Research. Collaboration. Advocacy.

Our Projects

Our projects use policy analysis, research and documentation, public education, community organizing, pro bono engagement, and coalition building to bring about positive change.

About Us

Massachusetts Appleseed’s mission is to promote equal rights and opportunities for Massachusetts residents by developing and advocating for systemic solutions to social justice issues.

Contact Us

For more information about how you can get involved in Massachusetts Appleseed’s efforts, contact us today!

Celebrating 25 Years of Fighting for Justice

Our Story

In the early 1990s, the Harvard Law School Class of 1958 wanted to make a class gift that would leave a lasting impact. They wanted to leverage the power of pro bono and collaboration, and create systemic change that would help as many people as possible.

In 1994, the Class of ’58 founded Massachusetts Appleseed and the Appleseed Network.

For 25 years we have grounded our work in identifying unseen injustices and fighting to reform and reverse harmful policies. As we enter the next 25 years, we will continue to follow this mission, advocating for Massachusetts’ most vulnerable communities.

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Massachusetts Appleseed

Our Mission

MA Appleseed’s mission is to promote equal rights and opportunities for Massachusetts residents by developing and advocating for systemic solutions to social justice issues.

Building a better, fairer Massachusetts

At MA Appleseed, we research and identify the ways in which the justice system, schools, and government agencies are systematically failing our most vulnerable residents, such as through uneven access to the courts and unfair enforcement of school discipline policies. Then we collaborate with community partners to identify solutions and advocate for their implementation.

Through in-depth research, community problem-solving, and raising our voices, we can develop powerful solutions and make lasting change.

Learn More: National Appleseed Network

Identify Issues

We identify the ways in which the justice system, schools, and government agencies are systematically failing our most vulnerable residents. We listen to our community partners when they report urgent, emerging issues that need to be addressed.


We research how and why marginalized populations experience uneven access to justice and opportunity and identify systems-based solutions through data collection and sophisticated analysis.


We collaborate with the courts, public agencies, community organizations, and those experiencing injustice to ensure the solutions we recommend are practical and comprehensive. We rely on pro bono support from law firms, law schools, and corporate partners.


We advocate for the implementation of solutions with policymakers, lawmakers, and through coalition-building that brings together stakeholders. We bring awareness to systemic issues of injustice and solutions that can bring about positive change.

In the Spotlight


Massachusetts Appleseed Center for Law and Justice Joins Amicus Brief in Support of Equitable Access to Boston’s Exam Schools

Massachusetts Appleseed Center for Law and Justice has signed onto an amicus brief filed by Brown Rudnick LLP, Massachusetts Law Reform Institute, LatinoJustice PRLDEF, and the Children’s Law Center of Massachusetts in support of the Boston…

Massachusetts Appleseed Condemns the Anti-Asian Violence in Georgia

The murders that took place in Georgia this week robbed eight people of their lives, six of them Asian women. Our hearts and thoughts are with their loved ones and communities in Atlanta, and with everyone around the country feeling afraid,…
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Massachusetts Appleseed's 2021-2022 Legislative Agenda

This past year has been full of extraordinary challenges, but thanks to our community of support, we made powerful gains in the State House. Working with partners, we ensured that a language access provision was included in legislation…
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New Know-Your-Rights Resource Helps Massachusetts Youth Experiencing Homelessness Access and Exercise Their Legal Rights

Pro bono lawyers from Baker McKenzie, Boston Scientific and Liberty Mutual, and Staff of Massachusetts Appleseed Center for Law and Justice, co-author handbook For more information, please contact: Leah Schloss Associate Director, NA Communications +1…
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Family Separation is the Result of Mass. Department of Children and Families’ Violations of Statutory Language Access Rights, a New Study Finds

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 26, 2021 Media Contact: Melanie Rush Massachusetts Appleseed Center for Law and Justice BOSTON, MA – The Massachusetts Appleseed Center for Law and Justice today released…

Massachusetts Appleseed Statement on the Passing of Kevin J. Curtin

2020 has been a year of tragedy, and of lost champions. We were stunned and deeply saddened to learn late last night of the sudden passing of Kevin J. Curtin, a member of Massachusetts Appleseed’s Board of Directors. Kevin was a…

2020 Good Apple Award

The Good Apple Award is presented annually to a person in the business or legal community who personifies Massachusetts Appleseed’s commitment to public service, fairness, and social justice. It is with deep regret that we announce that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Good Apple Award Reception has been cancelled. We plan to honor Enrique Colbert, General Counsel of Wayfair and recipient of the 2020 Good Apple Award in 2021, along with our 2021 award recipient, and we hope all are able to join us in celebrating him then. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Madeline, our Development and Communications Associate, at  

Current Projects

Access to Justice

Many systemic barriers within Massachusetts’ civil and criminal legal systems, and various administrative agencies, deny justice to thousands of residents each year. The growing number of people who cannot afford an attorney and must represent themselves in legal matters continues to worsen disparities between wealthy and poor litigants, while inequitable policies and structures contribute to unjust outcomes based on an individual’s race, citizenship status, or English language proficiency. Our Access to Justice projects identify how we can hold these systems accountable and provide meaningful reform to ensure all Massachusetts residents have equitable access to legal rights and protection.

Keep Kids in Class

The school-to-prison pipeline places students into the juvenile and criminal justice systems, rather than providing them with the support and care they deserve. Through practices such as zero-tolerance policies, the deployment of police to patrol school hallways, and the criminalization of disorderly behavior, Massachusetts schools do not represent institutions of learning for many students. Rather, they are the starting point of a long and painful relationship with the criminal justice system. Harsh discipline practices are disproportionately applied, as  students of color and students with disabilities are punished, excluded, and arrested at much higher rates. Our education-focused projects seek to protect students’ rights, promote racial justice, and keep all students in class where they are safe, supported, and available for learning.

Youth Experiencing Homelessness

Young people experiencing homelessness and chronic poverty face unique barriers to housing, education, healthcare services, and more. Youth of color, youth in foster care, immigrant youth, survivors of abuse and neglect, and youth identifying as members of the LGBTQ+ community are overrepresented within this population and face daily challenges to achieve safety and stability. Our projects serving this too-often invisible population seek to provide policy recommendations, ease systemic barriers, advocate for greater investment in supportive services, and develop resources to aid fellow advocates and vulnerable youth themselves. 

Legislative & Budget Advocacy

At the start of each legislative session, the Board of Directors at Massachusetts Appleseed selects and approves a number of legislative and budget initiatives to support. These bills and budget line items aim to increase access to justice, challenge unjust treatment of students by expanding access to education, and support youth experiencing homelessness. Often working with statewide coalitions, we view the State House as a vehicle to enact sweeping change on a broad scale and fight to fully fund the services our most vulnerable populations rely on.

Contact Us

Massachusetts Appleseed Logo
Massachusetts Appleseed
Center for Law and Justice

44 School Street, Suite 415
Boston, MA 02108
(617) 482-8686