policing, gang databases, discriminatory dress codes, and classroom removals hinder millions of young people from achieving their full potential in classrooms across America.
Appleseed Names John Johnson and the Law Firm Antiracism Alliance Recipients of 2021 Pillars of Justice Awards
WASHINGTON, DC – The Appleseed Foundation will present its Pillars of Justice award to John Johnson and the Law Firm Antiracism Alliance at the annual Appleseed Pillars of Justice Celebration on September 9. The Pillars of Justice award recognizes individuals and organizations who have shown remarkable leadership and commitment to advancing justice for all.
Earlier this week in Atlanta, GA, eight people were murdered in three separate spas. Six of the victims were Asian women. During this period of grief, our hearts go out to the victims and their loved ones.
Appleseed justice centers across the country seek to amplify community voices and empower community members to be involved in decision-making processes. At New Jersey Appleseed Public Interest Law Center, Executive Director Renee Steinhagen is engaged in multiple litigation efforts helping community groups to properly participate in administrative and judicial hearings and enforce community empowerment provisions.
I’d like to take a moment to celebrate the release of Ronald McKeithen, an Alabama man sentenced to life without parole for a first-degree robbery – in which no physical harm occurred – 37 years ago. Ronald is one of the many victims of Alabama’s draconian Habitual Felony Offenders Act, mandating life without parole for anyone convicted of a felony if they have three prior felonies on their record, regardless of whether they were nonviolent crimes or how long ago they occurred. This past summer, Alabama Appleseed took on Ronald’s case and, as of December, successfully won his release. They have since been helping him adjust to daily life in the midst of a global pandemic after 37 years inside a correctional facility.
The white supremacy-fueled insurrection at the United States Capitol Building last week was a horrifying reminder of the hard work we have ahead. The Appleseed Network is dedicated to dismantling racism, advancing democracy and the rule of law, and building a more just society, now and for future generations.
Appleseed Mexico was founded in 2003 with a mission to strengthen the country’s civil society organizations and provide systemic legal support for vulnerable communities. A key component of Appleseed Mexico’s work has been building up a thriving pro bono culture in Mexico to help more, and to help better.
Appleseed is mourning the loss of Mark Joelson, one of our founding members, who passed away last week.
Mark’s life embodied the pursuit of justice that lies at the heart of Appleseed’s mission. A Jewish refugee who escaped to America at the age of seven, shortly before the Nazis occupied his hometown, Mark built a distinguished legal career that earned him the Order of the British Empire from Queen Elizabeth II in 2001.
Appleseed Centers celebrate new judicial rulings affirming the importance of an inclusive and complete census count
An inclusive and complete census is essential for the communities Appleseed serves, and today we are celebrating two recent judicial decisions.