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About

Amistad Law Project poses for a picture in a field at Bartram's Garden

Amistad Law Project is a public interest law firm and organizing project working to end mass incarceration in Pennsylvania and fighting to get our communities the resources they need to thrive.

Founded in October 2014, Amistad Law Project struggles for the recognition of the human rights of all people and believe in building powerful multi-racial alliances against systemic oppression. There are a very small number of people at the top who reap the benefits of this system, but there are many of us.

Our name comes from the Amistad Rebellion. In 1839, slave traders kidnapped a large number of Africans from their home in Sierra Leone. Fifty-three people were purchased and placed upon the Caribbean-bound slave ship, La Amistad. On July 1, 1839, the abductees rose up and defeated their captors in the famous Amistad Rebellion. They were later taken to the United States, tried in court, and acquitted. You can read more about the story of the rebellion here

Amistad also means “friendship” in Spanish. We are inspired in our work by this legacy of resistance as well as a strong connection to our community.

Amistad Law Project consists of attorneys and organizers. We are prison industrial complex abolitionists who view mass incarceration as directly related to the massive divestment from our communities of the things that make them safe and strong. Instead of prisons and police, we believe that good paying jobs, quality public education, guaranteed health care, healthy and affordable food, safe and stable housing, and the ability to care for our families, no matter what they look like, make our communities safer.