Stoneleigh Foundation funding multiple post-grad fellowships for community building

Jan. 9, paid: Environmental Law Institute summer clerkship

Application Deadline: Monday, Jan. 9, 2017

In accord with our mission to build the skills and capacity of tomorrow’s leaders, the Environmental Law Institute (ELI) provides opportunities for law students to join us at the Inenvironmental-law-institutestitute. The University of Washington School of Law, with the generous sponsorship of Marten Law, is providing funding for one UW Law student to participate in our summer clerkship program with a stipend.

ELI summer law clerks work closely with ELI experts on domestic and international projects spanning ELI’s full range of expertise. Law clerks also may assist in the editing and production of ELI publications, such as the Environmental Law Reporter. Law clerks provide crucial support for ELI projects and publications by conducting legal and policy research, drafting memoranda, attending and reporting on briefings and current events, and assisting in the preparation of reports and other published materials. Learn more here.

Application Process: Get more information here.

Various Deadlines: Two-year fellowships for post-grads

Stoneleigh FoundationApplication Deadline: Each fellowship has a different deadline ranging from Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2016 to Friday, Jan. 6, 2017

The Stoneleigh Emerging Leader Fellowship provides hands-on experience for early career professionals interested in addressing the needs of Greater Philadelphia’s most vulnerable youth through policy analysis, research, or advocacy.  Fellows work collaboratively with a host organization to execute a project that simultaneously advances the mission of the organization and provides the Fellow with the opportunity to gain new skills, leadership, and experience.  This full-time, two-year Fellowship provides salary, benefits, and a stipend for professional development.

Opportunities: Leveraging Civil Legal Services to Fight Youth Homelessness (Dec. 20), Reducing Education Barriers of LGBT and Gender Non-Conforming Youth (Dec. 30), Improving Outcomes for Youth Aging Out of Foster Care Through Higher Education (Dec. 31), Coalition Building to Address Youth Homelessness (Jan. 6)

Application Process: Apply for each fellowship individually here.

Rolling Deadline: Associate Legal Aid Attorney for the AARP

aarpApplication Deadline: Open until filled

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of nearly 38 million that helps people turn their goals and dreams into ‘Real Possibilities’ by changing the way America defines aging. With staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, AARP works to strengthen communities and promote the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare security, financial security and personal fulfillment. AARP also advocates for individuals in the marketplace by selecting products and services of high quality and value to carry the AARP name. As a trusted source for news and information, AARP produces the world’s largest circulation magazine, AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. Read more about the position here.

 Application Process: Apply here.

Rolling Deadline: King County Dept. of Public Defense hiring 3L for full-time position
king-county-dpd

Application Deadline: Open until filled

The Department of Public Defense (DPD) is now actively recruiting 3rd year law students committed to working in public defense in King County to begin employment in late summer 2017. The successful applicant will have a passion for public defense and a demonstrated commitment to helping those who are less fortunate. He or she will also have a demonstrated ability to receive feedback and integrate that feedback into his or her practice. The scope of representation expected by an attorney is determined by the nature of the case assignment and in accordance with the Rules of Professional Conduct. Caseload standards established by the State Supreme Court and that foster excellence in legal representation are observed in accordance with Washington State Bar Association guidelines. Attorneys in the Department of Public Defense are expected to complete all required trainings and to actively advance their level of practice by seeking additional learning opportunities. Read more about the position here.

Application Process: Learn more here and apply online here

Rolling Deadline: Campaign Legal Center hiring Summer Law Clerk

campaign-legal-centerApplication Deadline: Open until filled

The Campaign Legal Center (CLC), a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization in Washington, DC, is seeking law students to serve as summer law clerks in 2017. CLC’s mission is to improve our democracy and protect the fundamental right of all Americans to participate in the political process. To that end, CLC litigates impact cases on voting rights, partisan gerrymandering, and campaign finance protections. CLC also runs a state and local program to help draft and defend democracy reforms at the local level. CLC oversees the Voting Rights Institute. Now more than ever, CLC’s work protecting our democracy is critical.

 

Summer law clerks at CLC have the opportunity to work across all of CLC’s issue area. Summer law clerks are tasked with advanced legal work including writing legal pleadings and briefs, researching complex issues for pending and potential lawsuits, investigating claims of voting discrimination, drafting regulatory language, and writing complaints to the Federal Election Commission. CLC anticipates that 2017 law clerks will assist with pending litigation attacking felon disfranchisement, partisan gerrymandering, and FEC inaction to enforce our campaign finance laws. Summer law clerks will also assist in writing testimony for CLC staff who testify before Congress or other bodies on proposed legislation or oversight hearings. Through the VRI, summer associates will also have the opportunity to work with voting rights lawyers to help train the next generation of voting rights lawyers and to guide voting rights research needed to safeguard the right to vote. Learn more about the position here

Application Process: Get application instructions here.

