Celebrating 20 Years of Building Stronger Communities with Civil Legal Aid Programs
(CHICAGO) The Illinois Equal Justice Foundation (IEJF), the not-for-profit entity responsible for distributing, monitoring and advocating for the state appropriation for civil legal aid for low-income families and individuals, proudly announces the newest members of its Board of Directors:
- Honorable Patti Bellock, retired State Representative and former Director of the IL Department of Healthcare and Family Services;
- Nicholas Gowen of Burke, Warren, MacKay & Serritella;
- Nate Hinch of Mueller Reece & Hinch, LLC;
- Kenneth Kirkwood of Abbott;
- Gray Matteo-Harris of Barnes & Thornburg, LLP; and
- Michael Wilder of Littler Mendelson, PC.
The Illinois Equal Justice Foundation (IEJF) was founded in 1999 with the passage of the Illinois Equal Justice Act, which created a state appropriation for civil legal aid. The Board was constituted in 2000 and the IEJF celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.
The IEJF administers and advocates for the state appropriation for civil legal aid in order to increase access to justice for all Illinoisans. By funding civil legal aid programs across the state, the IEJF helps ensure that all residents, regardless of income, have equal access to the justice system for urgent, life-changing matters like domestic violence, foreclosure and financial exploitation. Since its first grant cycle in 2001, the IEJF has awarded over $25.9 million in grants to nonprofit legal aid providers serving the critical civil legal needs of approximately 579,000 vulnerable Illinoisans. These programs build stronger communities and a stronger Illinois.
The IEJF also directs the Illinois Armed Forces Legal Aid Network (IL-AFLAN) and the Cannabis Expungement Grants Program (in development), both funded through additional state appropriations.
To learn more about the Illinois Equal Justice Foundation, please visit www.iejf.org.