20 Civil Rights Organizations That Every American Should Know

April 05, 2022 12 min read

20 Civil Rights Organizations That Every American Should Know (Clone)

As we look back on the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., it’s important to continue his work toward a more equitable future for all citizens. By donating your time or resources to these top-rated civil rights organizations, you are helping to create a culture of equality among all people.

These Civil Rights organizations are mainly founded to fight and protect the justifiable rights and voices of the disadvantaged, who are still being treated unfairly in society elsewhere. Please spread the mission and information of these organizations to the community, maybe there are a lot of people out there who desperately want to find them. 

Table of Contents

20 Civil Rights Organizations That Every American Should Know

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) 

Contact Info: 

125 Broad Street 

New York, NY 10004 

P: (212) 607-3300 

Civil Rights Organizations

Source: Website

 The ACLU is our nation’s guardian of liberty, working daily in courts, legislatures, and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties that the Constitution and laws of the United States guarantee everyone in this country. 

Since 1920, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has been one of the leading civil rights organizations. This organization was founded to protect the rights of all American citizens. The group responds to issues that protect individual rights and liberties and stand up for all groups of people such as women, prisoners, those with disabilities, lesbians, and gay men. There are currently nearly 2 million members and thousands of attorneys working with the ACLU. 

Anti-Defamation League (ADL) 

Contact Info: 

605 Third Avenue 

New York, NY 10158-3650 

P: (212) 885-7700 

Civil Rights Organizations

Source: Website

The Anti-Defamation League is a nonprofit civil rights organization dedicated to “fight[ing] anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry in the U.S. and abroad through information, education, legislation, and advocacy.” The ADL has a variety of resources geared for a law enforcement audience. 

Since its founding in 1913, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has focused on fighting hatred, discrimination, and bias. The organization focuses on fighting anti-Semitism within the U.S. and around the world, as well as confronting all forms of discrimination and hate and securing justice and protection for those who have been impacted by such things. The group also provides educational services to help support respectful communities and schools. 

Alliance for Justice (AFJ) 

Contact Info: 

11 Dupont Circle NW, Suite 500 

Washington, DC 20036 

P: (202) 822-6070 

Civil Rights Organizations

Source: Website

Since 1979, the Alliance for Justice (AFJ) has advocated ensuring that the U.S. justice system truly does provide equal justice for all people. Through its Justice Program, the organization focuses on the U.S. court system to ensure an independent judiciary, equitable access and fair treatment for all, and protection of constitutional rights and values.  

Through AFJ's Bolder Program, the group also strives to build the advocacy capabilities of nonprofit organizations and foundations as a way of helping make sure they have the expertise to advance their causes. 

Amnesty International 

Contact Info: 

Calle Luz Saviñon 519 Colonia del Valle 

Benito Juarez 03100 Ciudad de Mexico 

Civil Rights Organizations

Source: Website

Amnesty International is a worldwide civil rights organization that has been fighting to ensure equal treatment for all people since 1961. Their mission is to fight all kinds of abuses of civil rights throughout the world through seeking to change laws that are oppressive and bringing to justice those who abuse the rights of others.  

As a few examples, the organization strives to eliminate the death penalty, secret detentions, and torture. The group also seeks to protect freedom of expression and basic human dignity, among other human rights. 

Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) 

Contact Info: 

99 Hudson Street, 12th Floor 

New York, New York 10013 

P: (212) 966-5932

Civil Rights Organizations

Source: Instagram

AALDEF focuses on critical issues affecting Asian Americans, including immigrant rights, civic participation and voting rights, economic justice for workers, language access to services, Census policy, affirmative action, youth rights, and educational equity, and the elimination of anti-Asian violence, police misconduct, and human trafficking. 

