Short Form Schedule of Events & Locations
Click on the programming categories below to see the titles and descriptions of major panels, workshops, and CLEs at this year's #Law4thePeopleConvention at the UDC David A. Clarke School of Law! 4340 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008. (Map)
Immigrants Resist the Deportation Regime in the Age of Trump—CLE Credit Available (UDC Law 518 Moot Court Rm)
In its first six months, the administration of Donald Trump has attempted to deliver on the xenophobic promise of his campaign. Beyond the hate-filled rhetoric, some of the most notable government actions have included the Muslim ban, the proposal to build a border wall and hire thousands of border patrol agents, ICE’s directive to agents to target all undocumented immigrants for deportation, and the resulting increase in ICE raids and other harsh immigration enforcement tactics. But immigrants, having struggled for years against the deportation machine, are again resisting the current wave of enforcement. This panel will address various forms of resistance to the increased repression of immigrants under Trump. Communities are mobilizing defense committees, building rapid response networks, creating sanctuary spaces, and engaging in direct action. Advocates are also engaging in legal strategies designed to stress the deportation machine to its breaking point, by organizing community deportation defense campaigns, rallying public outcry against subhuman conditions in detention, providing free legal representation to detained immigrants, and challenging due process violations in immigration court. This panel will provide an overview of Trump’s executive orders on immigration and border enforcement, conditions of confinement in immigrant detention centers, and removal proceedings in immigration court. It will also cover strategies communities are using to advocate for immigrant justice, from litigation in federal courts and immigration courts to community organizing, policy advocacy, and public education.
Adelina Nicholls, Executive Director of the Georgia Latino Association of Human Rights. Since 2001, Adelina has overseen, coordinated, and carried out the efforts of GLAHR to develop grassroots leaders and organizations within Georgia’s Latino immigrant communities in order to defend and advance Latinos' civil and human rights. Originally from Mexico City, Adelina received a degree in sociology from the Autonomous National University of México (UNAM), where she later taught courses in sociology, social theory, social research techniques, and methodology in the Political and Social Science College. In 2001, Adelina co-founded and served as President of the Coordinating Council of Latino Community Leaders of Atlanta—the organization out of which GLAHR grew. In this role, Adelina facilitated community organizing workshops and leadership development seminars for Latino immigrants, as well as coordinated a campaign that acquired over 30,000 signatures to demand for undocumented immigrants’ right to obtain driver’s licenses. Adelina later served as a lead organizer for the First Latino March for Dignity in Georgia, during which more than 5,000 people gathered to demand driver's licenses for undocumented immigrants. She was also a spokesperson and co-organizer of the March 17 Alliance for Immigration Reform, which took place on April 10, 2006, and mobilized more than 70,000 people. Adelina has received recognition as well as a number of awards for her work in community organizing and human rights, including the MALDEF Award Community Service (2001), the ACLU Georgia Civil and Human Rights Award (2008), and Mundo Hispánico’s Best Organization of the Year (2013).
Azadeh Shahshahani, Legal and Advocacy Director, Project South. Azadeh has worked for a number of years in the Southeast to protect the human rights of immigrants and Muslim, Middle Eastern, and South Asian communities. She previously served as National Security/Immigrants’ Rights Project Director with the ACLU of Georgia. Azadeh is a past president of the National Lawyers Guild. Through the NLG, Azadeh has participated in international delegations, including to post-revolutionary Tunisia and Egypt, a delegation focused on the situation of Palestinian political prisoners, and election monitoring delegations to Venezuela and Honduras. She has also served as a member of the jury in people’s tribunals on Mexico, the Philippines, and Brazil. Azadeh also serves as Chair of Georgia Detention Watch, Co-chair of the US Human Rights Network Working Group on National Security, and on the Advisory Council of the American Association of Jurists. She is the lead researcher on two reports on conditions in immigrant detention centers, including “Imprisoned Justice” and “Prisoners of Profit,” as well as law review articles and book chapters focused on racial profiling, immigrants’ rights, and surveillance of Muslim-Americans. Her work has also appeared in the Guardian, the Nation, MSNBC, Aljazeera, the Atlanta Journal Constitution, and the Huffington Post, among others. Azadeh is the recipient of the 2016 Georgia WAND Peace and Justice Award, American Immigration Lawyers Association 2012 Advocacy Award, and the University of Georgia Law School 2009 Equal Justice Foundation Public Interest Practitioner Award. She has been recognized as one of 100 Influential Georgia Muslims. In 2016, she was chosen by the Mundo Hispanico Newspaper as an Outstanding Person of the Year for her activism on behalf of the Latino community and defending the rights of immigrants in Georgia.
Paromita Shah, Associate Director, National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild. Paromita has served as Associate Director of NIPNLG since 2005, specializing in immigration detention and enforcement. She is a contributing author and co-presenter of the “Deportation 101” curriculum, participates in regular advocacy efforts with ICE officials, and has created an abundance of resources for communities affected by heightened immigration enforcement efforts. Previously, Paromita served as director of Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights (CAIR) Coalition in Washington, DC, where she conducted presentations in regional county jails, trained attorneys, assessed detainee claims for relief, and conducted liaison meetings with DHS and DOJ. She also worked as a staff attorney at Greater Boston Legal Services.
Laura Rivera, Staff Attorney, Southern Poverty Law Center, Immigrants’ Rights Project. Laura serves as deputy director of SPLC’s Southeast Immigrant Freedom Initiative, a newly-launched project providing free legal representation to detained immigrants at Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, Georgia, one of the country’s biggest immigrant detention centers. She works with the SIFI team to build partnerships with community organizations, provide direct representation to immigrants seeking release from ICE custody, and lay the groundwork for the expansion of SIFI’s services to Irwin County Detention Center in Ocilla, Georgia, LaSalle Detention Facility in Jena, Louisiana, and Folkston Processing Center in Folkston, Georgia. Previously, she served as a staff attorney at the Farmworker Rights Division of Georgia Legal Services Program, where she represented farmworkers in wage and hour and employment discrimination litigation. She has also worked as a reporter in New York and Puerto Rico.
Azadeh Erfani is a staff attorney with Capital Area Immigrants' Rights Coalition, providing legal services to detained children. Azadeh works closely with children in secure detention, who are high priorities for deportation under the Trump administration and are subject to ICE raids.
NLG Defends Political Prisoners: Lawyers and Clients Tell Their Stories (UDC Law Rm 515)
The NLG has a long history of defending political prisoners. Although there have been some victories, many political prisoners remain in US prisons. Some of them like Herman Bell, Jalil Muntaqin, Leonard Peltier, Mumia Abu Jamal, Mutulu Shakur and the Move 9 have been locked up for decades. There are also newer prisoners who have been jailed for acts of resistance from the animal rights, anarchist and Black Lives Matter movements among others. This year, NLG attorneys and the former political prisoners they've defended will discuss the process they went through and their experiences: their legal defenses, the relationship to campaigns and the relationship with defendants and movements. The panel will also discuss current work and the importance and necessity of having NLG members join and continue the work. This panel will help NLG members acquire the needed legal and political skills to help free political prisoners.
Bob Boyle is a long time member of the NLG. Many of the cases handled by Mr. Boyle over the years have involved individuals targeted by the government due to their race, sex, political beliefs and/or religion and he has represented numerous political prisoners in his over 30 year career. Mr. Boyle was lead counsel in the post conviction proceeding that secured Bin Wahad’s release from prison in 1990 on the ground that the prosecution has withheld evidence of his innocence. He helped win compassionate release for Lynne Stewart. More recently, in 2008 Mr. Boyle’s appellate work overturned the 75 year prison sentence of Mohammed Al-Moayad who was convicted of providing material support to Hamas. Al-Moayad was released and returned to his home in Yemen. Mr. Boyle was part of the team that represented former attorney Lynne Stewart in her successful effort to secure compassionate release on medical grounds from her 10 year prison term. In 2014 Mr. Boyle secured the release of Marshall Eddie Conway a former Black Panther who spent nearly 43 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. He currently represents BPP political prisoners Herman Bell and Mumia Abu Jamal.
Jan Susler is a long time member of the NLG and a member of the People’s Law Office in Chicago. She has a long history of work on behalf of political prisoners and prisoners’ rights including litigation, advocacy and educational work around federal and state control unit prisons in the U.S. Her work with the Puerto Rican Independence Movement and with progressive movements challenging U.S. foreign and domestic policies has been a constant throughout her more than 40 years as a lawyer. She is the lead counsel for Oscar Lopez Rivera and was instrumental in the campaign for his release. Her advocacy has included testifying in hearings at the U.S. House of Representatives and the United Nations, and she has written and lectured extensively about her work. She is the co-chair of the NLG Puerto Rico Subcommittee. She was awarded the NLG Ernie Goodman award in 1999, and was a co-awardee of the Law for the People Award in 2013. This year she will be a co-receiver of the Debra Evenson “Venceremos” Award.
