CUNY Law launched EJP over 20 years ago in response to the crisis triggered by regressive federal welfare policies that forced thousands of low-income students in the City University of New York (CUNY) to drop out of school to fulfill “workfare” assignments. From its inception, EJP has worked in close collaboration with the Welfare Rights Initiative, a grassroots organization based at Hunter College. Over the years, WRI and EJP have engaged in advocacy, education, and organizing activities, including individual representation that has enabled over 1,500 CUNY students to remain in school, legislative and policy advocacy at the city and state level, and community education and know-your-rights presentations.
EJP students provide direct representation to hundreds of CUNY undergraduates and support the organizing and advocacy efforts of grassroots organizations. EJP students engage in public debate and systemic advocacy related to economic justice, anti-poverty solutions, and the myriad ways that race and class impact access to them.
The combination of targeted individual representation and support for community organizing and advocacy is part of CUNY’s larger mission as the greatest equalizer, promoter of mobility, and urban education system in the country. The Law School shares this dedication to promoting the economic and social mobility that is the cornerstone of a democratic society.
Read more about EJP’s history.