Rolling Deadline: DOJ summer legal internship in the civil rights, education opportunities section

DOJApplication Deadline: Open until filled

The Educational Opportunities Section enforces federal laws that protect students from discrimination. The Section is responsible for enforcing, among other statutes, Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, and religion in public schools and institutions of higher learning; the Equal Educational Opportunities Act of 1974 which, among other things, requires states and school districts to provide English Language Learner students with appropriate services to overcome language barriers; and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits discrimination based on disability. The Section also plays a significant role in enforcing Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin by recipients of federal funds); Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 (prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex by recipients of federal funds); and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.
The Section enforces these statutes and court decisions in a diverse array of cases involving elementary and secondary schools and institutions of higher education. The Section may intervene in private suits alleging violations of education-related anti-discrimination statutes and the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution.
Application Process: Get application instructions here.

Rolling Deadline: Albert M. Sacks Clinical Teaching & Advocacy Fellow at Harvard Law School

Harvard Seal

Application Deadline: Open until filled

The fellowship will provide an opportunity for an attorney to work at the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program (HIRC) on direct representation of individuals applying for asylum and other forms of humanitarian protection, starting in the summer of 2017. The Fellow, who will be housed at Harvard Law School, will assist with the supervision of clinical students and work closely with experienced attorneys and clinicians at Harvard Law School and Greater Boston Legal Services during the 2017-2018 academic year.

The Fellow will appear in immigration court and in front of administrative bodies with clinic students and will provide close supervision of student casework in conjunction with the Clinic Director and Assistant Director. The Fellow will assist with supervising the Harvard Immigration Project (HIP), the student practice organization, in conjunction with the HIP supervising attorney. Learn more here.

Application Process: Get application instructions here.

Rolling Deadline: School-year and summer judicial externship for 1Ls, 2Ls and 3Ls

u-s-district-eastern-washingtonApplication deadline: Open until filled

The Honorable Salvador Mendoza, Jr., U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Washington, is hiring externs. His office is looking for a 2L or 3L for Winter or Spring 2017, and a 1L for Summer 2017.

Application Process: Email Monica Villanueva (Monica_Villanueva@waed.uscourts.gov) with a cover letter, resume, transcript, and writing sample.

Do You Enjoy Free Film Screenings? Check Out These Amazing Films!

April 21: Special Free Screening of “Documented” in Seattle

Monday, Apr. 21, 2014
6:30 PM, Siff Uptown Cinema, 511 Queen Anne Avenue North, Seattle, WA
Q&A with Jose Antonio Vargas and Eric Liu after the film

Tickets are FREE, but please RSVP online here.

In 2011, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas outed himself as an undocumented immigrant in the New York Times Magazine. DOCUMENTED chronicles his journey to America from the Philippines as a child; his public struggle as an immigration reform activist/provocateur; and his journey inward as he reconnects with his mother, whom he hasn’t seen in 20 years. A broken immigration system leads to broken families and broken lives. 

Click here for more information.

April 22: Social Justice Tuesday- American Indian Children and Families:  Understanding the History and Experiences that Inform Native People’s Interactions with U.S. Legal Systems

SJT Logo

12:30-1:20, Room 133

Speaker:  Dian Million, Ph.D.  Associate Professor of American Indian Studies at the University of Washington.

Hosted by: The Incarcerated Mothers Advocacy Project

Description:  Dr. Million (Tanana Athabascan) is a poet, professor and scholar. Her research explores the politics of knowledge, colonialism, human rights and healing.  By placing community health in the context of race, class, gender and identity issues, Dr. Million shares perspectives on Native family life that will enhance cultural competency, challenge assumptions, and illuminate the connections among social and political conditions.  Her insights into the tensions between Native sovereignty and American governing practices are relevant to lawyers and law students working with tribes, government policy, family or criminal law, as well as anyone who is interested in a more complex and honest view of U.S. history.

Please RSVP to gatespsl@uw.edu by 12 noon on Monday, April 21 if you’d like lunch.

April 23: Webinar on Using Human Rights to Advance Racial Justice: An Introduction to the Race Treaty

humanrights

Wednesday, Apr. 23, 2014
2:00 – 3:30 PM EDT

Join the U.S. Human Rights Network’s CERD Taskforce for an introductory webinar on the “Race Treaty,” also known as the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD), and the upcoming review of the U.S. Government by the U.N. CERD Committee (PRRAC is a member of the USHRN CERD Task Force).  The webinar is scheduled for Wednesday, April 23, 2014, 2:00-3:30 pm EDT.