Moira Meltzer - Cohen’s law practice focuses on using the courts in the struggle for meaningful justice, including helping people to win parole release, advocating for health care for elderly or trans people who are incarcerated, and fighting criminal or civil charges brought against members of the press, protesters, grand jury resisters, and individuals alleged to have engaged in terrorist activity based on their political beliefs. As such she is actively involved in defending political prisoners. Meltzer-Cohen provides legal support and education for social movement groups pushing for fundamental transformation of oppressive systems. After doing Know Your Rights education for protesters during Occupy Wall Street, she helped to found Just Info, a free 24-hour hotline that provides the same kind of legal information, service referrals, and community organizing connections to all people in the five boroughs. She is a founding member of Mutant Legal, a collective devoted to popular education on matters of legal import, including community legal organizing. She currently splits her time between New York City and North Dakota, where she provides legal support to Water Protectors fighting charges brought in retaliation for their struggles against the Dakota Access Pipeline.
After serving in Vietnam (where he received a Bronze Star), Oscar Lopez Rivera returned to Chicago and fought to change the lives of Puerto Ricans there. He helped establish community organizations that that more than 40 years later are still going strong. They include the Puerto Rican Cultural Center and High School. In 1981 he was arrested and charged with seditious conspiracy. Oscar López Rivera was the longest held Puerto Rican political prisoner in the history of Puerto Rico serving more than 35 years in prison. As a result of a broad, human rights based international campaign, President Obama commuted his sentence on January 17, 2016. He survived endless government efforts to break him, efforts he calls “spiriticide,” including more than 12 years of solitary confinement in supermax prisons Marion and ADX Florence, with his spirit and commitment to the independence of Puerto Rico intact. Oscar is considered a national hero in Puerto Rico and was greeted by thousands there and around the US upon his release. He is the 2017 NLG Arthur Kinoy awardee.
Sekou Odinga was a US-held political prisoner imprisoned over 33 years for fighting for the freedom of Black people and the building of the Republic of New Afrika. He was also a member of the Black Liberation Army. In 1965, Sekou joined the Organization of Afro-American Unity (OAAU), founded by Malcolm X. He later led the Harlem and Bronx chapters of the Black Panther Party. He was one of the Panther 21 who were acquitted in 1969 after being charged with multiple acts of “terrorism” and conspiracy. In 1984, he was convicted of charges related to his involvement in the escape of Assata Shakur from prison and a Brink’s armored car robbery. Sekou was a jailhouse lawyer and helped litigate the fact that he should have been serving concurrent rather than consecutive sentences. He was released in November 2014.
Ending Incarceration of Women and Girls (UDC Law Rm 516)
The mission of the National Council is to end the incarceration of women and girls. We believe this is an attainable goal. The motto of the National Council is “nothing about us without us”. Begun, in December 2015, the National Council works to ensure that no policies, laws, practices, organizing, and services are made without including ideas and voices of incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women and girls. Through model legislation, organizing, advocacy, support and awareness, the National Council is committed to collectively building a new and just system grounded in human rights. Formerly incarcerated New York Council Chapter members Justine Moore and Carolina Soto and Youth Policy Coordinator Kyndia Riley from Virginia, whose parents are serving sentences of life without the possibility of parole, will speak about their work and the work of the National Council.
Justine Moore, also known as Taz, realized while incarcerated that she wanted to be part of something that would help society in a positive way. She served 16 years in federal prison at the Danbury Federal Correctional Institution and Federal Prison Camp, nine months in a halfway house and one year of probation. When her parents separated at age 14 she moved with her mother to an aunt’s apartment in the projects and there decided to work with Rastafarian drug dealers. This began her life as a dealer, transporter and “gun-toting girl” determined to get rich or die trying. Her extraordinary lifestyle eventually ended with a federal prison sentence of 240 months (20 years), as well as 10 years supervised release. Justine is a founding member of The National Council for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls, Families for Justice as Healing, Ladies of Hope Ministries, Free Her and Nothing About Us Without Us. She travels around the country, sharing her story and speaking out on mass incarceration and helping women stay out of prison. She is currently attending school to become a drug counselor and is a cook for The Fortune Society.
Carol Soto is a holistic health counselor, scenic artist, project coordinator and administrative support professional. She has owned and operated her own adventure tour Company, Dakini Tours, bringing trekkers to Nepal and Tibet and guiding small groups to Himalayan destinations as high as 20,000 feet. She is the co-producer and director of a documentary with Braccus Giovanno about the real women of Orange Is The New Black, the book by Piper Kerman that has been made into the popular Netflix series about women in prison. She is represented by Yoga Janet in the book and Yoga Jones in the series. A committed antiwar and social justice activist since the 1970s Carol worked with both the Nicaraguan and El Salvador movements to stop the US wars of aggression in those countries. Most recently she worked with Hibakusha Stories, a program of Youth Arts New York, that brings atomic bomb survivors into high schools and universities to give their personal testimonies of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. These presentations were accompanied by interactive lessons on nuclear disarmament. Youth Arts New York is now sponsoring a speak out on prison abolition that presented a panel and then interactive workshops to several high schools in May and will repeat this format with eight high School groups on Oct 24 and 25 at the Brooklyn YWCA. Carol was arrested for possession of and conspiracy to distribute 80 grams (2.8 ounces) of marijuana under the RICO statues with 20 co-defendants whom she had never met. She served 14 months in Danbury prison Camp.
Kyndia Riley is a third year student at the University of Virginia studying Chemistry and Anthropology. Since the age of 2, both of her parent’s have been incarcerated within federal prison. They are both serving life sentences, and she has had to deal with the consequences of their incarceration her entire life; therefore, in addition to her studies, Kyndia is an advocate and mentor for children with incarcerated parents and is working towards an end to mass incarceration so that children will not have to endure the traumatic loss of a parent(s). Her main role in doing such is with the National Council for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girl as their Youth Policy Coordinator. She has spoken on various panels, partook/coordinated within workshops, and spoken with various newscasts.
Protecting Human Rights of Migrants and Refugees in the Trump Era (UDC Law 518 Moot Court Rm)
Right wing movements, especially in the US seek to place the blame for economic ills on immigrants and refugees, yet at the same time it is neo liberal policies, war, climate change, and other factors which force people to leave their homes and migrate. This panel brings together speakers from the NLG, the Canadian Association of Labor Lawyers (CALL), and the Association of Labor Lawyers of Latin America (ALAL) to discuss the current legal and political barriers migrants face in the Western Hemisphere, and how to protect their human rights. This panel will bring together many aspects of NLG work from immigrants rights, workers rights, international law and human rights. The panel will include a report from a member of the delegation which observed the mistreatment of migrants attempting migrate to the US through Mexico in 2016.
Richard Beaule - CALL Canada
Guillermo Ferriol - ALAL Cuba
Luis Carlos Moro and Roberto Parahyba, Brazil
Maria Estela Rios, Mexico
Moderator: Natasha Bannan, President, NLG
Syria & US Policy in Southwest Asia / North Africa (UDC Law Rm 515)
Guest speaker Professor Bassam Haddad will discuss the internal & external social, political and economic conditions that impacted the rise of the uprising and civil war in Syria and share critical analysis on how anti-imperialist movements should approach the question of Syria and support the Syrian people.
Bassam Haddad is director of the Middle East and Islamic Studies Program and associate professor at the Schar School for Policy and Government at George Mason University. A co-editor/founder of the e-zine Jadaliyya, he is the author of Business Networks in Syria: The Political Economy of Authoritarian Resilience(2011) and executive director of the Arab Studies Institute.
Leila Sayed-Taha is a Syrian-American lawyer that was raised in the Middle East and moved to the USA in 2011. She previously worked with UNRWA in Damascus and is originally from the Northeastern region of Deirezzor. Leila is also co-chair of the People of Color Caucus (TUPOCC) of the National Lawyers Guild.
Benjamin Douglas is a Guild member who lives and works in Washington, DC. He lived in Damascus from fall 2010 until March 2011. He is an active member of the SWANA subcommittee.
Moderator: Suzanne Adely , Co-Chair of the IC International Committee & SWANA subcommittee member.
