The NLG now produces webinars! Public programming will be posted to this page. We have also launched a series of NLG-specific webinars as organizing resources for members. These are only accessible by current NLG members who log in and go to Members-Only > Member Webinars (another great reason to join the NLG!). Stay tuned for more!
Whose Speech? A Post-Charlottesville Discussion | 3/28/18
In the wake of the deadly white supremacy march in Charlottesville last summer, social justice advocates face troubling questions about the meaning of free speech. Legal scholars and activists with Law for Black Lives DC and the National Lawyers Guild hosted a panel at Georgetown Law (with support of the NLG Georgetown Chapter) examining the history of power dynamics around First Amendment jurisprudence and consider questions such as:
- How do groups on the ground engaged in social justice struggles experience the freedoms of speech and assembly?
- Whose speech is prioritized under the law?What lessons can advocates
- draw in a time of increasing polarization?
- Justin Hansford, Executive Director, Thurgood Marshall Civil Rights Center, Howard University Law School
- Yael Bromberg, Supervising Attorney, Georgetown Law Civil Rights Clinic and Voting Rights Institute
- Dr. Maha Hilal, Co-Director of Justice for Muslims Collective
- Eirik Cheverud, Attorney, National Lawyers Guild
Moderator: Maggie Ellinger-Locke, Executive Vice President, National Lawyers Guild
Anti Protest Legislation: Implications for Social Movements | 3/14/18
Since the end of 2016, nearly 60 bills have been proposed in state legislatures which limit the right to protest or remove liability for harm caused to protesters. This wave of anti-protest legislation comes in the aftermath of the success of recent social movements for labor rights, racial justice, and environmental protections. Lawmakers, in conjunction with certain think tanks, corporations, and law enforcement agencies, have proposed legislation designed to increase penalties for individual protesters and the organizations that support them.
Please join us to learn more about the contents of these bills, their political implications, the interest groups behind them, and how to stop them from becoming laws! A panel of civil liberties experts will give an overview of all these bills, focusing in particular on so-called “Critical Infrastructure” and “Campus Free Speech” legislation. Strategies and resources for challenging these bills will be provided.
- Maggie Ellinger-Locke is Staff Attorney with Greenpeace USA.
- Chip Gibbons is Policy & Legislative Counsel for Defending Rights & Dissent, as well as a journalist whose work has been featured in The Nation and Jacobin.
- Elly Page is a Legal Adviser with the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law, specializing in the freedoms of peaceful assembly and association, and founder of ICNL’s US Protest Law Tracker.
- Nick Robinson is a Legal Adviser for U.S. Programs with the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law.
- Traci Yoder is the Director of Research and Education with the National Lawyers Guild.
Bail Funds & Community-Based Strategies | 3/9/18
Bail and bond funds can be an important tool towards dismantling the prison industrial complex and ending mass incarceration. However, as many new funds emerge in response to the rampant policing of protests and uprisings, this is an important moment to share lessons learned on the ground. Lawyers and legal workers sometimes create the funds without establishing a direct, accountable, intentional connection to the communities in which they exist causing a disconnect in strategy and desired outcome.
This webinar features volunteers from bail fund groups in Baton Rouge, Standing Rock (the Freshet Collective) and the Chicago Community Bail Fund to explore some of these tensions while uplifting some concrete victories. Law for Black Lives, the National Lawyers Guild and the National Bail Fund Network will offer a framework in which bail and bond funds are connected to community-based organizations with a focus on racial justice and eventual prison abolition. Southerners on New Ground will discuss their recent National Mama’s Day Bailout Action and how we can move forward together.
NOTE: Further resources on community-based bond/bail/legal defense funds compiled by the panelists are available at bit.ly/bailfundresources
Mapping the Right: Reflections and Resistance | 7/28/17
This two-hour webinar features movement leaders and organizers on the ground as they examine the rise of the conservative right and the failure of neo-liberalism, the impact of Trump trans-nationally, emerging global trends and alliances, and specific case studies of opportunities and threats, existing organizing infrastructures, paths of resistance and support for new economies in the south and rural U.S. Speakers brainstorm with each other and the audience to strategize around the critical role of the legal community in this political moment.
Speakers: Trishala Deb leads Thousand Currents’ programs in Asia; Stephanie Guilloud is the Co-Director of Project South; Suzanne Pharr is an organizer with the National Council of Elders; and Tarso Ramos is the executive director of Political Research Associates.
Decriminalizing Our Reproductive Lives: How Lawyers Can Promote Reproductive Justice and Serve Our Communities | 5/26/17
Criminalization affects our reproductive lives. From punishment of pregnancy outcomes, to coerced sterilization of incarcerated people, to destruction of families through mass incarceration, communities who are marginalized and targeted for criminalization in the United States face challenges that are complex and often overlooked in discourse around reproductive freedom. The Reproductive Justice framework acknowledges that decisions that people make about their pregnancies and their families may be affected by the law in ways that go beyond the legal rights to contraception and abortion.
But the complexities of the challenges provide opportunities for creative lawyering in service of community needs. The panel will explore the intersection of criminalization and reproduction, and how the principles of community lawyering can help advance reproductive justice. The panel will focus this inquiry using the example of self-induced abortion, an issue that has become more pressing as legislatures are emboldened to restrict access to clinic-based abortion. Abortion is a constitutionally protected right, and yet people have faced arrest, prosecution, and punishment for ending their own pregnancies. By discussing key laws and cases, panelists will identify obstacles and lay out a vision for law and policy strategies, and provide examples of lawyering that attempts to maintain accountability to community needs.