CRRJ's year-end reports summarize our activities and case docket.
The Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Project at Northeastern University School of Law brings together lawmakers, lawyers, activists, researchers, journalists and the families of victims of racial homicides to study and redress the systemic failures of the mid-twentieth century criminal justice system. We engage in a form of legal archeology: recovering documents lost to history, examining the fault lines of each case, and conceptualizing continuities over time. Our students interview witnesses and family members, document their memories, and share official accounts of the events. We design remedial projects – including legal measures – that respond to the interests and aspirations of communities.
CRRJ maintains the most comprehensive archive on racial homicides in the country, comprising records of federal, state and local law enforcement, civil rights groups, and state and federal courts, images and recorded histories. Each year we partner with archival and media experts to preserve our growing collection and render it accessible to researchers and the general public.
In 2023, CRRJ investigated cases beyond the Deep South for the first time, and continues its work with descendant communities.
This year, CRRJ led a clinic of 14 students at Northeastern University School of Law and provided experiential learning opportunities and internships to undergraduate and graduate students from across the country. This cohort helped expand CRRJ’s investigative work beyond the Deep South for the first time. CRRJ expanded our restorative justice initiatives and provided support for reparative policies through the Racial Redress and Reparations Lab.
In 2023, we worked with families in Mississippi and Georgia to plan commemorative events and pursue memorialization projects. We published a toolkit, Redressing Historical Racial Injustices: A Toolkit for Policymakers and Advocates, designed for state and local policymakers, staff, and advocates, which introduces a range of policy approaches to remediating historical racial injustices, including racial violence, oppression, and discriminatory policies and practices. In doing so, we have continued to contribute to the work of scholars and activists who are shaping the national conversation on racial harms and redress.
In 2022, CRRJ expanded its case investigations and launched the Burnham-Nobles Digital Archive.
In 2022, CRRJ publicly launched the Burnham-Nobles Digital Archive, marking the culmination of 15 years of research, investigation, and preservation. We celebrated the launch of the Archive, and the publication of Margaret Burnham’s book, By Hands Now Known: Jim Crow’s Legal Executioners, at a conference that brought together students, scholars, practitioners, and descendants to explore the impact and potential applications of the Archive.
This year, CRRJ students traveled to North Carolina, Georgia, and Maryland to investigate cases and meet with descendants. We also expanded our restorative justice initiatives and provided support for reparative policies through the Racial Redress and Reparations Lab. In 2022, we worked with families in Louisiana and Georgia to plan commemorative events and pursue memorialization projects. We have contributed to the work of scholars and activists who are shaping the national conversation on racial harms and redress.
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