Muslim in America (UDC Law Rm 516)—CLE Credit Available
For decades, Muslims have struggled against police harassment and bias-based attacks as Islamophobia has been institutionalized effectively sanctioning and leading to the dehumanization and criminalization of Muslims. Accordingly, understanding the manifestations of Islamophobia is important for legal activists in understanding the legal battles facing this community. This panel explores the recent ways in which Muslims have struggled to safeguard their basic rights against government surveillance, oppressive legislation, and religious discrimination. The Muslim Ban, Countering Violent Extremism programs, and other forms of institutionalized Islamophobia will be the focus of the discussion. The panelists will provide guidance for legal activists on how to combat these unrelenting assaults. Attendees will leave with a better understanding of the struggles facing their Muslim neighbors, co-workers, and clients. Moreover, they will be empowered to defend and support Muslim communities.
Dr. Maha Hilal is the inaugural Michael Ratner Middle East fellow with the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, D.C. Additionally, she is an organizer with Witness Against Torture and a steering committee member of the DC Justice for Muslims Coalition. Concurrent with these roles, she is also a Post-Doctoral Fellow at Tulane University's Traumatology Institute where she is supporting a project on torture treatment for victims of U.S. torture. Dr. Hilal earned her doctorate in May 2014 from the Department of Justice, Law and Society at American University in Washington, D.C.
Abed A. Ayoub serves as the National Legal & Policy Director of the American -Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), the country's largest Arab American civil rights organization, based in Washington, D.C. Ayoub works to address issues impacting Arabs and Muslims in the United States, including discrimination, hate crimes, and profiling. He also works to enhance the community’s economic empowerment, and access to education. Before joining ADC, Ayoub was in private practice in Michigan, specializing in immigration and criminal law. Outside of ADC, he works with a number of organizations on interfaith projects and has participated in numerous diversity training programs throughout the country.
Azadeh Shahshahani, Legal & Advocacy Director of Project South. Azadeh works to protect the human and civil rights of Muslim, Middle Eastern, and South Asian communities in the south. She is a recent past president of the National Lawyers Guild, previously served as National Security/Immigrants’ Rights Project Director with the ACLU of Georgia, and serves as Co-chair of the US Human Rights Network Working Group on National Security.
Omar Farah is a Senior Staff Attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights, where he specializes in challenging unlawful detentions at Guantánamo prison. Since 2008, he has represented several detainees in habeas corpus litigation in federal court and in resettlement efforts. Beyond his Guantánamo work, Omar focuses on litigation and advocacy in response to abusive counterterrorism practices, including the unlawful surveillance of Muslim American communities. Prior to coming to CCR, he was in private practice, working mostly in the area of international commercial arbitration. Omar’s opinion pieces have appeared in Rolling Stone, The Huffington Post and The Global Journal among others.
Facilitator: Amanda Parris is a J.D. Candidate at Emory Law, M.T.S. Candidate at Candler School of Theology at Emory University, and Assistant Managing Editor for the Journal of Law and Religion. As an intern at Project South, she works on immigrants’ rights and religious discrimination issues. She also works in the areas of voting rights and indigent criminal defense. Amanda is currently interning at the ACLU’s Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief.
Organizing 101 for Legal Professionals and Law Students (UDC Law 518 Moot Court Rm)
Social movements have long been a driver for greater equity and inclusiveness in our society and legal system. Progressive legal workers can become more effective advocates by working alongside activists and by incorporating organizing principles into their practice. Bernie 2016 staffers will train attendees on how to inspire and mobilize communities, build coalitions, and influence policymakers. This workshop will cover:
- Personal Stake Training – developing your elevator pitch that will inspire others to get involved
2. Mobilizing People – making an effective “ask” for whatever your group needs and training others on how to do it, too
3. Engaging Elected Officials – strategies for making your group’s voices heard
4. Coalition-Building – the grassroots team model and how to keep community members engaged over the long-term.
Linh Nguyen is Managing Director, Tanzeem Group. She formerly worked with Special Projects, Bernie 2016.
Minh Nguyen is Wellness Coordinator, Houston Cardiac Center. She is a former Organizer for Bernie 2016 & former Election and Advocacy Fellow at RESULTS.
Theresa Shaffer is a union organizer for the American Federation of Teachers. Previously, she was an Organizer for Bernie 2016.
Ihaab Syed is a student at UCLA School of Law. She was a former Organizer for Bernie 2016.
Criminal Defense Work as Impact Litigation for Reproductive Justice—CLE Credit (UDC Law Rm 515)
Impact litigation can be class actions and other broad reform fights, or it can be a single criminal defense case at trial or appeal. Criminal defense for pregnancy-related crimes is needed now more than ever, not just around arrests for abortion, but also for being pregnant, giving birth and having used a controlled substance, experiencing a pregnancy loss, improper disposal of fetal remains, and refusing cesarean surgery. The workshop will share strategies and resources for making change when facing prosecutions related to pregnancy. Legal work that makes an impact occurs in court but also includes policy advocacy, media advocacy, and organizing.
Cherisse Scott is CEO and Founder of SisterReach in Memphis, TN. Ms. Scott has been working in the Reproductive Justice movement for over 10 years. She came to know the framework of Reproductive Justice as a woman in need of a safe abortion. Her experience of being misguided by services offered through a crisis pregnancy center posing as an abortion clinic set in motion the work she would commit to and women she would fight form. As many Black women, Scott knows exactly what it is not to have the necessary social supports in order to make informed decisions about her reproductive health. In that same spirit, Scott also knows how life changes positivey when a woman is empowered with access and information about her reproductive and sexual health. In 2011, Scott founded SisterReach, currently the only Reproductive Justice organization in the state of Tennessee, to focus on empowering women and girls of color, poor women, rural women, and their families.
Nia Weeks is Director of Policy & Advocacy at Women With a Vision in New Orleans, LA. A native of New Orleans, Nia has spent years fighting for the rights of women, children, and families. Nia received her bachelor’s degree at Indiana State University, where her advocacy training began. Nia worked in public relations before beginning law school, and graduated with a law degree from the Loyola School of Law in New Orleans. She then served as a law clerk for Southeast Louisiana Legal Services, the Housing Authority of New Orleans, the Louisiana Public Defender Board, and Essence Music Festival. After passing the Louisiana Bar, Nia served as a law clerk for the Hon. Judge Angelique Reed in the First City Court in Orleans Parish and directed Harmony House, a supervised visitation center for victims of domestic violence. She also served as a public defender in Orleans Parish for two years before coming to WWAV.
Nancy Rosenbloom, Director of Legal Advocacy at National Advocates for Pregnant Women, has been a lawyer fighting for equal justice for more than 25 years. She has represented clients in civil rights, reproductive rights, family law, education law, and criminal defense matters, through individual case advocacy, impact litigation, policy advocacy, and training. Ms. Rosenbloom graduated from Brown University and Columbia University School of Law. After a federal court clerkship with the Hon. U. W. Clemon in Alabama, she served as a senior staff attorney and Director of Special Litigation at The Legal Aid Society in New York City, Director of Judicial Strategy at the Center for Reproductive Rights, and Project Director at the City Bar Justice Center, before joining NAPW.
Amber Khan, Senior Staff Attorney at National Advocates for Pregnant Women, has represented clients in a variety of civil matters including family law and immigration law. She has also worked in the field of international human rights. Ms. Khan received her undergraduate degree from American University, her Master’s degree from Columbia University, and graduated from George Washington University Law School. Before joining NAPW, Ms. Khan served most recently as a Senior Staff Attorney at the Center for Family Representation in New York City.
In Defense of Organizing: Government Retaliation Against Social Movements (UDC Law Rm 516)
Organizers and movement lawyers come together to discuss the new and leading challenges for defending organizing in this political moment. A fundamentally authoritarian administration that makes unprecedented power grabs faces a large-scale growth in organizing and mass participation in political dissent and protests. The Trump Administration is already cracking down on political dissent through the mass prosecution of inauguration protesters, rollbacks on privacy policies, and surveillance of phones and computers. These tactics of retaliation often use surveillance tools, databases and other technological advances to track dissenters and activists. This panel explores key threats and solutions to address government attacks on organizing. \
Noor Mir is a DC-based anti-war organizer. Noor was born and raised in Islamabad, Pakistan and moved to the US 8 years ago, shortly afterwards joining CODEPINK: Women for Peace as an anti-drone campaigner. She then worked at the local anti-war organization Washington Peace Center, and as the campaigner for police accountability at human rights organization Amnesty International. On the side, she spends her time as a board member of the Washington Peace Center, an organizer with the Muslim American Women’s Policy Forum, and the DC Justice for Muslims Coalition. She also supports the DC Counter-Inaugural Welcoming Committee, also known as DisruptJ20.
