The Akerman Racial Justice Initiative (ARJI) envisions a world free of discrimination and with true equal justice under law. ARJI will activate Akerman’s resources and engage national and local partnerships to address systemic causes and defenders of racial inequities in our justice system, including the implementation of strategies designed to promote transparency and to hold those who engage in racism accountable for their actions.
Using a multi-faceted approach, the ARJI involves significant pro bono participation, education, community outreach, activism, and financial support. Combined with the time and effort of our lawyers and staff, we will advance the cause of racial justice throughout the country with key organizations aligned with our strategic objectives, including:
- Law Firm Antiracism Alliance: Akerman is part of a coalition of law firms dedicated to working with other organizations that are uniting to identify and dismantle systemic racism in the law and in government institutions. The newly launched coalition aims to harness the power and resources of some of the country’s largest law firms to address systemic racism in a long-term, high impact, and collaborative way. By joining LFAA, Akerman commits to leverage its philanthropic and pro bono resources to amplify the voices of communities and individuals oppressed by racism; better use the law as a vehicle for change to benefit communities of color; and to promote racial equality in the law and in government.
- ACLU of Louisiana: Akerman is among a group of U.S. law firms joining the ACLU of Louisiana’s litigation campaign to challenge racially discriminatory policing practices. The initiative, called “Justice Lab: Putting Racist Policing on Trial,” seeks, over time and in a sustained fashion, to bring up to 1,000 cases in Louisiana challenging racially motivated stops and seizures under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments and any other applicable laws.
We participate in important activities focused on bringing about meaningful change in addressing the longstanding racial inequities in our system of justice, including:
- Working to increase law enforcement accountability and transparency through matters such as Section 1983 litigation.
- Working to repeal statutes shielding law enforcement records from public scrutiny, such as helping the Law Enforcement Action Partnership's (LEAP) efforts to support the repeal of Section 50-a of the New York Civil Rights Law.