Equal Justice Works Receives $626 Thousand Grant to Provide Aid to Communities Affected by the December 2021 Tornadoes

/ Press Release

The grant from the American Red Cross supports the organization’s work to mobilize lawyers through its Disaster Resilience Program to help communities recover from the December 2021 tornadoes that destroyed communities in Arkansas, Kentucky, Missouri and Tennessee.

WASHINGTON, D.C., JULY 20, 2023—Equal Justice Works, the nation’s largest facilitator of opportunities in public interest law, has been awarded a $626 thousand grant by the American Red Cross to provide legal aid to communities impacted by the devastating tornadoes of December 2021 through the organization’s Disaster Resilience Program, which mobilizes lawyers in areas that have been affected by disasters.

“We are grateful to the American Red Cross for their generous support of our program,” said Linda Anderson Stanley, Associate Director of Disaster Programming. “This funding helps us respond to the lingering aftermath of the tornadoes and ensure that the affected communities will be sufficiently equipped to be resilient towards future disasters.”

Equal Justice Works has developed targeted programs to mobilize lawyers to support disaster-affected communities since 2005. The organization launched its award-winning Disaster Resilience Program in 2020, placing six Fellows (lawyers) and six Student Fellows (law students) at legal services organizations in Texas and Florida to address the critical legal needs that communities face before, during, and after a disaster. Since then, the program has hosted 14 additional attorney Fellows who have advocated for communities that were affected by incidents such as wildfires, hurricanes, COVID-19, humanitarian crises, and other disasters across the states of California, Louisiana, and New Mexico.

The grant from the American Red Cross supports the Disaster Resilience Program’s current cohort, which includes six Fellows and six Student Fellows who are providing free legal assistance to low-income individuals, households, and communities impacted by the devastating tornadoes of December 2021. The types of legal needs that arise in the aftermath of a disaster are vast and these Fellows are assisting tornado survivors with legal issues such as avoiding consumer scams, FEMA appeals, clearing title to property, avoiding illegal evictions. Fellows also provide their communities with the training and support they need to help build resiliency for future disasters.

Fellows in the cohort began their work in December 2022, and are now serving until the fall of 2023. Student Fellows joined the attorney Fellows for a summer of service earlier this year. Fellows supported by this grant include:

The Fellows in Arkansas, Kentucky, Missouri, and Tennessee are supported by one-year of funding from the American Red Cross. Active Fellows participate in two-year projects, and so the second year of these Fellowships will be supported by new funding opportunities. Many deadly tornadoes and storms have ravaged these areas on a recurring basis since the 2021 tornado events and the communities’ continued need for assistance is evident, with new legal issues emerging from recent disaster events in the immediate, and more yet anticipated over the next year. To aid disaster survivors in these states affected by any past or future disasters for another year, we are seeking partners to fund the second year of the Disaster Resilience Program’s implementation in the region.

If you or your organization are interested in lending support to enable a second year of these vital Fellowships serving the states of Arkansas, Kentucky, Missouri, or Tennessee, please contact us at [email protected].

The Disaster Resilience Program is currently funded by the American Red Cross, Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Center for Disaster Philanthropy and the California Wildfires Recovery, Danaher Foundation, Houston Immigration Legal Services Collaborative, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

 About Equal Justice Works

 Equal Justice Works is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that creates opportunities for lawyers to transform their passion for equal justice into a lifelong commitment to public service. As the nation’s largest facilitator of opportunities in public interest law, Equal Justice Works brings together an extensive network of law students, lawyers, nonprofit legal aid organizations, and supporters to promote public service and inspire a lifelong commitment to equal justice.

About the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to survivors of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

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