Andrew Free is the founder and managing attorney of a social justice legal startup based in Nashville, Tennessee. His team focuses on stopping deportations, attacking criminalization and mass incarceration for profit, and holding abusive bosses, government agencies, and officials accountable in federal court. As a movement-minded, client-centered advocate, Andrew provides strategic advice to organizers, allies, and affected communities in struggle throughout the Deep South and around the country. A significant portion of his firm's practice involves recovering damages for U.S. citizens who have been unlawfully detained or deported. Through creative and strategic use of the Freedom of Information Act litigation, the Federal Tort Claims Act, Section 1983, Title VII, Bivens litigation, the Fair Housing Act, the Administrative Procedure Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, and the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, Andrew has helped clients recover millions in damages, attorney's fees, and other penalties from wrongdoers. He is a 2010 graduate of Vanderbilt University Law School, where he received the Bennett Douglas Bell Memorial Prize.
Julie Mao is the Enforcement Fellow at the National Immigration Project for the National Lawyers Guild (NIPNLG), where she provides legal and policy support to grassroots communities challenging ICE enforcement and demanding government accountability. Since the inauguration of President Trump, Julie has supported organizers, community members and attorneys in developing resistance strategies to combat the surge in immigration enforcement under this Administration. Julie has represented immigrants in civil rights and police accountability litigation, was the legal strategist in two successful campaigns to end local police collusion with ICE, and worked with community members across the country to stop deportations. Julie is a 2011 graduate of the NYU School of Law and its Immigrant Rights Clinic, and a former Equal Justice Works fellow.
Building the Guild from Inside Out: NLG Organizing, History, and Structure (UDC Law Rm 505)
Since the election of Trump, Guild membership has increased substantially with people renewing or joining for the first time. This panel can orient members who want to get a "big picture" understanding of the NLG, and to get tips for organizing their local chapter or committees. We want the space for members to see the links and collaborations between the different parts of the NLG, which often work independently. Participants will get practical tools to help them grow their NLG chapter/committee, including membership and student outreach, press and media advice, event planning (regionals) and starting up new initiatives with fellow members. Presenters include:
Abenicio Cisneros is staff attorney for Teamsters Local 2010 in Oakland, California. During law school, Cisneros was active with the UC Davis Law NLG chapter, working to expand the chapter and organizing in support of campus activists and against tuition increases. After graduation, Cisneros served on the executive board of the San Francisco Bay Area NLG chapter and is active with the local Next Gen committee, which supports local student chapters, plans community building events, and facilitates the NLGSF mentorship program.
Sharlyn Grace is an activist and attorney who works on issues related to policing, decarceration, restorative justice, and criminal legal system reform. In the past, she has been a member of Tamms Year Ten, a successful campaign to close a supermaximum prison in Illinois, and We Charge Genocide. She is a currently part of Chicago Community Bond Fund. Sharlyn has been a NLG member since 2010 and active in Mass Defense efforts in Boston, DC, and Chicago. She is a past board member of the National Executive Committee and the Chicago chapter.
SNCC: Civil Right Activism to DC Statehood (UDC Law Rm 214)
This panel will include participants in the Student Non-Violence Coordinating Committee (SNCC), which is celebrating its 55th anniversary in 2017. Panelists will include SNCC veterans who helped organize throughout the South; organized the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party; worked in voter registration, sharecropper rights, as Freedom riders and other movements; they will briefly describe their experiences. Many of them then came to the Washington, DC area, to enter government in the administration of Marion Barry Jr. (the first National Secretary of SNCC); to run for elective office or to do other organizing work. We will then examine the current struggle for DC Statehood, in the context of the work of these SNCC veterans.
Dr. Frank Smith left Morehouse be become a SNCC organizer in Mississippi. In 1968, he moved to Washington D.C. where he completed his degree, worked in public policy research, served on the school board, and was elected to the DC City Council in 1982, where he served for 16 years. He is the Founder and President of the African-American Civil War Museum, Washington, DC.
Judy Richardson attended Swarthmore College, where she joined the Swarthmore Political Action Committee (SPAC) and travelled to assist desegregation of public accommodations in Cambridge, Maryland. She was a SNCC organizer in Mississippi and Georgia, and joined the SNCC staff at the national office in Atlanta. She and other SNCC staffers founded Drum & Spear Bookstore in Washington, the largest black bookstore in the country. Among her other literary contributions, she edited "Hands on the Freedom Plow," stories of women civil rights workers. film editor and producer, She was a researcher and content advisor for the Academy Award nominated miniseries "Eyes on the Prize," and was the associate producer for “Eyes On the Prize II.”
Courtland Cox was a SNCC organizer whose work included the Freedom Summer Project in Mississippi and organizing the 1963 March on Washington. He co-founded the Drum & Spear Bookstore. He served in the administration of DC Mayor Marion Barry, organizing the Office of Minority and Small Business Development. He served as a board member of TransAfrica. In 1998, Mr. Cox was appointed by President Bill Clinton to serve as his Director of the Minority Business Development Agency at the U.S. Department of Commerce. In 2010, Mr. Cox participated in organizing the SNCC Legacy Project, and served as its first President.
Dorie Ladner attended Tougaloo College, and was a SNCC organizer and Freedom Rider. She worked with Fannie Lou Hamer and the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party. She later became a social worker and community activist in Washington, DC. She was recently featured in a Full Frontal Black History Month segment, “We’re Still Not There: A Practical Guide to Resistance.”
Anise Jenkins is a leader in DC Statehood movement, and a founder of Stand Up/Free DC, the DC Statehood Coalition and other groups.
MODERATOR: Jennifer Lawson left college to work full time as a SNCC Organizer in Alabama, Mississippi, and Georgia. She has had an extensive career in public media. She currently works with SNCC Legacy Project, which has created, in partnership with Duke University, the website www.SNCCdigital.org to preserve the stories of past SNCC activism and to support present and future activists.
Limits of Executive Power: John Yoo, Torture and President Trump—CLE Credit (UDC Law 518 Moot Court Rm)
John Yoo championed the "unitary executive,” a theory of expansive presidential power where he wrote, "The centralization of authority in the president alone is particularly crucial in matters of national defense, war and foreign policy." Yoo authored the torture memos, but within 2 weeks after Trump was elected Yoo wrote an op-ed in the NY Times entitled "Executive Power Run Amok.” This workshop will examine the limits of executive power and analyze the Muslim Ban and Trump's likely torture plans in light of those limits.
Marjorie Cohn is professor emerita at Thomas Jefferson School of Law and past President of the NLG. She edited and contributed to "The United States and Torture" and "Drones and Targeted Killing," testified before Congress about Bush torture policies, and writes frequent articles about the limits of executive power, the Muslim Ban, and torture during the Bush and Trump administrations.
Jeanne Mirer handles high-profile workers' rights cases in New York City. She is co-chair of NLG International Committee and President of International Association of Democratic Lawyers. Ms. Mirer wrote chapters in "The United States and Torture" and "Drones and Targeted Killing,” and testified about Bush torture before Congress.
Dr. Maha Hilal is the inaugural Michael Ratner Fellow at the Institute for Peace Studies in Washington, D.C. She is also an organizer with Witness Against Torture and a steering committee member of the DC Justice for Muslims Coalition. She was previously the Executive Director of the National Coalition to Protect Civil Freedoms, an organization that serves War on Terror prisoners and their families. Dr. Hilal earned her Ph.D in Justice, Law, and Society from American University, and the title of her dissertation was "Too Damn Muslim to be Trusted: The War on Terror and the Muslim American Response."
Memory as a Catapult: NLG Storytelling Session (UDC Law Rm 515)
This session steps outside of the box of traditional panel discussions to explore facets of the Guild’s diverse and wide ranging history with concise and fast paced multimedia storytelling. In the words of Eduardo Galeano, these stories seek to work not as anchors, but as catapults. Lawyers and legal workers, veteran and next generation Guild members will take turns sharing about the Attica uprising, the first legal collective, the work of civil rights advocate Haywood Burns, and contributions Guild members have made to LGBTQI struggle and for immigrants’ rights. As we celebrate 80 years of Law for the People these stories are launching pads for the next 80 years.
Karen Jo Koonan was a founding member of the Bar Sinister Law Collective, was the first non-lawyer elected National President of the Guild, and works as a Senior Trial Consultant with Chopra Koonan Litigation Consulting.
Pooja Gehi is the Executive Director of the NLG and previously served as Director of Immigrant Justice at the Sylvia Rivera Law Project.
Wade Rosenthal is a member of the Queer Caucus and an attorney in the New York chapter of the Guild.
William Goodman was member of the Attica legal defense team, previously served as Legal Director for the Center for Constitutional Rights, and currently practices civil rights law in the firm of Goodman and Hurwitz, PC.
Facilitator: Sarah Coffey, legal worker and NLG Mid-East Regional Vice President.
