A New Name and a Stronger Mission

Pro Bono Net, in partnership with Lone Star Legal Aid, the American Bar Association Center for Pro Bono, and the National Legal Aid & Defender Association, is pleased to announce the rebrand of its National Disaster Legal Aid Resource Center initiative (DisasterLegalAid.org) to Advocates for Disaster Justice (ADJ).

Advocates for Disaster Justice is the new era of DisasterLegalAid.org, a groundbreaking national collaboration and legal relief effort that took root in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.  It has grown into the largest national network of justice advocates and allies working to advance equity, rights and resilience in communities impacted by climate-driven and other disasters. Learn more about the history and national impact of ADJ. 

In the past several years, communities across the U.S. have increasingly felt the effects of climate change. These have included stronger and more frequent events like wildfires, hurricanes, tornadoes, and heat waves. We’ve also seen the impact of rising sea levels and erosion across different regions, making coastal floods and storms more dangerous and leading to community displacement. 

Recent responses to major disasters have shown that individuals with low incomes, communities of color, people with disabilities, seniors, immigrants, and rural communities often bear the brunt of these effects. Disasters exacerbate existing inequalities and present long-term legal issues that, if left unaddressed, can become more difficult to resolve.

Advocates for Disaster Justice is founded on the belief that everyone, particularly those most exposed to risk, has the right to legal information and support during the recovery phase. Our network advocates for the development and implementation of laws that protect individuals during times of disaster, promotes meaningful participation in community preparation and recovery decision-making processes, and works to ensure equitable access to state and federal recovery resources.

ADJ welcomes those working on both individual and systemic aspects of these evolving challenges. It is rooted in cooperation, trust, and mutual aid, many of the same principles shared by first responder networks and climate justice coalitions.

“ADJ has many valuable resources for advocates to utilize prior to and following a disaster. Also, the Advocate Network is a great way for advocates to connect with each other,” said Amanda Bosley, Managing Attorney of the Disaster Relief Unit at Lone Star Legal Aid. “As someone who has worked over seven years on disaster response and recovery in Texas, I can attest to the importance of having comprehensive resources, trainings, and a supportive network of other colleagues and advocates doing the same work. I hope that advocates find ADJ serves as a bridge to link them to the support they need to reach the goal of advancing equity, rights, and resilience.”  

“Since its launch, DisasterLegalAid.org’s resources have been accessed more than 400,000 times. This underscores the urgency for information about disaster recovery and legal help options, and this need has only increased with the severity of climate-related emergencies over the past few years,” said Jeanne Ortiz-Ortiz, Senior Program Manager at Pro Bono Net. “In partnership with Lone Star Legal Aid, we have built a network of hundreds of dedicated advocates across the country committed to promoting disaster resilience in their communities. ADJ is the new era of these efforts, and I encourage others doing this work or who would like to learn more to join us.” 

Redesigned Website for a Better User Experience 

In addition to the name change, ADJ has also launched a redesigned website using Pro Bono Net’s JusticeHub design. 

The new site offers visitors a more user-friendly experience and provides easy access to resources and trainings. The website also features information on ADJ’s programs, events, and partnerships.

Join Our Mission to Advance Justice and Equity in Times of Crisis

If you’re interested in becoming a member of Advocates for Disaster Justice, you can sign up for free by clicking here. Signing up to Advocates for Disaster Justice is easy. You will be prompted to create a membership profile and someone from our team will review your request. 

By signing up, you’ll have access to:

  • Access to Resources: We provide a range of training resources and support materials to help you get started, whether you’re a legal aid attorney, volunteer attorney, law student, or working directly with a disaster survivor to help them recover. Some of the resources are password-protected, such as examples of FEMA appeals provided by legal aid organizations. 
  • CLE Opportunities: Members are the first to learn about upcoming or new CLE program opportunities organized by Pro Bono Net and Lone Star Legal Aid.  Stay up to date on the latest legal issues and strategies to help disaster survivors.
  • Membership Updates: You’ll receive membership updates and can join different listservs to receive information related to current disaster response and recovery efforts. 
  • Become Part of a Community: You’ll be part of a community that is working to make a difference in helping disaster survivors and communities recover. By joining, you’ll also access a member roster to reach out to others in your area or in other communities.

For more information about Advocates for Disaster Justice, visit the new website at www.advocatesfordisasterjustice.org. For questions about this initiative, please contact Jeanne Ortiz-Ortiz, Senior Program Manager, at jortiz@probono.net