Inform. Inspire. | Remind. Renew.
The Arc of Justice Project is a non-profit initiative focused on the distinct role of law in American history. Our goal is to facilitate meaningful civic engagement and to achieve a broadened, intergenerational understanding of the American legal system and its place in a just society.
A better future demands we understand our bitter past. That's why education about law as an institution is our principal concern. However, few know just how much the American story has been shaped and sustained by the historic and vital role of lawyers and judges. In fact, American history can sometimes be understood best by looking at it through the lens of the legal efforts associated with its development. Present national challenges indicate how critical this really is.
The work of The Arc of Justice Project focuses on the distinct relationship law has to the history and the hopes of the American people. We provide this education with one simple thought in mind; once properly understood, our bitter past can lead us to a better future.
OUR FIRST WORKS. . .
Our survey of the law's contribution to American history begins with our podcast, Hidden Legal Figures. But we think it's more than a podcast. We think of it as an oral museum, and our episodes are like exhibits that showcase how law has shaped the American story. And the best exhibits - the best lessons - are the legal efforts associated with the Civil Rights Movement.
The legal and judicial efforts ensuring civil and human rights, which span the entirety of our nation’s history, are not part of our national memory. Hidden Legal Figures rediscovers those untold stories and brings them into plain view in a weekly podcast that is entertaining, educational, and compelling. The podcast is supplemented by a detailed sketch of legal figures discussed in its episode (click here for a sample sketch).
The new season of Hidden Legal Figures begins October 6, 2020 and is available on Apple podcasts or other popular listening apps.
. . . AND WHAT WE'RE WORKING TOWARDS
Our educational focus continues with the development of The Arc of Justice Ideas Ex+Change. The goal of this civic education initiative is to improve the public appreciation of constitutional principles by examining them in light of certain contemporary challenges. First, articles written by our carefully selected panel of Arc of Justice Fellows provide thought-provoking insight on how our Constitution works and how it can endure. Later, their contribution will form the basis of a full-fledged conference.
More information about The Arc of Justice Ideas Ex+Change coming soon...
The original idea that brought The Arc of Justice Project into existence was the creation of an exhibit to recognize the heroic and vital contribution that lawyers and judges made to the civil rights movement. It was called Under the Color of Law and was to be "the-first-of-its-kind" in civic and cultural education. However, because of the emergence of the pandemic, and the resulting uncertainties on public gatherings it has produced, our emphasis has changed - - just a little.
We remain committed to the original concept of education through cultural influence, but in its place, we are exploring the development of a web-based interactive exhibit called "A More Perfect Union." This "first-instance, next-generation learning opportunity" will give users a state-by-state snapshot of how lawyers engaged the relentless pursuit of liberty and justice for all. One of its principal interactive features will give users the chance to match the lawyers with their states, their cases, and the legal issues they handled. Get it right, and you can help create a more perfect union!
Plans are also in the works for the development of a documentary based, in part, on the exhibit and the focus of the second season of our podcast, Hidden Legal Figures.
More information coming soon...
The laws that defined life in the Jim Crow south were warped, but it was also the law that gave us the tools to dismantle segregation, piece by rotten piece. Lawyers have bent that arc of the universe toward justice. It is clear that, in our current fight, lawyers must continue to lead the charge.
COME. GET ON THE ARC!
OUR GUIDING PRINCIPLES
SOME THOUGHTS ABOUT THE ARC. . .
Civil rights lawyers have transformed this country, for the better, by demanding change (and getting it). And we need these dedicated public servants now more than ever!
Leah Ward Sears, Former Chief Justice, Georgia Supreme Court
I think the movement would have been a failure without the presence and support of great lawyers. . . I hope that whenever we speak of the movement we would give to the next generation a wider view and greater understanding of their contribution.
Rev. Otis Moss, Jr., Civil Rights Leader
Lawyers will always be vital to making the Constitution's promise to establish justice for all a reality. The Arc of Justice Project contributes mightily to our understanding of the civil rights movement by highlighting the heroic role of lawyers who chose to make a difference in the struggle for justice and equality.
Linda Klein, Past President, American Bar Association
It would be hard to imagine the Civil Rights Movement without the aid of lawyers. The Arc of Justice Project reminds us that when we take a stand, we can bear witness to lasting change.
Roy E. Barnes, Former Governor, State of Georgia