Community lawyering non-profit adds key staff to build capacity in battling racism and oppression

Durham, NC, September 12, 2012

The Southern Coalition for Social Justice (SCSJ) has taken a major step in its growth by hiring its first Deputy Director. Founded in Durham, North Carolina, in 2007, SCSJ is a nonprofit organization that helps low-income families and communities of color throughout the South gain access to critically needed resources--lawyers, organizers, researchers, and media specialists--to aid in the battle against racism and other types of oppression.

"We’re thrilled that Kristina Klugar is joining our team. Her skills and experience are just what we need to broaden SCSJ’s impact in communities throughout the South," says Anita Earls, SCSJ’s Founder and Executive Director.

Ms. Klugar brings more than 20 years of relevant legal services, fundraising and organizational development experience to her new role. She began her career as a program officer with The Pew Charitable Trusts where she was responsible for community development in the Philadelphia area. She also managed the Trusts’ first international grants program which supported economic and agricultural development in Ghana and Senegal.

After Pew, Ms. Klugar consulted to nonprofit organizations before attending law school at Temple University. She practiced immigration law for several years before joining the management team of Pennsylvania’s largest provider of free legal services, Community Legal Services of Philadelphia, where she was Director of Communications and Development in the late 1990s.

Ms. Klugar, whose mother was Swedish, has spent more than five years in Sweden setting up development offices and managing fundraising campaigns at the University of Technology in Luleå and at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm. In the US, she also served for three years as the Director of Development and Strategic Initiatives for Regional Housing Legal Services, a statewide nonprofit organization of lawyers supporting community development groups engaged in affordable housing and economic development projects.

"Community lawyering is among the toughest work there is, but it can be highly rewarding," explains Ms. Klugar pointing to a recent SCSJ success: attorney Clare Barnett represented Patty Almond in an election protest. After an appeal to Superior Court, the North Carolina State Board of Elections voted unanimously to order a new election for the office of Mayor of Mt. Gilead. Four black voters, who had improperly been denied the right to vote in 2011, will be allowed to cast their votes in the new election.

"Good legal representation should not be limited to the lucky few who are able to obtain pro bono assistance or to the well off. “It is a special honor,” says Ms. Klugar, “to work with skilled individuals who have chosen to dedicate their efforts to giving a voice to those who are voiceless. I believe that my nonprofit experience, especially in the realm of organizational development and fundraising will complement the skills of SCSJ’s staff and that—together—we will take the organization to its next level of growth."

SCSJ’s current program priorities, driven by community-identified needs, include Voting Rights, Criminal Justice System Reform, Immigrant’s Rights, and general Human Rights including Environmental and Education Justice. SCSJ tackles local social justice struggles from a global international human rights perspective with the conviction that holistic interdisciplinary approaches are required to achieve structural change.


Anita Earls, Esq.
Address: 1415 West Highway 54, Suite 101, Durham, NC 27707
Telephone: 919-323-3380 x 115

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