Movement Lawyering Conference - Agenda - Advancement Project - Advancement Project

Movement Lawyering Conference – Agenda

Welcome and Opening—9-9:30 a.m.

Room: Moot Court

  • Welcome:
    • Prof. Justin Hansford—Thurgood Marshall Civil Rights Center at Howard University School of Law
    • Marbre Stahly-Butts—Law for Black Lives
  • Opening:
    • Judith Browne Dianis—Advancement Project National Office

Opening Plenary: What's Power Got to Do With It?—9:30-10:45 a.m.

Room: Moot Court

Lawyers have been working side by side with organizers and activists fighting for liberation for decades. What makes movement lawyering different from traditional public interest lawyer models? Through their varied legal experiences, panelists will explore what is at the heart of movement lawyering, why it can be so effective and some of its potential pitfalls.

  • Moderator:
    • Marbre Stahly-Butts—Law for Black Lives
  • Speakers:
    • Azadeh Shahshahani—Project South
    • Vince Warren—Center for Constitutional Rights
    • Ash-Lee Woodard Henderson—Highlander Research and Education Center
    • Thomas Mariadason*—Asian Law Caucus

Breakout Session I—11 a.m.-12:15 p.m.

Movement Lawyering to Build Power for Youth of Color in School
Room: Holy Cross Foyer

Using a “hindsight, insight and foresight” framework, this session will explore the past, present and future of movement lawyering to build power for students of color and end the school-to-prison pipeline. Panelists will highlight lessons learned in movement lawyering to address school-to-prison pipeline issues, explore insights these lessons have taught the field, and discuss the future of movement lawyering for educational justice.

  • Moderator:
    • Tyler Whittenberg—Advancement Project National Office
  • Speakers:
    • Ashley Sawyer*—Girls for Gender Equity
    • Maria Fernandez—Advancement Project National Office
    • Oscar Lopez*—East Bay Community Law Center

Movement Lawyering for the Right to Vote: Case Studies in Building Power & Protecting Democracy
Room: Pauli Murray

The U.S. Supreme Court long ago proclaimed that the right to vote is fundamental because it is preservative of all other rights. The vote allows communities to organize and build power for change. With wholesale assaults on the right to vote, we have many battles to combat in communities of color. As movement lawyers, the context for this work is rooted in the broader fight to build power, and as a result, approaches, tactics and litigation strategies to advancing the right to vote differ from more traditional civil rights legal approaches. This panel will explore several case studies of unique lawyering approaches and the role of community lawyering in the fight to build a broad voting rights movement based on access to the ballot. It will also explore the role of movement lawyers in advancing power building for systemic change through the right to vote.

  • Moderator:
    • Denise Lieberman—Advancement Project National Office
  • Speakers:
    • Norris Henderson—Voice of the Experienced (VOTE)
    • Donita Judge*—Center for Constitutional Rights
    • Sabrina Khan—Advancement Project National Office
    • Carolyn Thompson—Advancement Project National Office

The What, When and How of Reparations
Room: Moot Court

This panel will explore the growingly powerful call for reparations and what reparations means for movement lawyering and the law. During the panel we will discuss the long and rich history of Black people’s fights for reparations in the U.S. including the multiplicity of policy, legal and cultural tactics that have been used. We will then look specifically at how litigation and policy have been used in demands for reparations for land and police violence as models for better understanding how to use movement lawyering in the reparations context.

  • Moderator:
    • Marbre Stahly-Butts—Law for Black Lives
  • Speakers
    • Nkechi Taifa—The Taifa Group, LLC
    • Montague Simmons—Movement Voter Project
    • Rukia Lumumba—People's Advocacy Institute
    • Joey Mogul—People's Law Office

Lunch—12:15-1:15 p.m.

Rooms: Pauli Murray and Moot Court

Plenary 2: From Moment to Movement—1:15-2:30 p.m.

Room: Moot Court

After the killing of Trayvon Martin and Mike Brown, organizers and activists took to the streets, but the work didn’t end there. Organizers and lawyers will explore these moments from Takeover Florida to the Ferguson Uprising and the longer-term work that emerged.

