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Legal Impact Network members convene at Kresge Foundation headquarters

Human Services

Twenty-two members of the Legal Impact Network met in Troy, Michigan, for a two-day convening as part of their efforts to break down barriers and increase opportunities for people with low income through changes to law and policy. Leaders from state law and policy organizations participated in the convening to learn about and collaborate on a range of issues including immigration, Medicaid waivers and housing.

The Legal Impact Network is a dynamic collaborative of advocacy organizations from across the country working with communities to end poverty and achieve racial justice at the federal, state and local levels.

To begin the convening, foundation President and CEO Rip Rapson welcomed participants to Kresge headquarters and commended them for their individual successes and for working together to achieve greater impact.

Over the course of the convening, network members also shared insights and tactics from their work to help advance similar efforts in other states. For example, the Hawaii Appleseed shared its success in helping to pass a five-year Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) that will help working Hawaii residents by providing additional resources for saving, housing, health and education.  In New York, the Empire Justice Center worked with partners to change laws to protect victims of domestic violence from being evicted from their homes when they call for help.

“The Legal Impact Network is growing and these organizations are really benefitting from the chance to collaborate and learn from each other,” said Sandra Ambrozy, senior program officer of Kresge’s Human Services Program. “By creating this network with the Shriver Center, we are able to work towards advancing innovative policy solutions for the human services sector.”

The Legal Impact Network was founded in 2015 by a grant from Kresge’s Human Services Program to the Shriver Center. By focusing on systematic reform issues litigation and advocacy, members complement the work of direct civil legal aid providers and other human services organizations, which ultimately creates an opportunity ecosystem for people with low income. The network has grown to include 33 state law and policy advocacy organizations.