Legal Service Partners
Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity (PLSE)
PLSE was founded in 2011 by three civil rights attorneys to help people in low-income, primarily minority communities attack what they identified as one of the greatest impediments to their individual and collective success: the criminal record histories of their residents. Since then, we have followed the strong, successful model created by the late Rev. Dr. Leon H. Sullivan, calling on neighborhoods to come together to combat the issue through community education and empowerment, collective investment and action, neighbor helping neighbor, and forcing change by the sheer force of numbers, voices, and resolve. PLSE counsels more people about criminal records, files more expungement petitions, and, through trained volunteers, helps more people file pardon applications than any other organization in the country.
GET CONNECTED: Facebook, @PLSPhilly; Twitter, @PLSEPHILLY; Instagram, @plse_philly
Defender Association of Philadelphia
Originally created in 1934 as the Philadelphia Voluntary Defender Association, the agency’s primary mission was then and continues to be to represent indigent people accused of crimes. In response to the Supreme Court’s Gideon decision, which required the government to provide legal representation to criminal defendants pending charges punishable by more than one year in prison, the City of Philadelphia contracted with the Defender Association to fulfill its constitutional mandate. Today, Defender employs 453 professionals and administrative staff and receives almost all of its funding through a contract with the City of Philadelphia to provide legal services to indigent criminal defendants. Defender Association represents over 60% of the people arrested in the city of Philadelphia and over 90% of people with pending violations of probations.
GET CONNECTED: Facebook, @phillydefenders; Twitter, @phillydefenders; Instagram, @phillydefenders
Community Legal Services (CLS)
CLS has long been a leader in criminal record clearing and advocacy, has hosted community-based expungement clinics since 2014, and transitioned to virtual expungement clinics since the pandemic began in March 2020. CLS’ passionate, diverse, and talented team delivers exceptionally high-quality holistic legal services to clients, while challenging systemic injustice and pushing for more equitable laws and policies. CLS has a particular interest and expertise in bringing solutions like record clearing to scale and does so through knowledge of the Clean Slate law, which vastly expanded access to record-clearing in Pennsylvania, the use of cutting-edge technology like the Expungement Generator, and CLS’ record screening tool at mycleanslatepa.com, extensive knowledge and experience with every aspect of criminal records and employment law, and deep ties with community organizations and neighborhoods affected by over-policing.
GET CONNECTED: Facebook, @clsphila; Twitter, @CLSPhila; Instagram, @CLSPhila; LinkedIn, Community Legal Services
Event Host Partners
African Cultural Alliance of North America (ACANA)
Founded in 1999 by African musicians in Philadelphia, ACANA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that serves African and Caribbean immigrants, refugees and families by providing access to social and legal services and consultancy, community programs, public and mental health screenings and resources, benefits counseling, and other services. With a special focus on the resettlement of women, children, youth and the elderly, ACANA promotes education, community development and integration as well as the preservation of African arts and culture through public performances, arts education and resources for artists.
GET CONNECTED: Facebook, @ACANA Philadelphia; Twitter, @acanaevents, Instagram @acanaus, LinkedIn, African Cultural Alliance of North America
Beyond Literacy (Belit)’s mission is to expand opportunities and improve lives by unleashing the power of literacy through free, high-quality education. BeLit is a newly merged organization, comprised of two of the oldest and most successful adult literacy agencies in the city (Center for Literacy and Community Learning Center), offering educational opportunities that help our community of learners become more successful workers, parents, and neighbors. BeLit offers a range of programs, including Adult Basic Education, ESL programming, and workforce development programming. With a longstanding commitment to improving the lives of Philadelphians, Belit is a known and trusted voice and advocate for Philadelphians facing challenges.
GET CONNECTED: Facebook, @beyondliteracyphilly: Twitter, @beyondliteracy; Instagram, @beyondliteracyphilly; LinkedIn, Beyond Literacy; YouTube, Beyond Literacy
Ceiba’s mission is to promote the economic development and financial inclusion of the Latino community through collaborations and advocacy aimed at ensuring access to quality housing. Ceiba is a leader in meeting the asset-building needs of unauthorized immigrants in Philadelphia. It is the only community organization in Philadelphia designated by the IRS as a Certifying Acceptance Agent to facilitate Individual Tax Identification Number (ITINs) applications, which allow unauthorized immigrants to file tax returns. Ceiba also is an active partner in the UWGPSNJ’s Lubert Individual Development Account Program. Ceiba is a strong advocate for the rights of people who are Limited English Proficient (LEP) and comes to the record-clearing program with community trust and many established partnerships.
GET CONNECTED: Facebook, @ceibaphiladelphia; YouTube, CEIBA Philadelphia
Eastern North Philadelphia Workforce Development Corp
Eastern North Philadelphia Workforce Development Corporation ENPWDC is a workforce development organization created in 2007 by Nueva Esperanza, Inc. (“Esperanza”) and established as a separate 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in 2010. Since 2015, ENPWDC has operated the North Philadelphia PA CareerLink Center, where the organization assists approximately 18,000 jobseekers annually with job training, job search, and other services. Among the strengths ENPWC brings to the project are: deep ties to the City’s Latinx community, a bilingual staff, experience planning and hosting a wide range of community events, well equipped meeting spaces, and close ties with organizations offering relevant client services—including nonprofit legal services, benefits access, housing and financial counseling, tax preparation, and K-14 education.