Founded in 1974, AALDEF is a New York-based national organization that promotes and protects the civil rights of Asian Americans. By combining litigation, advocacy, education, and organizing, AALDEF works with Asian American communities across the country to secure human rights for all. They have won millions of dollars in back wages for low-wage immigrant workers; successfully challenged a Texas election law that restricted interpreters for Asian American voters, in violation of the Voting Rights Act, and secured a consent decree mandating language assistance for Bengali-speaking voters in Hamtramck, Michigan; and conducted a multilingual exit poll of 13,846 Asian American voters in the 2016 elections, the largest survey of its kind in the nation. 

Brennan Center for Justice 

Contact Info: 

120 Broadway, Suite 1750 

New York, NY 10271 

P: (212) 998-6730 

Civil Rights Organizations

Source: Instagram

The Brennan Center for Justice is a nonprofit law and policy institute "that seeks to improve our systems of democracy and justice" by focusing on voting rights, campaign finance reform, and other topics. 

 The Brennan Center for Justice is a nonprofit law and policy institute "that seeks to improve our systems of democracy and justice" by focusing on voting rights, campaign finance reform, and other topics. This organization focuses on fundamental issues of democracy and justice. Their work ranges from voting rights to redistricting reform, from access to the courts to presidential power in the fight against terrorism. 

Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) 

Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) 

Contact Info: 

666 Broadway, 7th Floor 

New York, NY 10012 

P: (212) 614-6464 

Civil Rights Organizations

Source: Website

The Center for Constitutional Rights is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. CCR is committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change. They do that by combining cutting-edge litigation, advocacy, and strategic communications in work on a broad range of civil and human rights issues.  

The Center for Constitutional Rights works with communities under threat to fight for justice and liberation through litigation, advocacy, and strategic communications. Since 1966, they have taken on oppressive systems of power, including structural racism, gender oppression, economic inequity, and governmental overreach. 

Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) 

Contact Info: 

122 Commerce Street  

Montgomery, AL 36104 

P: (334) 269-1803 

Founded in 1989, the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) is committed to protecting basic rights for vulnerable individuals and challenging economic and racial injustice. The civil rights group seeks to put a stop to mass incarceration, the death penalty, and other forms of excessive punishment.  

The group's work includes challenging the death penalty, legal representation for those who have been illegally or unfairly sentenced or convicted, outreach to marginalized communities where equal treatment is not the norm, criminal justice reform efforts, and more. 

Lawyer's Committee for Civil Rights Under Law 

Contact Info: 

1500 K Street NW Suite 900  

Washington, DC 20005 

P: (202) 662-8600 

Civil Rights Organizations

Source: Instagram

The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to involve the private bar in providing legal services to address racial discrimination. The Committee's major objective is to use the skills and resources of the bar to obtain equal opportunity for minorities by addressing factors that contribute to racial justice and economic opportunity.  

Given our nation's history of racial discrimination, de jure segregation, and the de facto inequities that persist, the Lawyers' Committee's primary focus is to represent the interest of African Americans in particular, other racial and ethnic minorities, and other victims of discrimination, where doing so can help to secure justice for all racial and ethnic minorities. 

Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights/Leadership Conference on Civil Rights Education Fund (LCCR/LCCREF)

Contact Info: 

1620 L Street NW 

Washington, DC 20036 

P: (202) 466-3311 

Civil Rights Organizations

Source: Instagram

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is one of the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organizations charged by its diverse membership of more than 230 national organizations to promote and protect the civil and human rights of all persons in the United States. These organizations include representing persons of color, women, children, labor unions, individuals with disabilities, older Americans, major religious groups, gays and lesbians, and civil liberties and human rights groups.  

Through advocacy and outreach to targeted constituencies, The Leadership Conference works toward the goal of a more open and just society — an America as good as its ideals. Access to equal opportunity is at the heart of the American dream. This coalition creates pathways for people to invest in their futures, choose safe and inclusive schools for their children, and pursue new opportunities without fear of discrimination. 

