Justice Project Director, Advancement Project
Before joining Advancement Project as Justice Project Director, Thomas B. Harvey served as the National Director of Strategic Partnerships and Advocacy for The Bail Project and as ArchCity Defenders’ first executive director, which he co-founded in 2009.
Thomas built a civil rights litigation unit that worked with organizers and partners on campaigns including federal and state class action impact litigation on debtors’ prisons, cash bail, police misconduct and the illegal use of chemical munitions during protests following the murder of Mike Brown in Ferguson, MO. Thomas is the lead author of ArchCity’s 2014 paper on St. Louis County’s municipal court system which served as the template for the Justice Department’s findings in Ferguson. His writings sparked a national conversation about the way police and local courts work in concert to criminalize Black lives and destroy public confidence in the justice system and government.
Thomas also authored a chapter on police abolition in Cambridge’s Handbook on Policing in the United States and a chapter of Ferguson Fault Lines detailing the systemic racism, for-profit policing, and unconstitutional procedures and practices in St. Louis’ municipal courts. Thomas is an executive member of the Future of Justice Policy, an advisory board member of the Misdemeanor Justice Project, 2016 Trial Lawyer of the Year, and a 2015 Harvard Law Wasserstein Fellow. Thomas helped organize the historic Law4BlackLives convening in Harlem’s Riverside Cathedral and his work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Democracy Now, MSNBC, and National Public Radio