NEXTERA ENERGY FOUNDATION SUPPORTS ADVANCEMENT OF RACIAL EQUITY WITH GRANT TO FLORIDA JUSTICE CENTER
NextEra Energy Foundation Supports the Advancement of Racial Equity with Grant to Florida Justice Center
Nonprofit legal aid organization receives funding to provide free legal services to justice-impacted people.
Oakland Park, FL (February 3, 2022) –
Florida Justice Center has been awarded a grant from the NextEra Energy Foundation to help advance racial equity by providing free community legal services to more low-income individuals. With this support, Florida Justice Center (FLJC) will be able to pay sealing and expungement application fees for over 130 individuals who would not otherwise be able to afford a fresh start.
In Florida, an arrest will show up on a background check even if a person was found not guilty or the charges were dismissed. This has a substantial effect on their ability to find a job or housing, obtaining professional licensing, and even enrolling in higher education. Nearly one in four Americans live with an arrest record, a disproportionately high number of whom are Black men and women. Sealing or expunging an arrest can help alleviate some of these issues by removing the arrest from someone’s record, but it is a daunting process for most people.
“This generosity from the NextEra Energy Foundation is instrumental in helping us keep our services free for those who need it most. We are able to give people the second chance they need and aid them on the road to self-sufficiency,” said Florida Justice Center Executive Director Jonathan Bleiweiss.
With an average annual income of $12,000, most of FLJC’s clients are unable to afford the $75 application fee to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, much less pay the thousands of dollars needed for a private attorney. Florida Justice Center assists by providing free attorneys to complete the paperwork and file all necessary documents on behalf of the client. For those that cannot afford it, FLJC pays the application fee, filing fee, and cost for certified documents.
According to NextEra Energy: “In light of the continued focus throughout the country on social justice, racial equity and related issues, our company established a racial equity working team to develop specific actions our company can take to make a positive contribution toward racial equity.”
Florida Justice Center and NextEra Energy, parent company of Florida Power and Light (FPL), look forward to a long partnership that continues to build racial equity in the criminal justice system.
ABOUT NEXTERA ENERGY FOUNDATION
NextEra Energy has made a commitment to making communities across the country better places to live and work. Since 1925, NextEra has been passionate about making sure their investments and operations have a positive impact in the communities they serve. The NextEra Energy Foundation supports organizations involved in affordable housing, human services, neighborhood development, economic development, government administration, and economically disadvantaged people.
For more information on NextEra Energy’s other grantees, please visit https://www.nexteraenergy.com/sustainability/communities.html
ABOUT FLORIDA JUSTICE CENTER
Florida Justice Center is the first and only nonprofit legal aid organization authorized by the Florida Supreme Court to provide criminal legal assistance. FLJC is dedicated to reducing incarceration rates in Florida using a holistic approach that combines legal and reentry social services. Helping thousands of people a year, FLJC’s growth is limitless.