The Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Project (CRRJ) at Northeastern University School of Law, conducts research and supports policy initiatives on anti-civil rights violence in the United States. CRRJ investigates mid-twentieth century racially motivated murders throughout the South. The project serves as a resource for scholars, policymakers, community members, and organizers involved in various initiatives seeking justice.
The two primary components of CRRJ’s program are research and remediation. CRRJ’s work generates reliable data with which to analyze historical incidents of racial violence. Using this data, CRRJ works with communities to create effective projects that acknowledge the need for accountability, repair, and social transformation. CRRJ works with family members of victims and perpetrators, lawmakers, prosecutors, judges, police chiefs, and community organizers to seek genuine reconciliation. CRRJ assists these groups to develop a range of approaches to address these harms including memorialization projects, criminal and civil litigation, truth and reconciliation proceedings, and legislative remedies.
With family and community members guiding the work, CRRJ has engaged in various restorative justice projects across the South. These efforts have included securing official apologies, erecting gravestones and civil rights markers, and re-naming of streets after murder victims. We honor the voice and agency of families and communities as they actively reconstruct the past, and come to new understandings of the ways in which the past impacts the realities of today.
This blog provides reflections on the circumstances surrounding these incidents of racial violence against African Americans in the South from 1930-1970. We write as a platform for sharing what we know about the past and our restorative justice efforts today. Contributing writers include descendants, lawyers, professors, students, project staff, community members, and other collaborators.