Dismantling the Private Prison Industry: Standing Up Against the Corporatization of Mass Incarceration (UDC Law Rm 516)
The privatization of incarceration is a driving force behind the needless imprisonment of hundreds of thousands of adults and juveniles each year. Corporations maximize profits by warehousing disproportionate numbers of Black and Brown people in deplorable conditions, providing inadequate services, and underpaying staff. The industry grosses five billion dollars a year and spend millions lobbying for conservative legislation that increases our reliance on confinement. The impact of privatization is particularly acute in immigration detention, where two-thirds of detained individuals are held in privately-operated facilities.
In this workshop we will hear from four individuals on the front line of the struggle against the private prison industry. They will help us understand the scope of the industry, the drivers behind its growth, and the strategies being used to challenge it. Panelists represent variety of approaches to this work, from class action litigation to grassroots organizing. They will provide resources for participants to acknowledge their connection to the private prison industry and get actively engage efforts to dismantle it.
Panelists will discuss the current state of the private prison industry and the movement in opposition to it. We will begin by asking how privatization began and why it has increased to its current proportions- what federal policies have facilitated this growth? Which corporations have built the industry? We will examine why private facilities are even more destructive than their public counterparts and the particular impact privatization has on People of Color and immigrants. We will also address the recent developments in federal government’s use of private contracts in the incarceration of federal prisoners and the detention of immigrant adults and families.
The second half of the workshop will be dedicated to exploring the different strategies panelists are using to abate and abolish the private prison industry. These include the production of human rights reports on the conditions in privately operated facilities, the initiation of class action law suits on behalf of detainees, and the spearheading of divestment campaigns aimed at the corporate investors of the industry. We will ask how effective these and other strategies have been and how they will adapt moving forward. We will conclude by sharing resources to empower participants to stay informed and get involved.
Azadeh Shahshahani is a past President of the NLG, and is the Director of the Legal and Advocacy Project at Project South in Atlanta, GA. She focuses on protecting the human rights of immigrant, Muslim, Middle Eastern and South Asian communities. Azadeh received her JD from the University of Michigan Law School and Master’s in Modern Middle Eastern and North African Studies from the University of Michigan.
Carl Takei is a staff attorney at the ACLU National Prison Project in Washington, DC where he litigates prison conditions class action suits in federal court and performs advocacy on issues of overincarceration, prison privatization, and immigration detention, including authoring reports and articles. Carl holds a J.D., magna cum laude, from Boston College Law School and an A.B. from Brown University.
Jamie Trinkle is the Senior Campaign & Research Coordinator at Enlace in Portland, Oregon where she has led a coalition to win city divestment from all corporations, including companies profiting from private prisons, and has published numerous toolkits to help cities and universities across the country win prison divestment. She received a J.D. from Lewis & Clark Law School, and a B.A. from the University of California, Davis.
Paul Wright is the founder and Executive Director of the Human Rights Defense Center, the editor of Prison Legal News, and a former prisoner. Paul has successfully litigated a wide variety of censorship and public records cases against prison systems around the country and published three anthologies, including the 2008 Prison Profiteers: Who Makes Money from Mass Imprisonment.
A Sanctuary Continent: Peoples Tribunals and Migrant Rights in the Americas—CLE Credit Available (UDC Law Rm 505)
The law is used in conjunction with grassroots movements for fundamental social change, without borders, that such change has ever taken place. Law students, lawyers, legal workers and organizers will benefit from a deeper understanding of this central aspect of NLG work, and be better prepared to join with clients and activists in fighting for a new, egalitarian and just economic system throughout the world. The defense of human rights in Mexico and Meso-America is integral to struggles for social justice in the U.S.
Ma. Eleni Hernandez Marquez studies criminal science. She is a representative of the Mexican Association of People’s Lawyers (AMAP-IAPL) and a member of the Latin American network of legal clinics, who coordinates the implementation of a clinic for FES-Acatlán (UNAM); strategic management litigation. In 1999-2006 she collaborated in the Mexica League for the Defense of Human Rights, a subsidiary body of the International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH), the Organization against Torture (OMCT) and the International Prisons Observatory (OIP). She is also a member of the Mexican Coalition for the implementation of the International Criminal Court. From 2013 to 2015, she served as a prosecutor for the axis of migration, refuge and displacement of the Permanent Tribunal of the Peoples (TPP), Mexico chapter. Her experience is on human rights and documentation of cases of serious violations of human rights, and the defining of crimes against humanity, the implementation of the Istanbul Protocol (to demonstrate torture), the presentation of complaints in systems Human rights organizations such as the OAS, the United Nations and the ICC.
John-Lindsay Poland is a Wage Peace Coordinator of the American Friends Service Committee in San Francisco, and has written about, researched, and advocated for human rights and demilitarization of US policy for more than 30 years. His research has focused on U.S. foreign military assistance and military bases and respect for human rights and produced the documentary and companion report, Where the Guns Go: U.S. Policy and Human Rights in Mexico.
Mr. Antonio Tizapa is the father of Jorge Antonio Tizapa Legideño, one of the 43 disappeared students of the Ayoztinapa Rural Teacher's College in Guerrero, Mexico. He advocates for the return of the disappeared 43 as well as an end to The Merida Initiative.
Stephanie Bello is currently a 1L student at the University of Dayton (UD) School of Law's 2-year program. Prior to attendance at UD, she served as the Executive Assistant of the Migrant Center at The Church of Saint Francis of Assisi for three years. Stephanie assisted in providing administrative and paralegal support, interpretation services and community development support so that the Center could fulfill its mission of serving "the stranger among us." She was also a vital immigrants rights organizer in Passaic, New Jersey where she hopes to return after law school.
Waleska Cabrera is a Catholic faith-based organizer in NYC who focuses on the intersection between the praxis of liberation theology and human rights in the Americas. She has a Masters of Art in International Affairs from The New University in NYC.
NLG Legal Observer “Train the Trainer” Workshop (UDC Law 518 Moot Court Rm)
In the wake of the massive growth in protests since the election and installation of the new Administration, the demand for NLG mass defense support has mushroomed. Legal observers are badly needed across the country, including in cities with less NLG capacity. This workshop will show experienced LOs how to train new LOs. Along with learning how to present the LO curriculum, trainees will learn workshop facilitation skills and strategies, including privilege/oppression awareness and multimedia use.
Delores Ritzman is a lawyer and co founder of the Harrisburg PA NLG chapter. She is in general practice in her own firm. She earned her JD from Widener University School of Law, her LLM in Trial Advocacy from Temple University School of Law, and a BS from Chaminade University of Honolulu.
King Downing is a lawyer and director of the NLG Mass Defense Program. He earned his JD from Rutgers Law School-Newark, and a BA from Harvard University.
Ensuring Fairness: Access to Counsel in Parole Revocation Proceedings—CLE Credit (UDC Law Rm 515)
This workshop will explore how parole revocation constitutes a system of social control that funnels over 10,000 people annually into Illinois’ overcrowded prisons, without either public or judicial oversight. It will provide an overview of how to use federal class action litigation, relying on the seminal Supreme Court cases of Morrissey v. Brewer and Gagnon v. Scarpelli, in order to secure counsel and other due process protections for parolees so as to stop the floodgates of revocation and limit mass incarceration. We will discuss the consent decree and settlement agreement entered in the Northern District of Illinois in the cases of M.H. v. Monreal and Morales v. Monreal, which provide a right to state-funded counsel for juvenile and adult parolees in Illinois, as well as the class attorneys’ subsequent monitoring of these agreements. We will also discuss how systematic parole reform can be achieved by attorneys in other states, as well as limitations of procedural justice reform.
Since 2010, Alexa Van Brunt has served as an attorney on the MacArthur Justice Center team working on key cases concerning the Jon Burge police torture scandal, systematic racism and excessive force within the Chicago Police Department, parole revocation reform in Illinois, wrongful convictions, and challenges to Cook County’s system of cash bond. She also has been lead attorney on suits to address such issues as conflicts of interest within the Cook County State's Attorney’s Office and the violation of prisoners' rights in Illinois correctional facilities. Van Brunt also instructs teams of students in the MacArthur Justice Center’s civil rights litigation clinic and manages their participation as junior counsel on the Center’s cases. She is the recipient of the Illinois Voters of Illinois Independent Precinct Organization (IVI-IPO) "Legal Eagle" award, the Federal Bar Association’s Award for Excellence in Pro Bono Service, and the Public Voices Fellowship. Prior to joining the Justice Center, she clerked for the Hon. Myron Thompson, U.S. District Court – Middle District of Alabama. Van Brunt received a law degree, with distinction, from Stanford Law School, and a bachelor’s degree, magna cum laude, from Brown University.
