Andrew Friedman ’98 to lead joint NYU Law and NYU Wagner initiative

Andrew Friedman '98 will join NYU on January 2 to lead a new Initiative for Community Power and Democratic Engagement (ICPDE). A joint undertaking of the Law School’s Center on Race, Inequality, and the Law (CRIL) and NYU Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, the Initiative will combine scholarship, field-building, experiential education, academic conferences, and internships and fellowships to examine inequality, anti-democratic trends, the links between the two—and how to disrupt both.

“I am thrilled to launch this exciting initiative to catalyze understanding, innovation, and high-impact partnerships and work to create a more equitable, democratic, and racially just society," Friedman said.

Friedman is the founder and co-executive director of the Center for Popular Democracy (CPD) the largest federated network of community organizing groups in the United States. Prior to founding CPD in 2012. Friedman co-founded and spent 15 years building Make the Road New York into the leading democratically-run, immigrant-led community organization in New York State. He also co-founded Local Progress, a national network of progressive municipal elected officials and The Action Lab, a movement hub that opens space for connection, reflection, innovation, training and planning.

“With two decades of experience organizing communities advocating for social change, Andrew is the ideal person to oversee the launch of this initiative that aims to accelerate progress towards a more equitable and democratic society,” said Professor of Clinical Law Deborah Archer, who is CRIL’s co-faculty director. “The Initiative will combine the resources of two leading NYU institutions with community-grounded tools of advocacy and organizing.”

“We are delighted to welcome Andrew to NYU and to collaborate with the Law School on this venture,” said Erica Foldy, Associate Professor of Public and Nonprofit Management at NYU Wagner. “This will take our work on advocacy and organizing for a stronger and more just democracy to the next level.” Professor Foldy and Professor Archer will serve as co-directors of the Initiative with an advisory board of faculty from both schools.

Friedman has taught at the Law School’s clinical program, the Wagner School, the New School for Social Research, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, and Columbia Law School. Prior to attending NYU Law, he graduated from Columbia College.