Click here to register.

April 23: An Evening with Rwanda: “Finding Hillywood” Film Screening & More

Finding Hillywood Poster

Wednesday, Apr. 23, 2014
6:30 – 9:00 PM
Ethnic Cultural Center Theater (3940 Brooklyn Ave NE)
Admission: Free

Join us for an inspiring and informative film event and discussion to explore Rwanda’s history of transitional justice and healing since the 1994 genocide.

The program includes:

Transitional Justice in Rwanda: A short film by Rwandan youth about transitional justice in Rwanda, and a few video clips from interviews with personnel from the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. (www.tribunalvoices.org)

Finding Hillywood: A one-hour feature documentary about the beginning of Rwanda’s film industry, and a real life example of how art heals. (http://findinghillywood.com)

Discussion: A conversation with Leah Warshawski, Director of Finding Hillywood

For more information, click here.

April 24: Webinar on Next Steps in Bringing Home the Human Right to Housing: Scholarship from the Symposium on the Human Right to Housing

national law center housing

Webinar 12:00 – 1:00 PST

To celebrate the release of a special edition of the Columbia Law School Human Rights Law Review with articles curated for last April’s Bringing Economic & Social Rights Home: The Right to Adequate Housing in the U.S. symposium, the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty, the Columbia Law School Human Rights Institute, the Columbia Law School Human Rights Law Review, and the Northeastern University School of Law Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy will be hosting a webinar on April 24, 2014, at 3pm Eastern, 2pm Central, 1 Mountain, 12 noon Pacific.  

The articles in this special issue of the Human Rights Law Review provide an important complement to, and expansion of, the last year’s symposium discussion, and the webinar will offer a chance to hear the authors summarize their contributions and answer questions. 

Speakers include: 

  • Maria Foscarinis, Executive Director, National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty, NLCHP
  • Eric Tars, Director of Human Rights & Children’s Rights Programs, NLCHP
  • Heather Maria Johnson, Staff Attorney, ACLU of Southern California
  • Tristia Bauman, Senior Counsel, NLCHP
  • Risa Kaufman, Executive Director, Human Rights Institute, Columbia Law School
  • Heidi Wegleitner Staff Attorney, Legal Aid of Wisconsin; District 2 Supervisor, Dane County Board of Supervisors
  • Lucy Williams, Professor of Law & Faculty Co-Director, Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy, Northeastern Law School
  • Brittany Scott, Campaign Coordinator, National Economic & Social Rights Initiative

Come and get a taste of the new thoughts, and ask questions of the authors!  Click here to register.

April 25: Washington State Society of Healthcare Attorneys Presents Its Annual Hospital & Health Seminar

(c) University of Kansas - Medical Legal Partnership

Friday, Apr. 25, 2014
Seattle University School of Law, Sullivan Hall

The Washington State Society of Healthcare Attorneys (“WSSHA”) was founded in 1973. It is operated exclusively for educational and charitable purposes, to provide an opportunity for legal advisors in the health field to meet and exchange information and ideas, to conduct legal seminars of interest to such attorneys, and to provide a central agency for the exchange of information of a legal nature in the health field.

This is a great networking and learning opportunity.  The registration fee for students is $115.  If you want to attend, you should send in your check as soon as possible along with the form that you can print off of the website. This seminar is well attended by the healthcare attorneys of Seattle and a few from Spokane and Oregon so it’s a great chance to connect with attorneys who practice in the health law field.

Click here to view the brochure.  The registration form is on the brochure itself.

April 28: National Commission on Voting Rights Event at the UW Law School

Nat'l Commission on Voting Rights

Monday, Apr. 28, 2014
4:30 – 7:30 PM, RM 138

In 2005, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, on behalf of the civil rights community, convened and staffed the National Commission on the Voting Rights Act (NCVRA), an eight-member blue ribbon panel which produced a fact-based report: Protecting Minority Voters: the Voting Rights Act at Work 1982 – 2005.

The Lawyers’ Committee, in close collaboration with state and local organizations, will organize the 2013-14 hearings.  The Commission will conduct fact finding hearings across the country that will look closely at the record of discrimination, election administration problems, voter registration procedures, and other challenges that voters are facing.

