The Social Justice Accelerator empowers up-and-coming leaders by putting the resources of UJC at their disposal, enabling them to leap over the hurdles of being an early stage nonprofit and get directly to serving their constituencies.

Welcome to the new 2024-2026 cohort of the Social Justice Accelerator!

The SJA is designed to shepherd new and early-stage social justice leaders through the challenges of developing a well-functioning operation, by bringing them into the UJC community, where they will be mentored by expert leaders in the nonprofit and entrepreneurial fields. Over the course of two years, the SJA provides up to five individuals with the support and resources to turn their vision for social change into a reality.

Our five new projects are:

All Kings LogoAll KingsAll Kings is a peer-led men’s group dedicated to supporting mental health, processing trauma, and developing leadership for justice-impacted men and at-risk young men.

Bengali Mental Health MovementWe are a mental health-focused organization committed to destigmatizing the culturally sensitive topic of mental health within the Bengali community. Through the provision of resources, knowledge, and safe spaces, we strive to foster open conversations and promote well-being.

Cambio Labs LogoCambio LabsCambio Labs is a nonprofit organization that provides educational technology and curricular programs that transform community members into founders of organizations driven by social and environmental missions.

Inspiring Futures LogoInspiring Futures: Our mission is to improve high school and college educational outcomes for youth with current or past involvement in the child welfare, homeless, and juvenile justice systems through comprehensive and flexible mental health and academic support.

Scrutinize LogoScrutinize: Our mission is to end mass incarceration and racial inequality. We do this by analyzing data that sheds light on the decisions and impacts of individual judges.

What the SJA provides: 

  • $25K in Seed Funding 
  • Fiscal Sponsorship: UJC provides fiscal sponsorship for initiatives that are not yet separately incorporated and/or do not have their 501c3 status. 
  • Back Office Support: Assistance with accounting, finance, payroll, and benefits.
  • Organizational Development Support: Coaching and training to help you build, test, and launch your initiative. 
  • Extensive Network: Expert guidance from UJC’s extensive network of mentors, consultants, and colleagues, as well as connections to external advisors and potential partners.
  • Community:  Access to a wider ecosystem of social impact organizations, and the opportunity for collaboration with UJC’s other awardees and anchor projects.
  • Space to Work: Free office space in UJC’s downtown Manhattan office, including access to free printing, faxing, postage, office supplies, and conference rooms.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, many nonprofits have had to scale back or close their doors entirely. Where others are pulling back and disbanding, UJC is surging forward.

“We’re in a real moment to address some of our country’s most pressing issues: racism, police brutality, climate change, healthcare access, vitriolic partisanship, extreme wealth disparities, and more. We’ve recruited bold leaders with vision and solutions to seemingly intractable problems.”

– Brooke Richie-Babbage, Director, Social Justice Accelerator

The SJA grows out of our decades-long history of incubating and supporting organizations that stand with marginalized communities, fight for inclusive communities, and push for transformative system-level change.

Watch the video below to find out more about the SJA, or scroll down to see the bios of key SJA staff, and information on previous SJA classes.


For more than 30 years, we have incubated trailblazing Projects – read about the first cohort of our SJA to find out more.

Our Success Stories


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Key SJA Staff

Doug Lasdon: Executive Director, UJC

Doug Lasdon launched the UJC as a one-person operation in a burned-out building in East Harlem. In addition to leading the UJC and spearheading the Social Justice Accelerator, Doug is an Adjunct Professor at the Cornell Law School, teaching Poverty Law and Social Entrepreneurship and mentoring students on launching their own social justice projects. He was previously an Adjunct Professor New York University. Doug has served as a consultant to the World Bank, and as a Wasserstein Fellow at Harvard Law School.

Brooke Richie-Babbage: Director, Social Justice Accelerator

Brooke Richie-Babbage is an organizational design and social impact strategy advisor and consultant. Brooke is also an Adjunct Professor of nonprofit leadership and social innovation at the Baruch Graduate School of Public Affairs, as well as the Director of Impact Network Initiatives at the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation. Brooke has been a nonprofit leader, social entrepreneur, social impact strategist, and lawyer at social change organizations for the past 21 years. She has advised and presented papers at law schools throughout the country, and has served on and Chaired multiple nonprofit boards. She is a graduate of Harvard Law, an Echoing Green Finalist, and a Harvard Law School Wasserstein Fellow.

Nick Taranto: Entrepreneur Consultant, Social Justice Accelerator

Nick Taranto was born in New York to a Turkish dad and a mom from Minnesota. After earning his MBA at Harvard Business School, Nick commissioned as an infantry officer in the US Marine Corps. Post active duty, Nick spent six months on Wall Street before leaving to found Plated, a technology-driven food company whose mission is to create a world where healthy, affordable, and delicious food is available to everyone. Plated has created over 1,000 jobs in four states, and has shipped tens of millions of meals across the United States. Nick is a husband and father of two young daughters. He is the author of The Evolved Eater.

Bradley Tusk headshot

Bradley Tusk: Entrepreneur Consultant, Social Justice Accelerator

Bradley Tusk is a venture capitalist, political strategist, philanthropist and writer. He created the first venture capital fund to embrace regulatory risk. He ran the campaigns across the United States to legalize Uber and has since done the same for tech startups like FanDuel, Lemonade, Roman, Bird and dozens of others. He ran Mike Bloomberg’s 2009 re-election campaign, served as the Deputy Governor of Illinois (and managed to come out clean), and served as Chuck Schumer’s Communications Director. He has funded and run the national effort to create mobile voting over the blockchain with 20 different jurisdictions (so far) offering deployed military and people with disabilities the chance to vote on their phones. Bradley is also the chair of a publicly traded gambling company (Ivory Gaming Acquisition Corporation). His foundation has passed legislation in a dozen states to bring regular meals to approximately 6 million children, college students and senior citizens. He is the co-founder of the Gotham Book Prize, the owner of P&T Knitwear — a new bookstore and podcast studio opening this fall on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, an adjunct professor at Columbia Business School, the co-founder and chair of Exalt — a new startup attempting to digitize religion, the author of The Fixer: My Adventures Saving Startups from Death by Politics, the host of Firewall — a podcast about technology and politics, and writes a column for Fast Company. He is also working on a comedic novel about legalizing flying cars.

SJA 2022-2024 Midpoint Assessment

After one year in the program, our current SJA class has had incredible successes – read all about them in this midterm assessment report.

SJA 2020-2022 in review

Read our SJA In Review report, which details the incredible successes of our 2020 class of Social Justice Accelerator fellows.