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Unfinished Business

The Mission of the Mississippi Center for Justice

By Martha Bergmark

The Mississippi Center for Justice began in 2003 with a mission of carrying on work that had waned in the deep South since the height of the civil rights movement. In a state that ranks at or near the bottom on many indicators of racial equity and low-income residents’ well-being, the Center uses a range of legal tools to tackle what its founders concluded are the starkest examples of social injustice, including incarceration of juveniles, limited Medicaid benefits, and, more recently, predatory lending. Following Hurricane Katrina, the center opened a new office on the Gulf Coast and helped prevent diversion of federal funds intended for recovery in low-income communities.

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