The Lawyers’ Committee will reach out to our partners in each of the states to work with the Commission in organizing the hearings. In addition to National Commissioners, we will invite local leaders to serve as guest commissioners. Voting attorneys, grassroots leaders, social scientists, and the public will be invited to testify. The hearing will be organized with Commissioners as questioners and panels of witnesses providing testimony. Each witness will be asked to submit a written statement (with the length at the discretion of each witness) in advance of the hearing.  During the hearing, witnesses will give oral testimony based on their written statement.  Commissioners sitting on the panel will ask questions on specific issues relating to each witnesses oral and written testimony. The hearings will also include periodic open sessions for audience members and voters to speak about their voting experience. Hearings will be held from November 2013 to spring 2014.

RSVP online here.

April 30: Dr. Bernard LaFayette “Sit-ins, Freedom Rides, and Selma: What the Civil Rights Movement and Nonviolence Tell Us Today

Dr. Lafayette & MLK

Wednesday, Apr. 30, 2014
10:00 AM
School of Social Work Building, 4101 15th Ave. NE, RM 305

In 1958, 18-year-old Bernard LaFayette enrolled at American Baptist Theological Seminary in Nashville, Tennessee. LaFayette is an African American and had lived in Florida and Pennsylvania: in the former, he was raised with segregation, in the latter, he attended integrated public schools. When he arrived at seminary, he roomed with John Lewis, now the U.S. Representative for Georgia’s 5th congressional district. Within weeks, Lewis convinced LaFayette to dive into the practice of nonviolence, and they would go on to participate in some of the most crucial moments in the U.S. Civil Rights Movement.

In this talk, Dr. LaFayette, having earned his Ph.D. from Harvard University, will speak about his experiences in the Civil Rights Movement, the theory and practice of nonviolence, and our responsibilities today — all with a boundless optimism and perhaps a song or two.

For more information, click here.

May 10: Presentation on Race & Jury Service: Is Jury Selection Fair?  Are All Communities Represented?

Franklin County Voter Registration Map

Saturday, May 10, 2014
4:30 PM, Gates Hall RM 119

Co-sponsors: Northwest Justice Project, Whitman College, Center for Public Service Law-UW Law

Interested in the issue of minority jury representation?

On Saturday May 10th, at 4:30 pm at the University of Washington Law School, students from Whitman College’s State of the State of Latinos in Washington will be presenting their project analyzing the jury selection system in Eastern Washington. In addition, attorneys from Washington Appleseed and the Northwest Justice Project will present the work they are doing to better understand jury selection and the role that academic researchers, attorneys, and students can play in increasing minority jury participation. The location will be in Room 119 in Gates Hall, light snacks and refreshments will be provided. Please feel free to contact David Morales at the Northwest Justice Project, if you have any further questions.

Are You Interested in the Environment and Indian Law? Guest Speakers at the UW Speak on the Subject Next Week!

April 8: Social Justice Tuesday – Indian Law & Alaska Native Fishing Rights

SJT Logo

Tuesday, Apr. 8, 2014
12:30-1:20 PM, RM 133

Speaker Professor Anderson

Hosted by the Public Interest Law Association

Professor Anderson will discuss long-running litigation (29 years) against the State of Alaska to secure some measure of protection for Alaska Native fishing rights.  Anderson was lead counsel for the Native community in the recent successful effort to persuade the U.S. Supreme Court to reject the State of Alaska’s petition for review of a Ninth Circuit decision favorable to Alaska Natives.

If you would like lunch please RSVP via Symplicity or Email by 12:00 pm Monday, April 7.

April 10: Katherine O’Brien to Speak on Environmental and Indian Law

Katherine O’Brien — UW Law alum, former Gates Scholar, and current Associate Attorney with Earthjustice’s Northern Rockies office — will be on campus.  She has agreed to speak with a small group of interested students about environmental and Indian law opportunities over the lunch hour.  The environmental program will provide lunch, but students need to send RSVPs to Todd Wildermuth by noon on Wednesday, April 9. Please specify any dietary restrictions.

April 15 & 16: Graduating Checklist for 3Ls

graduating chick

Tuesday, Apr. 15, 2014 – Part 1: Financial Aid/CPLD
Wednesday, Apr. 16, 2014 – Part 2: Student Loan Repayment Options for Graduating 3Ls
12:30 – 1:20 PM, RM 217

The Office of Admissions & Financial Aid, Center for Public Service Law, and the Center for Professional & Leadership Development are co-hosting an importation presentation series for graduating 3Ls.  Please join us for both presentations discuss all things financial aid, bar loans, student loan repayment options, and important CPLD information. The first part will focus on administrative and logistic matters in preparing to graduate and the second part will focus on different student loan repayment options.  All times are at 12:30PM-1:20PM in room 217.  Both presentations will be podcasted and made available for students who will not be able to attend.