  • Moderator:
    • Judith Browne Dianis—Advancement Project National Office
  • Speakers:
    • Alana Greer*—Community Justice Project
    • Scott Roberts*—Color of Change
    • Phil Agnew—Dream Defenders
    • Erika Maye*—Color of Change
    • Kayla Reed*—Action St. Louis
    • Prof. Justin Hansford—Thurgood Marshall Civil Rights Center at Howard University School of Law
    • Thomas Harvey—Advancement Project National Office

Breakout Session II—2:45-4 p.m.

Climate Justice: Surviving Through Natural Disasters & Racist Responses
Room: Holy Cross Foyer

Hurricane Katrina and the broken levees led to death, destruction and the uprooting of Black communities in New Orleans. But it was intentional racist responses that guaranteed that the city would never be as Black again. Local and federal government engaged in racial cleansing in the name of reconstruction. This panel will discuss the fight for the Right to Return and to live with dignity. New Orleans is not alone. Climate Change hits communities of color the hardest. The panel will also explore responses in Florida and efforts to stop climate gentrification.

  • Moderator:
    • Ashley Carter—Advancement Project National Office
  • Speakers:
    • Jennifer Lai-Peterson—Advancement Project National Office
    • Tracie Washington—Higher Ground Consultants
    • Valencia Gunder—New Florida Majority
    • Alana Greer—Community Justice Project

Lawyers, Organizers and Abolitionist Campaigns: Building Power to Protect People from the Prison Industrial Complex
Room: Moot Court

Communities of color are under constant attack by the criminal legal system, from the police to prosecutors to prisons. This panel will discuss efforts to transform and abolish these systems. From Mike Brown’s murder in 2014 to the Stockley protests in 2017 and the Close the Workhouse campaign, as well as the Communities United for Police Reform’s efforts to end the criminalization of communities of color by the NYPD. We will explore strategies for organizers, activists, and lawyers to work together to dismantle systems, change the narrative, and create room for people to dream about the world they want to see.

  • Moderator:
    • Thomas Harvey—Advancement Project National Office
  • Speakers:
    • Kayla Reed—Action St. Louis
    • Blake Strode—ArchCity Defenders
    • Mike Milton—The Bail Project
    • Brendan Roediger—St. Louis University School of Law Legal Clinics
    • Vince Warren—Center Constitutional Rights

Movement Lawyering to Support Decriminalization of Migration
Room: Pauli Murray

Movement lawyering to support decriminalization of migration: Reports for supporting campaigns, public education, and narrative change. This session will provide an overview of the work Advancement Project National Office has been doing with Puente Human Rights Movement in supporting Puente’s work on changing the narrative about immigration detention and the mass incarceration crisis in Arizona. We will also discuss Project South and Just Futures Law movement lawyering work in the field of immigrant rights.

  • Moderator:
    • Tiffany Yang—Advancement Project National Office
  • Speakers
    • Losmin Jimenez—Advancement Project National Office
    • Jovana Renteria—Puente Human Rights Movement
    • Azadeh Shahshahani—Project South
    • Paromita Shah—Just Futures Law

Closing Plenary: Freedom Now, Freedom Forever—4:15-5:30 p.m.

Room: Moot Court

The racial justice movement is stronger than it has been in 60 years. We are facing some old, some new and some rejuvenated challenges that block freedom for people of color. As we quickly approach a presidential election and an era where people of color will be the majority, we must continually assess what our movement needs. Panelists will discuss what we need to do now and put in motion for the future.

  • Moderator:
    • Prof. Justin Hansford—Thurgood Marshall Civil Rights Center at Howard University School of Law
  • Speakers:
    • Mary Hooks—Southerners on New Ground
    • Amanda Alexander—Detroit Justice Center
    • Hon. Carlos Garcia—Phoenix City Council
    • Judith Browne Dianis—Advancement Project National Office
    • Paromita Shah—Just Futures Law

* = Advancement Project National Office Alumni

Sponsored by:

Photo Credit: Les Talusan
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