Legal Momentum 

Contact Info: 

32 Broadway, Suite 1801 

New York, NY 10004 

P: (212) 925-6635 

Civil Rights Organizations

Source: Website

Legal Momentum is the nation’s oldest legal defense and education fund dedicated to advancing the rights of all women and girls. Throughout Legal Momentum's history, they have addressed the intersection of gender and racial discrimination through advocacy, education, and impact litigation. In our work, this organization has fought to confront the social systems that are responsible for the systemic oppression of both women and people of color. 

Founded as the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund in 1970, Legal Momentum has been at the forefront of this movement for over 50 years. A sampling of our accomplishments over the decades illustrates Legal Momentum’s breadth and impact—in the courts, in policy, in legislation, and most importantly, in the lives of women and girls. 

Lambda Legal 

Contact Info: 

National Headquarters 

120 Wall Street 

New York, NY 10005 

P: (212) 809-8585 

Civil Rights Organizations

Source: Website

Lambda Legal is a national organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people, and those with HIV through impact litigation, education, and public policy work. 

Founded in 1973 as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, Lambda Legal is the oldest and largest national legal organization about community health. We select cases that will have the greatest impact in protecting and advancing the rights of LGBT people and those with HIV. In their campaign, they also lead high-impact public education campaigns to help people exercise the rights they have and to build public support for equality and advocate for public policy at the local, state, and federal levels to improve the lives of LGBT people, people affected by HIV, and their families and allies. 

Mexican American Legal Defense & Educational Fund (MALDEF) 

Contact Info: 

National Headquarters 

634 S. Spring Street 

Los Angeles, CA 90014 

P: (213) 629-2512 

Civil Rights Organizations

Source: Website

MALDEF strives to implement programs that are structured to bring Latinos into the mainstream of American political and socio-economic life; providing better educational opportunities; encouraging participation in all aspects of society; and offering a positive vision for the future. Unique to MALDEF is an approach that combines advocacy, educational outreach, and litigation strategies to achieve socio-economic change. 

Founded in 1968, MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund) is the nation’s leading Latino legal civil rights organization. Their commitment is to protect and defend the rights of all Latinos living in the United States and the constitutional rights of all Americans. You can support MALDEF by contributing to fair treatment of Latinos in the classroom, workplace, and courtroom. 

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) 

Contact Info: 

National Headquarters 

4805 Mt. Hope Drive 

Baltimore, MD 21215 

P: (410) 580-5777 

Civil Rights Organizations

Source: Website

The mission of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is to ensure political, educational, social, and economic equality to eliminate racial discrimination and ensure health. and everyone's happiness. The vision of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is to ensure a society in which all individuals have equal rights without discrimination based on race. 

Founded on February 12, 1909, the NAACP is the nation's leading, largest, and most widely recognized civil rights organization. More than half a million members and supporters across the United States and around the world are leading advocates for civil rights in their communities. Featuring over 2,000 local chapters, this organization is a leader in the social justice movement and has changed the way America treats people who are members of minority groups. 

NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund 

Contact Info: 

40 Rector Street 

New York, NY 10006 

P: (212) 965-2200 

Civil Rights Organizations

Source: Instagram

The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund is America’s legal counsel on issues of race. Through advocacy and litigation, LDF focuses on issues of education, voter protection, economic justice, and criminal justice. We encourage students to embark on careers in the public interest through scholarship and internship programs. LDF pursues racial justice to move our nation toward a society that fulfills the promise of equality for all Americans. 

The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the country’s first and foremost civil and human rights law firm. Founded in 1940 under the leadership of Thurgood Marshall, who subsequently became the first African-American U.S. Supreme Court Justice, LDF was launched at a time when the nation’s aspirations for equality and due process of law were stifled by widespread state-sponsored racial inequality. 

National Organization for Women (NOW) 

Contact Info: 

1100 H Street NW, Suite 300 

Washington, D.C. 20005 

P: (202) 628-8669 

Civil Rights Organizations

Source: Instagram

The NOW Foundation focuses on a broad range of women’s rights issues, including economic justice, pay equity, racial discrimination, women’s health and body image, women with disabilities, reproductive rights and justice, family law, term paper help, marriage and family formation rights of same-sex couples, representation of women in the media, and global feminist issues. 

