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CRLA, Inc. Announces $3.6 Million Gift from MacKenzie Scott

December 11, 2023
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December 11, 2023

CRLA, Inc. Announces $3.6 Million Gift from MacKenzie Scott

Record-setting gift will amplify community-led justice across rural California

MODESTO, CA – California Rural Legal Assistance, Inc. (CRLA) announced today a $3.6 million gift from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott and Yield Giving, the largest single gift in CRLA’s history. The funds position CRLA to significantly expand community-led justice in rural areas on the front lines of climate change, the housing crisis, and other statewide challenges.

CRLA is the leading civil legal aid organization serving California’s marginalized rural communities, with 17 offices across the state. CRLA provides civil legal services to tens of thousands of low-income California residents each year and systemic advocacy that benefits even more people.

“Our clients are fighting for clean water and air, safe workplaces, affordable housing and healthcare, inclusive communities, and sustainable economies,” said CRLA Executive Director Jessica M. Jewell. “Ms. Scott’s incredible, unrestricted gift gives us freedom to pursue legal strategies that ensure rural residents’ voices are heard in the courts, school boards, city councils, and other public agencies where decisions are made about our collective future.”

The gift comes during the first year of Ms. Jewell’s tenure as Executive Director and coincides with the launch of a strategic planning process. CRLA will use the transformational gift to support projects that can expand and improve access to civil legal services.

Unlike criminal cases, people aren’t guaranteed the right to an attorney in civil legal matters. Low-income people unable to afford an attorney are at a disadvantage when facing a landlord or employer who can pay for legal representation.

“Civil legal services are vital to a strong democracy with justice for all,” Ms. Jewell continued. “We hope Ms. Scott’s generosity will inspire others to learn more and make their own investment in a just California.”


Media Contact:

Monica Yu, Chief Development Officer
California Rural Legal Assistance, Inc., (415) 520-4214


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