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Equal Justice Works Receives $884,000 Grant From the American Red Cross to Provide Aid to Communities Affected by the Maui Wildfires

/ Press Release

The grant from the American Red Cross will help Hawaiian communities recover from the Maui wildfires that occurred in 2023 and build resilience towards future disasters

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 1, 2024— Equal Justice Works, the nation’s largest facilitator of opportunities in public interest law, has been awarded an $884,000 grant by the American Red Cross to provide legal aid to Hawaiian communities impacted by the 2023 Maui wildfires through the organization’s Disaster Resilience Program, which mobilizes lawyers in areas that have been affected by disasters.

“A great need remains for legal aid in Maui as communities continue to recover and rebuild,” said Linda Anderson Stanley, the Director of Fellowships at Equal Justice Works. “We are thankful that the American Red Cross has extended their generous support to provide aid to Maui as communities recover from this disaster.”

We are thankful that the American Red Cross has extended their generous support to provide aid to Maui as communities recover from this disaster.

Linda Anderson Stanley /
Director of Fellowships at Equal Justice Works

The Maui wildfires of 2023 were reported as the fifth deadliest wildfire in U.S. history and the worst natural disaster in Hawaii’s history. The destruction caused by these fires exceeded $6 billion in damages, with over a hundred lives lost. An after-action report provided by the County of Maui Department of Fire and Public Safety stated that the entire island’s limited resources were extremely stretched by the scope and scale of the disaster. 

The grant from the American Red Cross mobilizes five Fellows in Maui to provide legal aid to those whose lives were affected by the wildfires and help communities build resilience towards future disasters. Fellows supported by this grant will serve at Legal Aid Society of Hawaii, Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation, The Legal Clinic, and United Policyholders as they help communities recover and rebuild from the Maui wildfires. The presence of these Fellows will also support capacity-building at each of the organizations where they are embedded, enabling them to support Maui and Hawaii as a whole in the face of future challenges. 

“We are so excited for what these Fellows will achieve and what they will empower the organizations they are embedded in to accomplish,” said Amanda Ree, Red Cross Director of Wildfire Long Term Recovery Programs. “We think of these collaborations less as simply providing grants and more as building partnerships. In addition to providing grant funding, we have worked alongside Equal Justice Works to provide programmatic support, design processes, identify needs and build capacity. It is through community working together that recovery really begins to take shape.” 

We think of these collaborations less as simply providing grants and more as building partnerships. In addition to providing grant funding, we have worked alongside Equal Justice Works to provide programmatic support, design processes, identify needs and build capacity. It is through community working together that recovery really begins to take shape.

Amanda Ree /
Red Cross Director of Wildfire Long Term Recovery Programs

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 40 additional attorney Fellows who have advocated for communities that were affected by incidents such as wildfires, hurricanes, tornadoes, COVID-19, humanitarian crises, and other disasters across the states of Arkansas, California, Florida, Hawaii, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, New Mexico, and Tennessee.  

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

To learn more about the work of Fellows in the Disaster Resilience Program, click here. 

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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 comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members and their families. The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or CruzRojaAmericana.org, or follow us on social media. 

Learn more about becoming an Equal Justice Works Fellow