By SULC NLG Chapter, 2015-2016
The Southern University Law Center’s NLG Chapter (SULC NLG) has enjoyed a year of bold initiatives, meaningful engagement, and productive planning. Focusing on timely and relevant issues of social importance, the SULC NLG has provided the Law Center and the greater Baton Rouge community resources and programming upon which relationships can flourish and collective progress can be championed.
2015-2016 was a year of rebuilding focused on membership, setting the tone of the SULC Guild, and offering an alternative law school experience through thoughtful programs, projects, and initiatives. Our chapter increased membership from 0 members to 43, totaling 83% of the NLG membership in Louisiana State. Recently, SULC NLG was announced as a finalist for the HBCU’s Best Student Organization Award in their national award ceremony that celebrates achievements at historically Black colleges and universities throughout the US. More highlights from the SULC NLG Chapter this year are below:
The SULC NLG filmed three videos for the INpower Initiative during the year: Stop and Frisk, Recording the Police, and Rights When Detained. Members traveled to New Orleans and different parts of Baton Rouge to film footage.
SULC NLG members promoted and participated in the March to End Police Brutality for Victor White III in New Iberia, LA. The Hueman Collective and Adrian Bostick LLC, local photography companies, provided two days of free headshots for our members and other SULC students.
- SULC NLG helped to organize opposition to the East Baton Rouge Parish Proposal to implement a misdemeanor jail for the city. The city council meeting on the topic was one of the most attended of the year. NLG SULC President Ada Goodly spoke at the council meeting stating, “It’s an illogical solution to imprison someone who can’t pay. The goal of crime deterrence should never create a condition that creates more crime or further impoverishes the families of our communities.” The proposal did not pass and alternative measures were reached to clear up backlogged bench warrants. In celebration of the new SULC Cold Case Project, civil rights documentarian and TV host Keith Beauchamp teamed up with the SULC NLG chapter for a three-day event of film screenings and panel discussions on civil rights cold case murders.
- During Black History Month, the SULC NLG created the Pillar Awards a signature awards ceremony honoring local attorneys, judges, and community leaders who made significant strides in civil and human rights. Over 150attended, including the Mayor of Baton Rouge, as Guild members honored recipients with original remarks and words of appreciation.
- The SULC NLG’s three-panel symposium entitled “The Making of a Prison State: Mass Incarceration in Louisiana,”provided the student body and the Baton Rouge community at large with engaging discourse on the mass incarceration epidemic. Panelists from social justice advocacy groups,attorneys, policy experts, law professors, historians, and ex-felons provided in-depth conversations and analysis of the privatization of prisons, criminalization of mental illness, the juvenile justice system, draconian drug policies, disproportionate effect of mass incarceration on people of color, and several other pressing issues surrounding the epidemic.
Read the full SULC NLG 2015-16 Annual Report here.