Dear Guild Members,
I am honored and humbled to join you as Executive Director of the National Lawyers Guild. In fact, watching NLG members offer legal support at protests is what inspired me to go to law school. As a student, I was the President of my NLG chapter at American University’s Washington College of Law. There, I developed relationships with mentors who helped me through those years and deepened my commitment to social justice. I am excited to lead an organization so fundamental to my legal career, and the career of so many other movement lawyers and legal workers. I am looking forward to working in a thriving social justice movement with all of you! For the past eight years, I worked as a staff attorney and the Director of Immigrant Justice at the Sylvia Rivera Law Project. I provided direct legal services for hundreds of low income transgender and gender nonconforming clients in administrative hearings, immigration proceedings, and civil rights litigation. Most recently, I was a part of the team that litigated and successfully settled I.H. v Zucker, securing access to transition-related healthcare for New York Medicaid recipients. I collaborated closely with progressive organizations to build an analysis of gender and racial justice among poverty and queer advocates across the nation. I also had organizational development responsibilities, including training, budgeting, fundraising, and strategic planning. I am excited to bring these skills to the NLG, while also learning from all of you.
Even as I write, people across the country and the world are fighting against state violence, subordination, and injustice. The lack of indictment of the police officers who killed Mike Brown and Eric Garner—among countless other injustices— has sparked extraordinary resistance that I believe is the beginning of a much larger struggle. The Black Lives Matter movement and uprisings against police violence have great significance for us, as lawyers, law students, and legal workers fighting for justice.
In this important political moment, the NLG can and must help build a sustainable social justice movement that centers people of color, queer and trans people, immigrants, people living with HIV/AIDS, disabled people, homeless people, prisoners, and those living at the intersections.
Given our chapters nationwide, and that NLG’s committees, task forces, and projects, already represent a cross-movement political analysis, we are well-equipped to support collaborations among movements linked in a larger struggle for sustainable social change and true justice.
My vision is that, as the National Lawyers Guild, we can offer a safe, accessible space that movement leaders trust as a coordinated center to connect with resistance on the ground, find or become a radical legal worker, share skills, and build a political home as they engage in organized resistance. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with all of you to make our visions for justice real.