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Racial Equity Attorney

Center for Public Representation

During COVID-19, the Center for Public Representation (CPR) challenged discrimination against people with disabilities, the BIPOC community, and institutionalized persons across the country. In order to build on this intersectional work, CPR is expanding its racial equity activities and systemic reform initiatives. CPR seeks an attorney with at least three years of experience to assist in this effort, to work directly with impacted and under-resourced communities, and to challenge the historical and structural racism that contributes to health inequities.

CPR is a national legal advocacy center that has been advancing the civil rights of people with disabilities for over 45 years. Through its systemic advocacy, CPR has been a major force in promoting civil rights, community integration, self-determination, and improvements in services for people with disabilities throughout the country. We provide training and technical assistance programs to the National Disability Rights Network in all fifty states and territories and to Massachusetts-based legal services programs.

CPR’s system reform agenda includes numerous litigation and policy initiatives that are designed to challenge health inequities, end segregation, promote community integration, enforce, and expand civil rights, ensure equal access to health resources, and establish new standards of care for persons with disabilities. This agenda, like our mission, focuses on supporting persons with disabilities, including people from BIPOC communities, to return to, or remain in, their homes and communities and to be full and equal participants in all facets of society. A summary of our systemic litigation agenda can be found at http://www.centerforpublicrep.org/litigation-and-major-cases/litigation.

CPR is committed to prioritizing racial equity as an integral part of our work as a civil rights law firm. As part of our mission to enforce and expand the rights of people with disabilities, we are committed to working towards equity and community inclusion for all people. Our Racial Equity Initiative, established in 2022, seeks to ensure that we understand and prioritize the needs of historically marginalized communities in our systemic initiatives, our policy advocacy within CPR, and our relationships with community partners.

We are committed to developing a new generation of attorneys who can lead this agenda for at least the next decade. We seek to recruit, train, mentor, and support attorneys of various levels of experience to become part of the CPR team.

The Position

CPR’s Racial Equity Initiative was established in 2022 to prioritize the needs of historically marginalized communities in our systemic initiatives, our policy advocacy, and in our relationships with community partners. As part of our mission to enforce and expand the rights of people with disabilities, we are working towards racial equity and community inclusion for all people, and to apply a race equity lens to our system reform work.

We seek a racial equity attorney to work as part of a team on several system reform cases and policy initiatives designed to challenge health inequities, expand community living opportunities, improve service systems and supports, promote equal access, and redefine standards of care for persons with disabilities. As a racial equity attorney, you will participate both in CPR’s Racial Equity Initiative, and in CPR’s systemic litigation and advocacy projects.

In this role you will:

  • Work with the Racial Equity Coordinator to develop and advance CPR’s Racial Equity Initiative strategic priorities.
  • Work on specific racial equity projects, including an initiative to expand voluntary, community-based services as an alternative to police and 911 responses to behavioral health crises.
  • Assist with the continued implementation of a Racial Equity Assessment Tool that we have developed and refined.
  • Develop community connections with other racial equity and disability advocacy organizations in Massachusetts.
  • Be part of a team that initiates, develops, and litigates complex civil rights cases, including both injunctive and damage actions.
  • Incorporate racial equity principles into litigation, systemic reform efforts, policy advocacy, and CPR priorities.
  • Learn and develop expertise in subject matter areas which impact people with disabilities.
  • Be part of a supportive, collaborative, and creative team that works together to promote community integration, racial equity, and choice for people with disabilities.

  • Admission to the Massachusetts Bar or eligibility to practice law in Massachusetts
  • At least three years of legal experience
  • Knowledge of, or desire to learn, relevant disability and civil rights laws
  • A demonstrated commitment to racial justice and civil rights
  • Strong research, writing, and communication skills
  • Ability to travel
Desired Qualifications

  • Experience advocating for clients in state or federal courts or in administrative hearings
  • Experience with community outreach and organizing
  • Proficiency in languages other than English
The attorney can be based in CPR’s Easthampton office or if living outside of western Massachusetts, can work primarily remotely, but is expected to spend considerable time with CPR colleagues and local (Massachusetts) community organizations and stakeholders.

The Salary and Benefits

CPR offers an excellent salary, and a unique benefit package, including health insurance; disability insurance; paid time off, including vacation, sick, and personal days; retreat time and a flexible spending account; and a 403(b)-retirement plan.

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

CPR is committed to advancing equity, diversity, and inclusiveness and encourages applications from members of the BIPOC and disability communities.

Please send cover letter, resume, and writing sample to Cathy Costanzo (she/hers), Center for Public Representation, 5 Ferry Street, Suite 314, Easthampton, MA 01027, or by e-mail to hiring@cpr-ma.org, by April 21, 2023.  If you are having technical difficulties, or need assistance/accommodations to complete your application, please call (413) 586-6024.