NOW’s goal has been to take action to bring about equality for all women. NOW works to eliminate discrimination and harassment in the workplace, schools, the justice system, and all other sectors of society; secure abortion, birth control, and reproductive rights for all women; end all forms of violence against women; eradicate racism, sexism, and homophobia; and promote equality and justice in our society. 

National Urban League (NUL) 

Contact Info: 

80 Pine Street, Ninth Floor 

New York, NY 10005 

P: (212) 558-5300 

Civil Rights Organizations

Source: Website

The National Urban League (NUL) and its affiliates advocate for social justice in issues such as police brutality and affirmative action. The NUL’s Institute for Opportunity and Equality also closely monitors the economic, political, and social climate of the nation, interprets its findings, and recommends active policy for change. 

The National Urban League is a historic civil rights organization dedicated to economic empowerment, equality, and social justice. Founded in 1910 and headquartered in New York City, the Urban League collaborates at the national and local levels with community leaders, policymakers, and corporate partners to elevate the standards of living for African Americans and other historically underserved groups. With 90 affiliates serving 300 communities in 37 states and the District of Columbia, the Urban League spearheads the development of social programs and authoritative public policy research, and advocate for policies and services that close the equality gap. 

Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) 

Contact Info: 

400 Washington Avenue 

Montgomery, AL 36104 

P: 63-0598743 

Civil Rights Organizations

Source: Website

The Southern Poverty Law Center is a nonprofit civil rights organization dedicated to “fighting hate and bigotry, and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of society.”  

Founded in 1971, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) focuses primarily on fighting hate, teaching tolerance, and seeking justice for those who are victims of hate crimes. The civil rights groups monitor and expose the activities of hate and extremist groups throughout the U.S. The group publishes investigative reports, shares intelligence with and provides training for law enforcement, provides information to the general public and news media, and stands up for those who have been victimized or exploited by hate or extremism. 

Unidos US 

Contact Info: 

Raul Yzaguirre Building 

1126 16th Street, N.W., Suite 600 

Washington, DC 20036 

P: (202) 785-1670 

Civil Rights Organizations

Source: Website

Unidos US serves the Hispanic community through research, policy analysis, and state and national advocacy efforts, as well as in program work in communities nationwide, partnering with a national network of nearly 300 Affiliates across the country to serve millions of Latinos in the areas of civic engagement, civil rights and immigration, education, workforce, and the economy, health, and housing. 

For more than 50 years, UnidosUS has united communities and different groups seeking common ground through collaboration, and that share a desire to make our country stronger. The mission is to create a world where there are no barriers for Latinos to reach their fullest potential. As a result, this organization aim at empowering Latinos to define and achieve their own American Dream. 

U.S. Commission on Civil Rights 

Contact Info: 

P: (202) 376-7700 

Civil Rights Organizations

Source: Website

Established as an independent, bipartisan, fact-finding federal agency, and created by the Civil Rights Act of 1957, the mission of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights is to inform the development of national civil rights policy and enhance enforcement of federal civil rights laws.  

They pursue this mission by studying alleged deprivations of voting rights and alleged discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, age, disability, or national origin, or in the administration of justice. We play a vital role in advancing civil rights through objective and comprehensive investigation, research, and analysis on issues of fundamental concern to the federal government and the public. 

Human Rights Organizations Fight for You Today 

This list represents just a few of the many civil rights groups devoted to the fight for human rights. No matter what issue you have or what cause you are supporting, it's likely that one or more leading civil rights organizations exist to address specific matters of interest to you. These nonprofit groups form and continue to grow in their fight for equality and justice. 

If you need help, do not hesitate to contact the respective civil rights organizations. If you want to help more people, don't hesitate to donate and spread civil rights organizations to those in need. 


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