Sacramento, CA

If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door

Welcome to the Colley Civil Rights Coalition 

Nathaniel Colley, 1st African American to establish a private law practice in Sacramento

Nathaniel S. Colley was one of California’s preeminent attorneys in the battle against racial, social, and economic discrimination.   During his long and distinguished legal career, Colley also served as the Chairman of both the NAACP’s Western Region and its National Legal Committee.

It mattered little if he was involved in high profile civil rights cases or was representing poor or working-class clients in civil or criminal cases.  Colley’s passion for justice always drove him to get the best outcome for those he represented.

Nathaniel Colley had many “Firsts”  ~ First African American member of the Sacramento County Bar Association ~ First attorney to file a racial segregation lawsuit in Sacramento ~ Established and provided legal services to other National Association for the Advancement of Colored Persons (NAACP) chapters in Northern California and the Western U.S. to fight racial segregation ~ and Legal strategist who helped end discriminatory practices in housing, public accommodations, and public and private developments in California and the nation. 

Replica of telegram sent from JFK to Nathaniel Colley

A replica of the telegram sent from JFK to Sacramento attorney Nathaniel Colley’s office at 1617 10th Street during the height of the Civil Rights movement … on June 15, 1963. Producer/Narrator: Chris Lango. Videographer/Editor: Steve Davis.

The Coalition’s Three Major Projects

Colley Civil Rights Coalition

Honoring Nathaniel Colley’s contributions to civil rights and social justice.

Colley Civil Rights Coalition

Establishing the Colley Center

Sacramento Region’s first interactive Civil Rights Center.

The Colley Center

Saving New Helvetia

Stop the demolition of a nationally recognized historic site of important civil rights litigation.

Saving New Helvetia