GET CONNECTED: 215-324-0746
Community College of Philadelphia Foundation
The Community College of Philadelphia Foundation provides resources to support the College’s mission and enhance and enrich the educational experiences of its students. As the CCP’s private development arm, the Foundation partners with individuals, businesses, foundations, and other organizations to fund scholarships, equipment, professional development, capital needs, and more, while bringing together community leaders to serve as ambassadors for the school. The Foundation raises funds through its annual fund campaign, special events programs, and individual and corporate solicitations. Programs of study in the liberal arts and sciences, career technologies, and basic academic skills provide a coherent foundation for college transfer, employment, and lifelong learning. The College prepares students to be informed and concerned citizens, to be active participants in the cultural life of the city, and to meet the changing needs of business, industry, and the professions. They have held record-clearing events in the past and look forward to expanding upon this work.
GET CONNECTED: 215-751-8042
Community of Compassion CDC
Founded in 2001 as an outgrowth of The Church of Christian Compassion, the Community of Compassion CDC is a 501(c)3 nonprofit focused on the redevelopment and revitalization of the community. A wide array of programs and initiatives—including culturally responsive youth mentoring, senior living, health and wellness supports, and food distribution— improve quality of life, promote community development, and empower individuals to reach their own personal potential.
GET CONNECTED: Facebook, @CommunityofCompassionCDC; Instagram, @communityofcompassioncdc
The Elevation Project
The Elevation Project serves both formerly incarcerated and at-risk individuals with a holistic array of services to empower new beginnings and open new opportunities. Programs include the Reentry Support Hub in West Philadelphia, offering assistance with benefits and job applications, resume development, clothing, and other supports; the Transformative Business Center with meeting space, computer lab and other equipment, along with technical assistance and other services; and the Haddington Participatory Defense Hub, a community organizing approach to criminal defense.
GET CONNECTED: Facebook, @TheElevationProj; Instagram, @elevationproject215; YouTube, The Elevation Project
EMIR Healing Center
For over 23 years, EMIR Healing Center has served the families of homicide victims in Philadelphia through victims’ advocacy and support services. Utilizing a trauma-informed approach to care, EMIR Healing Center has helped thousands of families heal from the tragedy of homicide and violence. EMIR Healing Center recognizes that Every Murder Is Real and every family needs to heal, and through healing families, we heal our community. EMIR brings strong community ties and partnerships to this program and will build awareness of record-sealing through the organization’s Men’s program.
GET CONNECTED: Facebook, @EmirHealingCenter; Twitter, @Victoria4EMIR
Institute for Community Justice
Institute for Community Justice (ICJ) is a program of Philadelphia FIGHT. ICJ is a comprehensive prison service and reentry program providing health linkages, supportive services, education, and advocacy for individuals, families, and communities impacted by incarceration. ICJ partners with several agencies to ensure holistic wraparound case-management services. Philadelphia FIGHT is a comprehensive health services organization providing primary care, consumer education research, and advocacy. These groups are experienced in working with reentry populations and providing all of needed services beyond the initial record-clearing process.
GET CONNECTED: Facebook, @communityjustice
JEVS Human Services
Serving the Greater Philadelphia community since 1941, JEVS has earned a reputation as a leader in workforce development and youth services in the Greater Philadelphia region. The organization’s mission—to enhance the employability, independence, and quality of life of individuals through a broad range of programs, and create innovative and sustainable solutions to address current and future community needs—promotes an asset-based approach to working with clients to help them achieve the most self-sufficient lifestyle possible. Since 2019, JEVS Looking Forward has empowered returning citizens to lead productive and successful lives by connecting them to a range of services to meet their immediate and long-term needs. With an extensive network of partners that can offer legal services, educational programs, housing support, and employment support to returning citizens and people with justice involvement, Looking Forward is well-positioned to serve as a Community Hub.
GET CONNECTED: Facebook, @JEVSHumanServices; Twitter, @JEVShumanservices; Instagram, @JEVShumanservices; LinkedIn, JEVS Human Services; YouTube, JEVS Human Services
New Kensington Community Development Corporation (NKCDC)
New Kensington Community Development Corporation’s (NKCDC) mission is to advance social equity and economic empowerment by nurturing and creating opportunities for residents to live in, and actively shape, their neighborhoods of choice. NKCDC develops affordable apartments and single-family homes; offers housing services to all Philadelphia residents; maintains hundreds of vacant lots across North Philadelphia; and provides small business resources, neighborhood planning, leadership development, and community resources for the Kensington, Fishtown, and Port Richmond neighborhoods. NKCDC’s Community Health Worker (CHW) workforce development program improves health outcomes in Kensington; the food and nutrition program, Nourish, delivers meal kits in Kensington, Fairhill, and Juniata. And We CAN, a partnership funded by the U.S. Department of Justice, has brought community organizations and police together to address issues of community safety across Kensington and Fairhill.
