The Washington Lawyers’ Committee Announces $900K Gift from MacKenzie Scott and Launches Campaign to Raise $1 Million

January 10, 2024

The Washington Lawyers’ Committee Announces $900K Gift from MacKenzie Scott and Launches Campaign to Raise $1 Million

WASHINGTON, DC – The Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs (“WLC”) has announced a historic $900,000 investment from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott through her foundation Yield Giving. This gift is the single largest donation in WLC’s 55-year-old history. This gift will allow WLC to expand its racial justice work on behalf of low-income communities of color in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.  WLC’s key focus areas include education equity, disability justice, fair housing, workers’ rights, criminal legal system reform, and immigrant justice.

“We celebrate MacKenzie Scott’s recognition of civil rights litigation as an essential tool in the fight for racial justice and equity,” said WLC Executive Director Joanne Lin. “With this transformational gift, we will deepen our partnerships with low-income communities of color to advance racial justice. Together, we will strive to dismantle systems of racial oppression and to pursue lasting change in the Washington, DC region and the nation.”

The gift comes during the first year of Ms. Lin’s tenure as Executive Director and coincides with the launch of a strategic planning process. Situated in the nation’s capital, WLC is on the cutting edge of civil rights battles that affect communities across the country. WLC will leverage this gift to raise another one million dollars in 2024 to:

  • Make fair housing a reality by preserving affordable housing, fighting for safe habitable housing, and opening doors to housing for returning citizens
  • Promote economic justice by fighting for education equity for students with disabilities, winning back stolen wages for workers subjected to wage theft, protecting workers subjected to harassment or discrimination
  • Reform our criminal legal system by ending police brutality, halting abusive prison practices, promoting decarceration, and supporting reentry for returning citizens

“Whether we’re running weekly workers’ rights clinics or representing prisoners subjected to abuse or suing the Proud Boys for attacking a Black church – the WLC uses every tool in the toolbox to advance racial justice and to eradicate racial oppression. Our mission is to create a more just, inclusive, and equitable society. And our mission has never felt more urgent – as we gear up for a monumental election year in 2024, for Washington, DC, and the nation.”

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