Sheila Bedi’s work focuses on ending mass imprisonment and enforcing the rights of people caught up in the criminal and juvenile justice systems. Previously, Bedi served as the deputy legal director of the Southern Poverty Law Center in New Orleans and Mississippi where she represented people who are imprisoned in federal class action litigation challenging abusive prison conditions and worked on community-based policy campaigns aimed at reducing incarceration rates, ensuring fairness in the administrative of justice, and improving access to public education and mental health services. Bedi worked with people who were formerly incarcerated and their families on hard fought campaigns that closed abusive prisons and jails, protected people who were imprisoned from sexual violence, improved access to counsel for poor defendants and people living behind bars, developed alternatives to imprisonment and reduced the number of children who are tried and convicted in the adult criminal justice system. Some of her honors include the Federal Bar Association’s Award for Excellence in Pro Bono Service Public Voices Fellowship, the Heroes for Children Award, the NAACP's Vernon Dahmer Award, the NAACP's Fannie Lou Hamer Award.
Alan Mills is the Executive Director of Uptown People’s Law Center–a nonprofit community legal clinic located on the North Side of Chicago. UPLC is a legal organization that fights for justice for tenants, the disabled, and prisoners in Illinois. Alan began visiting prisoners at Cook County Jail during law school, and has tried dozens of individual cases on behalf of prisoners in state and federal court during the last 35+ years. Alan represented prisoners in segregation claiming they were denied meaningful access to the courts (Walters v. Edgar). While the trial court initially ruled in the prisoners’ favor, 18 years later the appellate court reversed and dismissed the entire case. Alan was also the lead attorney in the case challenging Illinois’ Tamms supermax prison, which lead to the closing of that prison. Currently, UPLC is lead counsel in seven class action cases alleging that Illinois prisons violate the constitutional rights of the people who are kept there. These include challenges to the medical care provided to prisoners and the state’s failure to accommodate the communication needs of deaf and hard of hearing prisoners. Earlier this year, UPLC settled their case alleging unconstitutional treatment of mentally ill prisoners, and is now monitoring the prisoners to ensure proper standards are met. Alan graduated from Northwestern University School of Law in 1981. Since 2005, he has served as an adjunct professor there, teaching a seminar on Prisons and Prisoners’ Rights. Alan also taught a similar course as an adjunct professor at DePaul University College of Law for four years. For the last six years, he has also helped train attorneys appointed to represent prisoners in civil rights cases by the U.S. District Courts for the Northern and Southern Districts of Illinois.
Jared Calvert is a recent law graduate from Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law. While in law school, Jared worked for two years with the MacArthur Justice Center in the Bluhm Legal Clinic. Jared assisted the clinic in its work to reform the Illinois state parole system, and on several other prison litigation cases. Jared also worked at a plaintiff side civil rights law firm, focusing on employment discrimination.
Decolonization and Sovereignty Under International Human Rights Law—CLE Credit (UDC Law Rm 516)
How are Decolonization and Sovereignty defined under International Human Rights instruments? How can social justice movements use International Human Rights law within the US legal framework? This panel explores Decolonization and Sovereignty under International Human Rights frameworks including the ICCPR, ESCR and UNDRIP, through a series of case-studies focusing on Standing Rock, Puerto Rico, the Philippines and Palestine. This workshop aims to help unite our work domestically and abroad, build alliances between different peoples struggling against colonization today, and to allow the NLG to think of creative strategies and tactics to fight colonization, racism, and environmental plunder despite the limitations of the U.S. legal framework. It is intended to broaden NLG members’ knowledge of how international human rights law can be used within the US legal framework.
Andrew B. Reid is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, where he teaches the International & Human Rights Law of Indigenous Peoples course as well as other courses in federal Indian, natural resources, and environmental law and is associated with the Ved Nanda Center on International and Comparative Law. Andy received his J.D. from the University of Oklahoma and an L.L.M. in Environmental & Natural Resources Law from the University of Denver with specialized certifications in both Environmental & Water Law and Policy. Andy has litigated many controversial matters particularly in constitutional, Indian, and environmental law that have resulted in over 60 federal and state precedent-setting opinions. He has served as counsel to several Native nations, numerous public interest organizations, and engaged internationally, on wetlands preservation in Japan, a human rights challenge to the Frontera Sur migrant control program in Mexico, and in defense of the rights of indigenous peoples of Canada before the Inter-American Commission on Human rights. His current legal practice includes an emphasis on civil rights and constitutional law while continuing his interests in indigenous and earth rights. He is part of the legal team assisting the indigenous opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota. He is 40-plus year member of the National Lawyers Guild and an enthusiastic lifetime activist.
Marma C. Urbano is Lead Secretariat for the ICHRP (International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines) work in the United States. US-based staff of the Ecumenical Voice for Human Rights and Peace in the Philippines (EcuVoice). DC-based staff of the United Methodist Cal-Nevada Solidarity Task Force on the Philippines. ICHRP is a global coalition of organizations based and/operating outside of the Philippines, campaigning for human rights and Filipino people’s rights. EcuVoice is an alliance of 10 faith-based institutions and organizations of human rights defenders in the Philippines. The California-Nevada Philippine Solidarity Task Force is an organization created by action of the California-Nevada Annual Conference of United Methodist Church to address concerns of Extra-Judicial Killings (EJKs) in the Philippines. Rev. Marma is an Ordained Minister of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines. Under threat of abduction, she came to the US at the height of extra-judicial killings of community leaders and human rights defenders in 2007. Thousands of community leaders were killed during the period beginning 2003 to 2007. Twenty-six of her colleagues and friends in the Christian churches who defended the rights of these leaders and of impoverished communities were murdered.
Nicole Marie Diaz Gonzalez is an attorney from Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico. Nicole holds a law degree from the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras and an undergraduate degree in Journalism. She is a member of the Colegio de Abogados y ABogadas de Puerto Rico, La Rama Judical de Puerto Rico, and practices in the areas of employment law, landlord-tenant, personal injury and civil rights. As a long-time activist and advocate, Nicole is a former candidate to the legislature for San Juan. As part of the Partido del Pueblo Trabajador (PPT), she has protested against privatization in Puerto Rico on many occasions. Most recently, Nicole was a guest on National Public Radio and has been a vocal critic of the debt crisis in Puerto Rico.
Suzanne Adely is a graduate of City University of New York School of Law. She currently works with the International United Auto Workers, Global Law & Organizing Institute, as their India program coordinator. She is also a founder of the Middle East, North Africa Labor Solidarity Network in the U.S. Prior to working with the UAW she was a civil rights coordinator with Desis Rising Up and Moving (DRUM) in Queens, NY, and a legal worker with the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (Cairo). Suzanne is also a longtime organizer. In Chicago, she worked on campaigns with the Arab American Action Network and the Chicago Coalition to Protect People's Rights, challenging War on Terror policies. Suzanne has been active in anti-war and Palestine solidarity organizing in the U.S. since her youth. Suzanne is the daughter of Jordanian workers and grew up in Yonkers, New York. For 10 years, she worked as a high school teacher in New York City and Cairo. She is a long-time member of Al-Awda-NY, the National Lawyers Guild, and the Defend the Egyptian Revolution Committee of New York. Suzanne also organized an NLG delegation that brought U.S. lawyers to Egypt.
Natali Segovia, of Quechua/Peruvian descent, is an international human rights lawyer and long-time advocate for the rights of indigenous peoples, immigrant communities and underrepresented populations. Natali holds a law degree from Arizona State University with a concentration in International Law and Federal Indian Law, in addition to dual-degrees in Latin American Studies and Political Science from Columbia University. Natali has served on various international delegations on behalf of the National Lawyers Guild and/or the Alliance for Global Justice, conducting human rights fieldwork in Venezuela, Colombia, Cuba and Mexico. For the past decade, her work in Colombia has focused on human rights violations, internal displacement of indigenous peoples and rural communities, environmental issues and most recently, transitional justice during the Colombian-FARC peace process. Natali also lived abroad for two years in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, where she was a professor of Academic Research and Writing at the Universidad Autónoma Gabriel René Moreno. While there, her research interests focused on the socio-economic, cultural and environmental impact of multinational corporations and US foreign policy on indigenous peoples and the Latin American region. Natali is the current chair of the Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Committee of the National Lawyers Guild and serves on the Board of Directors of the Alliance for Global Justice, a 501(c)(3) non-profit and think tank dedicated to social change, economic justice and ecological sustainability. She is admitted to practice in Arizona and is currently Of Counsel at Honor Law Group, PLLC, a boutique civil litigation firm where she practices in the areas of Federal Indian Law/Tribal Law and Immigration Law.
Jordan Winquist is co-chair of the NLG International Committee (IC) and also co-chair of its Environmental Human Rights subcommittee (EHRC). With the Guild, he has served on various delegations including to Venezuela, Belgium (Brussels) and Brazil. Jordan is an immigration attorney near Philadelphia, PA at a small community law office.