GET CONNECTED: Facebook, @newkensingtoncdc; Twitter, @NKCDC; Instagram, @NKCDC; YouTube, New Kensington Community Development Corporation
NoMo (New Options More Opportunities) Foundation’s mission is to provide a safe space for children, teens and their families to develop positive life skills and nurture their potential to break the cycle of poverty. Since 2010, NoMo has provided a comprehensive anti-violence programming that provides participants with increased confidence and improved social/emotional skills that lead healthier individuals, increased family stability, decreased substance abuse and criminal activities, and a clear path to success. Over the last 11 years, NoMo has served 5000 youth, over 100 justice-impacted families have been reconciled, and less than 1 percent of youth have been further impacted by the justice system. Grounded and based in the community with a record of success in working with community partners such as Philadelphia Works, Trash to Treasure and Brown’s Shoprite to provide expungement, employment, and opportunities for justice-impacted youth and adults.
GET CONNECTED: Facebook, @NomoFoundation; YouTube, NoMoFoundation
Philadelphia Bail Fund
Philadelphia Bail Fund is a Black-led grassroots organization committed to freeing our loved ones from pre-trial detention, while working to end cash bail. The organization works closely with hundreds of individuals and families both before and after release. As such, the Bail Fund has deep and enduring relationships with individuals in a number of vulnerable and hard-to-reach communities, as well as experience engaging in record-sealing and employment access events, having hosted two large expungement clinics in the last two years. The Bail Fund often serves as a bridge between the city’s poorest residents and the legal services they so desperately need. The organization’s work demonstrates an ability to both support marginalized communities and navigate the city’s inequitable legal system alongside allied legal service organizations.
GET CONNECTED: Facebook, @phillybailfund; Twitter, @phillybailfund; Instagram, @phillybailout
The Reawakening Agency
The Reawakening Agency is a non-profit organization that has been supporting individuals transitioning from incarceration back into their communities since 2018. The Agency started by offering care packages assisting with transition and expanded program services to include community volunteerism and job support services. The Reawakening Agency currently receives referrals from the Philadelphia Courts as well as walk-ins requesting assistance. The organization will be leveraging strong community connections and trust through existing mentorship programs, care package programs, community engagement programs, and workforce development programs.
GET CONNECTED: Twitter, @TRAPHILLY; Instagram, @thereawakeningagency
Revolutionary Vision CSC
Revolutionary Visions CSC was founded in March 2020 as an initiative to distribute food to local families during the coronavirus pandemic. After the murder of George Floyd, Revolutionary Visions evolved into a guardian civic organization helping liberate individuals from intergenerational poverty, daily violence, and psychological trauma with self-awaraness, self-esteem, economic education, and cultural awareness. Services and programs currently address nutrition and food access, re-education and financial empowerment through job readiness training.
GET CONNECTED: Facebook, @revolutionaryvisioncsc; Instagram, @revolutionaryvisionscsc
Southwest Community Development Corporation
The Southwest CDC works to improve the quality of life for people in Southwest Philadelphia by promoting economic development and opportunity while helping ensure basic needs are being met. Founded in 1987, the organization serves 2,500 households every year, helping families avoid foreclosure, providing winter heating assistance, serving children with afterschool programs, counseling jobseekers, publishing a community newsletter, supporting and connecting local businesses, and helping revitalize and maintain the cleanliness of the neighborhood.
GET CONNECTED: Facebook, @SWCDC; Twitter, @cdc_southwest; Instagram, @southwestcdc.phil; LinkedIn, Southwest Community Development Corporation
Uplift Solutions is a nonprofit organization founded in 2009 with a mission of delivering entrepreneurial solutions that support underserved communities for the joy of a healthy life. Uplift focuses on improving outcomes for justice-involved individuals in the greater Philadelphia area. Uplift’s Workforce Solutions program is designed to provide formerly incarcerated and otherwise justice-involved individuals with an opportunity to gain long-term employment through the remediation of negative thought patterns, poor decision making, and unhealthy habits, and then directly place them into the workforce with an employment partner. This program is poised to expand in 2022 with expanded services and locations to create a type of one-stop for services for justice-involved individuals. Uplift also seeks to eventually replicate the program to allow more organizations to take advantage of its unique and effective program model.
GET CONNECTED: Facebook, @UpliftSolutions; Twitter, @UpliftSolutions; LinkedIn, Uplift Solutions
Urban League of Philadelphia
Founded in 1917, the Urban League of Philadelphia is an affiliate of the National Urban League, dedicated to empowering underserved urban communities. Its mission is to empower African Americans and other underserved people to ensure economic self-reliance, parity, power and civil rights. The Urban League of Philadelphia accomplishes through advocacy and policy initiatives, the support of diverse businesses and talent, entrepreneurship supports, housing counseling and home ownership programs, youth education and college preparation, health and wellness services, and more.
GET CONNECTED: Facebook, @UrbanLeaguePhilly,; Twitter, @ULPhilly; Instagram, @ul_philly