Memorial Corridor at The National Memorial for Peace and Justice
Memorial Corridor at The National Memorial for Peace and Justice (photo: Wikimedia/Soniakapadia)

Equal Justice Initiative

This nonprofit advocates for prison reforms and offers legal representation to people who have been unjustly convicted of crimes.

Equal Justice Initiative provides legal representation to individuals who are serving time in prison after having been unfairly convicted and guarantees such representation to anyone on Alabama’s death row. It also aids children who are tried as adults and people who have been abused in prisons, challenges excessive sentences and the death penalty, and helps formerly incarcerated people adjust to life on the outside. Through research, reports, exhibitions, workshops, classes, and a museum, EJI additionally seeks to educate communities about the history of systemic racism in America and promote racial and social justice.

Lawyer Bryan Stevenson founded the Montgomery, Alabama–based organization in 1989. His bookJust Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, tells the story of how early in his career he worked to overturn the conviction of Walter McMillian, who served six years on Alabama’s death row for a murder he did not commit. The book was adapted into an acclaimed film starring Jamie Foxx as McMillian.

BJT readers—who represent one of the highest-net-worth magazine audiences anywhere—clearly have the means to contribute to a better world. To help you do that, we regularly spotlight deserving organizations that received a four-star overall rating from Charity Navigator, which evaluates philanthropic institutions based on their finances, accountability, and transparency.