The Chance to Make a Difference: Transformative Justice Law Project of Illinois

If you’ve followed my blog at all, you’ve likely heard of the Transformative Justice Law Project (TJLP), as I’ve blogged about it numerous times before. (I would like to state for the record, however, that anything on my blog other than the following letter is my own opinion and not necessarily reflective of TJLP.) TJLP is an amazing organization and really has changed my life. Please read the following letter from TJLP, reposted with their permission, and consider making a donation.

Transformative Justice Law Project of Illinois

2040 North Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60647

Hello and Happy New Year!  We are writing to update you on the work of the Transformative Justice Law Project of Illinois (TJLP) and to ask for your continued support.

Since our founding in 2008, TJLP has accomplished quite a bit with very limited resources.  We are an all-volunteer project of attorneys, activists, social workers, artists, and writers who work together to provide free, holistic, and gender-affirming legal services to transgender and gender non-conforming people targeted by the criminal legal system in Illinois.

TJLP has three core values:  the right to gender self-determination, a long-term goal of prison abolition, and support of community-based transformative justice models as a necessary alternative to the current U.S. criminal legal system. Since our inception, we have given many workshops and trainings, made invaluable connections with other organizations and organizers both in Illinois and across the country, and have prioritized providing radical, trauma-informed legal services.  In providing these services, we intentionally operate outside of the non-profit model but maintain a commitment to prioritizing direct legal services to people of color, poor people, youth, woman-indentified people, immigrants, folks living on the street, people engaged in survival crime and the street economy, folks with disabilities, and people living with HIV/AIDS.  We are deeply proud of the connections we’ve made with our clients, our community allies, and other attorneys who help provide the necessary harm reductionist tools of zealous legal representation.

What’s more, we’ve done all of this with hardly any economic resources with a crew of fiercely dedicated volunteer attorneys, advocates, grant writers, artists, and dreamers – all of whom are transgender or woman-identified.  Incorporating our queer, feminist, and anti-oppression politics into the TJLP community is an important reflection of our struggle to live out our broader values in the work we do.

In the upcoming year, we hope to continue to expand the sustainability of our project financially, logistically, and spiritually.  We are trying to raise $7,000 by March 1, 2011 to cover our base-line operating costs for 2011.  Thanks to our very affordable office space at In These Times magazine, we have managed to keep our rent and basic office costs low.  If you can, or know someone else who may be able to, please consider making a donation of $5 or more to help support our work.  Checks can be made out to Transformative Justice Law Project and sent to the address above. Please note that we are not a 501(c)(3) organization so your donation will not be tax-deductable.  We also have many in-kind supply donations listed on our website at if you’d prefer to send us supplies!

We appreciate your support and look forward to hearing from you!

In Solidarity,

The Transformative Justice Law Project

7 responses to “The Chance to Make a Difference: Transformative Justice Law Project of Illinois

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