Rethinking the Law School Classroom: An Overall Examination of the Experience (UDC Law 518 Moot Court Rm)
This workshop will focus on the persistent and traditional nature of law school classrooms which do not reflect the learning capabilities of ALL students. The traditional lecture format does not provide access for all learning styles and impacts how students master doctrinal classes. Both faculties and student bodies are largely white and able bodied. This fact does not reflect the ever increasing diversity (seen and unseen) that is our reality. This workshop seeks to provide alternate ways of learning in the law school classroom with strategies for inclusion and learning outside of case books. Participants are encouraged to express their concerns, individual experiences and provide suggestions on effective strategies for progressive change.
During this workshop, we will cover:
- Diversifying the learning experience
- School/life balance
- Need for addressing the law through the lens of current issues
- Treatment of students/faculty/staff of color
- Accessibility of law school
- Classroom conflict on certain topics
- Law’s role in oppression of various communities
Natalie Bledman -CUNY School of Law, 2L PT
Florence Otaigbe - CUNY School of Law 2L PT, Paralegal
Stephanie Jaquez - CUNY School of Law, 2L PT
Dayana Saint Vil - CUNY School of Law, 2L PT
Strategic Uses of Criminal Cases to Strengthen Movements (UDC Law Rm 515)
This panel will discuss ways that criminal cases across the country are being used—and could be used—to strengthen movements. The state uses criminal charges and the threat of prison to dismantle and destroy our struggles. As movement lawyers, law students, and legal workers, we can be in solidarity with struggles and communities by viewing criminal defense as a strategic encounter with the state that can advance political organizing. The panelists include lawyers and legal workers involved in political and legal defense for activists in some of the most prominent and important political struggles across the country.
Amal Mimish is a civil rights legal worker who organized jail support in advance of 2017 inauguration protests in Washington, DC and is currently part of a legal collective committed to providing logistical and legal support for J20 defendants until the last trial and beyond.
Katy is part of the Bay Area Anti Repression Committee (ARC). Originally formed to support Occupy Oakland actions, ARC stands against political repression and is in solidarity with all those who challenge the state, capitalism and other forms of systemic oppression and domination. They provide support for actions that are anti-patriarchal, anti-racist, anti-imperialist & anti-capitalist. Our support work comes primarily in the form of education, information and referrals. We also manage an anti-repression bail fund for those that do not have the resources to bail or bond themselves.
Maggie Ellinger-Locke chaired St. Louis NLG from Occupy through Ferguson. She currently serves on the board of DC NLG and is involved with mass defense organizing in the area. She is also a proud left-hander.
Nathan Sheard is the co-founder of the Black Movement-Law Project and a founding member of Just Info, a 24-hour hotline providing no-cost legal information in New York City. He has organized trainings in Ferguson and cities across the country to help communities exercise legal rights and to mitigate harmful interactions between law enforcement and communities of color. Nathan is currently working with the Freshet Collective and their partner organization the Water Protector Legal Collective to provide Legal Support to Water Protectors.
Moderator: Jude Ortiz has been involved in anarchist legal support organizing and prisoner support since he joined a legal collective in Minneapolis prior to the 2008 RNC. He helped form Tilted Scales Collective after an Anarchist Black Cross conference in 2012. In 2016, he took on the position of chair of the Mass Defense Committee with the National Lawyers Guild.
Curing Hepatitis C in Prisons (UDC Law Rm 505)
Hepatitis C is the most prevalent infectious disease in America, and effects 17-20% of the prison population. In 2013 a one pill a day for 8-12 week treatment that cured (90-99%) Hepatitis C was approved by the FDA. At the onset of Abu-Jamal vs. Wetzel, the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections was treating only 0.004% (25 out of 6000) of those with active Hep C. Two years into the litigation, and after a Federal Preliminary Injunction, hundreds of inmates are being treated. The Federal District Court ruling granting the preliminary injunction is the first such order in the country. Across the nation advocacy and litigation are directly expanding access and saving lives (see Postawko, et. al. v Missouri DOC et al, 21017 WL1968317). Thousands of prisoners still remain at risk. As the cost for the treatment drops it will be important that the tools to demand treatment be put directly into the hands of prisoners. This workshop seeks to instruct and engage lawyers and legal workers in the task of providing direct legal support to those currently incarcerated so that they can demand adequate medical treatment for this curable and deadly infectious disease.
Mumia Abu‐Jamal is an award-winning journalist, revolutionary, and author of ten books, the most recent of which is Have Black Lives Ever Mattered? (City Lights 2017). For the past 36 years, he has been a resident of the Pennsylvania State Prison System
Robert Boyle, Esq. has represented numerous political prisoners in his 30 year career. For decades he litigated a civil rights lawsuit against the FBI and NYPD concerning COINTELPRO that led to freedom for Black Panther leader Dhoruba Bin Wahad. In 2015 he began representing with Bret Grote political prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal in a suit seeking hepatitis treatment. The suit led to an injunction requiring treatment.
Joseph Harris, M.D. is a board certified internist and practicing physician, who gave expert testimony in Abu-Jamal v. Wetzel.
Annette Gaudino is the HVC Project Director TAG (Treatment Action Group) in New York City.
Noelle Hanrahan is a private investigator and journalist based in Philadelphia. She has directed Prison Radio for twenty five years.
Anti-Fascism In The Age Of Trump (UDC Law Rm 516)
White supremacist fascist organizing is growing. Recent events such as those in Berkeley, Oregon, Kentucky, and Southern cities where Confederate monuments have been begun to be seen as public nuisances have led to violent conflicts and raise important questions about how the NLG will confront the rising tides of fascist mobilization, particularly through the defense of those organizing community, communities who are the targets of violent speech and movement self-defense.
Furthermore, elements of the right-wing government and local and federal police forces are collaborating to target anti-fascists and calling for vigilante protection of elected officials. How can the NLG articulate the difference between the unlawful actions of fascists with a dangerous agenda of profound violence and state backing versus the defensive actions of anti-fascists, how can we draw a meaningful distinction between protecting free speech and defending those who confront hate against deadly violence and repression.
As an organization committed to eliminating racism, protecting civil liberties and extending the rights of the marginalized, the NLG’s mission is fundamentally opposed to fascism. As we know, the chief targets of the fascists are people of color, those perceived to be Muslim, immigrants, women, LGBTQ and Trans folks. As a key organizer of alt-right protests in the city of Berkeley called for: “There will be a race war and blood will run on the streets in Berkeley.” White supremacists, explicit fascists, police departments and alt-right elected officials are colluding with one another to target those organizing against them. The NLG needs to develop a plan to counter the growth of these movements and uniformly support those actively defending our communities from these hate groups. This workshop will contribute to the conversation about how best to use our resources and talent to support the proliferation of anti-fascism and counter the criminalization of it.
Tur-Ha Ak is the founder of Community Ready Corps (CRC), a Black grassroots organization with a mission to organize and empower our community towards self determination and equity. Under Tur-Ha’s leadership, CRC has spearheaded and helped build effective multi-racial coalitions that address the most pressing issues facing the Black community in the Bay Area, including the Anti Police-Terror Project (which created the first replicable model nationally for community rapid response to police violence), the State of Black Oakland (a People’s Assembly), and Oakland Justice Coalition (which ran a slate of Black women candidates for Oakland City Council & School Board in 2016). Recognizing that our people face a triple threat of state, racist vigilante, and inter-communal violence, Tur-Ha has dedicated himself to creating a culture and climate of safety and protection in Black communities by providing free, regular self defense training for children and adults.
Carey Lamprecht currently works for the Northern California District Court’s Criminal Justice Act (CJA) panel assisting federal court-appointed attorneys as a certified criminal defense paralegal. She specializes in capital defense cases, large federal prosecutions, as well as court-appointed appellate work for for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Previously, she worked as a staff litigation assistant for the ACLU of Northern California assisting in a wide range of civil rights cases. She has worked as a paralegal on several National Lawyers Guild civil rights and police misconduct cases in the Bay Area. She has been a volunteer with the National Lawyers Guild for sixteen years coordinating legal support in the Bay Area and assisting in legal support for large national mobilizations for the NLG, conducting CLEs, trainings, Legal Observing, working demonstration hotlines, and working with other Guild members to defend political activists, so they can get back into the streets and fight for justice. She currently serves as a board member for the S.F. Bay Area NLG Chapter and as a Steering Committee member for the National Mass Defense Committee of the National Lawyers Guild.
Jennifer Lai-Peterson an NLG member of the Kentucky Chapter.
Moderator: Judith Mirkinson has been a human rights defender for over 40 years. Her work supporting political prisoners started with the Committee to Defend the Panther 21 and continues to this day with all those remaining Panthers and others who are still in prison. She is a member the national steering committee of the National Boricua Human Rights Network. She is a feminist and anti-imperialist. She is a women’s rights advocate specializing in the issues of sexual violence during war and trafficking. Her work with the Guild began when she was part of a project of GI organizers in Okinawa. She is also a member of the Committee To Resist Grand Jury Repression in the Bay Area. Mirkinson is the Legal Worker Vice President and Vice President of the San Francisco/Bay Area Chapter of the NLG.
NOTE: Many workshops and major panels also have CLE credit pending. The CLEs below carry fees in addition to general convention registration.
Wednesday, August 2 (8:30am- 5pm)—National Immigration Project CLE (UDC Law Rm 515)
Creative Strategies in Fighting Enforcement in the Era of Trump
This all-day seminar focuses on challenging evidence of alienage, Supreme Court updates in criminal immigration, strategies to obtain discovery in removal proceedings, strategies to challenge detention, challenges to DHS Orders of Removal, and the role of movement lawyering in the Trump era.
Defending noncitizens with criminal records
Raids and motions to suppress
Suing the government for violating your clients’ rights - damages/remedies
Strategies to challenge your client’s ongoing detention
Challenging reinstatement of removal
Annie Lai, UC Irvine School of Law
Maureen Sweeney, University of Maryland School of Law
Dan Kesselbrenner, National Immigration Project of the NLG
Sejal Zota, National Immigration Project of the NLG
Rex Chen, Safe Passage Project
- Andrew Free, attorney
Ahilan Arulanantham, ACLU Immigration Rights Project
Paromita Shah, National Immigration Project of the NLG
Mary Kenney, American Immigration Council
Matt Adams, Northwest Immigrant Rights Project
Kristin McLeod-Ball, National Immigration Project of the NLG
Mony Ruiz-Velasco, PASO West Suburban Action Project
Neidi Dominguez, International Union of Painters & Allied
Julie Mao, National Immigration Project of the NLG
Thursday, August 3 (9am-5pm)—National Police Accountability Project CLE (UDC Law Rm 515)
Police Misconduct in the Age of Trump
The Trump administration’s assault on civil rights and abdication of the federal government’s oversight role over policing makes the work of private civil rights lawyers more urgent and necessary, and complicates the work we do. The National Police Accountability Project offers this daylong CLE to provide civil rights lawyers essential information for defending individual liberties in the midst of the Trump administration’s war on our fundamental Constitutional rights. We offer practical help for those handling cases involving mass defense, First and Fourth Amendment claims generally, the Federal Tort Claims Act, the rights of those with diabetes, and we will help you to win your case through appeals.
This National Police Accountability Project seminar was made possible by the generous sponsorship of Mayer Brown LLP, as well as the co-sponsorship of Counsel Financial, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and NPAP members Elizabeth Alexander and Cyrus Joubin.
- Litigating First and Fourth Amendment Cases: How to Bring and Prosecute Precision-Driven Litigation in the Midst of the War on Protest (David Milton, Carol Sobel, and Mara Verheyden-Hillard)
- FTCA-to-Z in the Trump Era (Jonathan Feinberg, Javier Maldonado, and Julia Yoo)
- Narrating Protester Experiences and Defeating Police Lies: Use of Video and Digitized Evidence in Mass Defense Cases (Carl Messineo)
- Detained with Diabetes: A Survey of Recent Case Law and Strategies for Successful Police Misconduct Cases on Behalf of Plaintiffs with Diabetes (Sarah Fech-Baughman)
- Litigating Police Misconduct Appeals: Defeating Qualified Immunity, Winning Your Appeal, and Avoiding the Supreme Court (Paul W. Hughes)
Sarah Fech-Baughman – American Diabetes Association, Alexandria, VA
Jonathan Feinberg – Kairys, Rudovsky, Messing & Feinberg, Philadelphia, PA
Terry Gilbert – Friedman & Gilbert, Cleveland, OH
Paul W. Hughes – Mayer Brown LLP, Washington, DC
Javier Maldonado – Law Office of Javier N. Maldonado, San Antonio, TX
Carl Messineo – Partnership for Civil Justice Fund, Washington, DC
David Milton – Law Offices of Howard Friedman, Boston, MA
Carol Sobel – Law Office of Carol A. Sobel, Santa Monica, CA
Mara Verheyden-Hilliard – Partnership for Civil Justice Fund, Washington, DC
Julia Yoo – Iredale and Yoo, San Diego, CA
Thursday, August 3 (1pm-5pm)—NLG International Committee CLE (UDC Law Rm 516)
The Use of International Law to Confront the Trump Agenda
This Continuing Legal Education program will be led by practitioners presenting on the use of international law in domestic courts, as well as recourse to international forums, in order to defend human rights under attack in the United States. From resisting the “Muslim Ban” to defending undocumented people to advancing the right to a job and the right to health care, international law provides tools and argument that can help to advance our cases in domestic courts. The CLE will include active examples of the use of international law in relevant contexts to defend human rights in the United States.
- Challenging the “Muslim Ban” – International Lawyers and Law Scholars’ Challenge – Aaron Fellmeth
- Defending Human Rights in the United States – the right to a job, health care and peace – and U.S. obligations under international law – Jeanne Mirer
- International Bodies and Holding the United States Accountable – the UN Human Rights Council and other bodies – Micol Savia
- Discussion among presenters and practitioner attendees on practical applications in specific cases and issues arising from actions of the current administration
Jeanne Mirer is Co-Chair of the International Committee. She is currently President of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers, a founding Board Member of the International Commission for Labor Rights and a Board Member of the Sugar Law Center. Additionally, Jeanne is a member of the Core and the National Board of the Vietnam Agent Orange Relief & Responsibility Campaign. She has been a member of the NLG for 42 years and has held numerous positions in the Guild. She practices labor, employment and civil rights law in New York City. Among her clients are Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange who have taken to court the U.S. chemical companies that profited from manufacturing the poison. In addition to the Guild and the IADL, she is a member of the AFL-CIO Lawyers Coordinating Committee, the National Employment Law Association, and the NAACP. Jeanne has a deep and extensive history of work in both the international and domestic sphere, including the application of international laws, standards and treaties to the United States. She has authored and co-authored countless white papers, briefs, and articles on everything from the human right to peace, to Agent Orange, to drones, to women’s rights, to labor law and international law. She is admitted to practice law in New York, Massachussetts, and Michigan.
Micol Savia is the permanent representative of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers to the United Nations Human Rights Council. She is a law graduate of the University of Turin, Italy and has worked as a civil lawyer in Italy, working mainly in the areas of international law and human rights. She is an active member of the Italian Association of Democratic Jurists and is also a member of the European Association of Lawyers for Human Rights. In 2008, she was appointed as the general vice-secretary of the IADL.
Aaron Fellmeth is a professor of law and the William H. Pedrick Distinguished Research Scholar at Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law. He has studied international law from an interdisciplinary perspective since 1991. His research and teaching focus on international law jurisprudence and the formation of rules of customary international law in contested subjects, such as evolving human rights issues, espionage and covert action, psychological manipulation, new technologies in conventional and asymmetrical armed conflict, and the internationalization of intellectual property rights. Professor Fellmeth also is a leading expert on the law and regulation of international business transactions and intellectual property with a special focus on patent law and technology. Professor Fellmeth’s work has been cited several times by federal courts and in testimony before Congress. He has served as an Executive Advisory Committee member of International Legal Materials and is currently chair of the International Law Association (American Branch) International IP Law Committee.
CLE Course Materials
Below are the course materials for programming (excluding the full-day CLEs: NIPNLG's Creative Strategies in Fighting Enforcement in the Era of Trump on Wed. and NPAP's Police Misconduct in the Age of Trump on Thurs.) that will receive CLE credit, divided into three volumes. Click on each volume to view/download the PDF.
NOTE: Due to their size, hard copies of these materials will NOT be provided at the convention. Please download them to your device and/or print them to have with you. Thanks!
- Thursday 1:00 PM: The Use of International Law to Confront the Trump Agenda (International Committee CLE: Add'l registration required here)
- Friday 9:00 AM: Immigrants Resist the Deportation Regime in the Age of Trump .
- Friday 2:00 PM: Criminal Defense Work as Impact Litigation for Reproductive Justice
- Saturday 9:00 AM: Muslim In America
- Saturday 2:30 PM: A Sanctuary Continent: Peoples’ Tribunals and Migrant Rights in the Americas
- Saturday 2:30 PM: Limits of Executive Power: John Yoo, Torture and President Trump
- Sunday 9:30 AM: Ensuring Fairness: Access to Counsel in Parole Revocation Proceedings
- Sunday 9:30 AM: Decolonization & Sovereignty Under International Human Rights Law