April 17: You’re Invited To View the West Coast Premiere of “Soldiers’ Sanctuary” Documentary

Soldiers Sanctuary Poster

Thursday, Apr. 17, 2014
Seattle Public Library, Microsoft Auditorium
1000 Fourth Avenue, Seattle, WA 98101

Doors open at 6:00 PM; Film will begin at 7:00 PM

Filmed on location in Vietnam, “Soldiers’ Sanctuary” follows a group of U.S. veterans as they travel with PeaceTrees Vietnam to the infamous Khe Sanh battlefield in Quang Tri Province in hopes of finding reconciliation by meeting face to face with former enemies of war. Captured on film by cinematographer Luke Hansen of Albany, N.Y., the outcome of the meeting includes a historic event of profound and lasting significance.

Following the screening, audience members will have the unique opportunity to hear from the filmmaker and subjects of the film in a panel discussion moderated by Kevin Espirito, Sr. Manager of Community Engagement for Microsoft Citizenship and Public Affairs.

Find more information about “Soldiers’ Sanctuary” here. View the film trailer here.  Reserve your complimentary ticket here.

May 22: Annual Fair Housing Conference at the Tacoma Convention Center

City of Tacoma Logo

Thursday, May 22, 2014
Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center

This year’s theme is “Taking the Lead: Creating Partnerships for Inclusive Communities.” The 2014 conference is organized by the City of Tacoma and King County Office of Civil Rights with in partnership with the Fair Housing Partners of Washington (Washington State Human Rights Commission, Seattle Office for Civil Rights, King County Office of Civil Rights, City of Tacoma Human Rights, Fair Housing Center of Washington, and Northwest Fair Housing Alliance).

The conference draws over 350 housing industry personnel from maintenance staff to real estate brokers, attorneys, government staff, and community based social service agencies from throughout western Washington.

For more information, click here.

 

Exciting News in Fair Housing, Human Rights, and Innovative Social Enterprise Fellowship

Tent Cities, Homelessness & Human Rights Webinar TOMORROW

housing

Thursday, Mar. 6, 2014
11 AM PST / 2 PM EST

In March, the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty will release to the public its long-awaited report, “Welcome Home: The Rise of Tent Cities in the United States,” addressing the human and civil rights implications of the growth of homeless encampments across the country. The report, co-authored with the Yale Law School Allard K. Lowenstein Human Rights Clinic, comes as the U.S. prepares for four reviews by international human rights monitors in the coming year, and follows new steps by the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness to address homelessness as a human rights issue. It also comes on the heels of the Law Center’s annual “Human Right to Housing Report Card.

Come and learn about the human and civil rights issues faced by homeless persons, the response from the federal government, as well as the process of review by the U.N. human rights monitors and how you can make human rights real in your community.

Register for the webinar tomorrow here.

Lessons Worth Sharing: Check out this video on “Rethinking Thinking” by Trevor Maber

Save the Date!  28th Annual Western Washington Fair Housing Conference on May 22, Registration Opens in March

City of Tacoma Logo

The conference will highlight how to take the lead, at all levels from community member to housing provider to government official, in promoting and ensuring fair housing for all.

The fair housing conference will provide interactive learning opportunities.  Plenary sessions are planned to share information about leadership and how to use it to achieve fair housing.  Workshops will cover topics including fair housing law overview, disabilities and reasonable accommodations, communicating with residents, how government officials can implement practices to promote fair housing, and much more!

Registration opens in March 2014.  For more information, click here.

Marking the 20th Anniversary of the Executive Order on Environmental Justice: Retrospective Report Issued

Plant Seedling_ Courtesy of Markuso & Free Digital Photos

This report is a compilation of several previous reports. In preparation for the four-day Second National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit, held in Washington, DC in October 2002, the Environmental Justice Resource Center (EJRC) compiled the Environmental Justice Timeline/Milestones – 1964-2002 report, one of the first comprehensive documents to chronicle accomplishments of the Environmental Justice Movement. The milestones were later updated in the 2007 United Church of Christ Toxic Wastes and Race at Twenty – 1987-2007 report and in 2010 in Environmental Health and Racial Equity in the United States: Strategies for Building Environmentally Just, Sustainable, and Liveable Communities (American Public Health Association 2011).

February 11, 2014 marked the 20th anniversary of the historic Environmental Justice Executive Order 12898 “Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations” signed by President Clinton. This retrospective report was prepared by Robert Bullard et al. and released as part of the 20-year commemoration.

To read full the report, click herePhoto of Plant Seedling Courtesy of Markuso and Free Digital Photos.

Mayors Sign On to Support International Human Rights, The US Coalition of Cities Against Racism and Discrimination

USCM Logo

Working with UNESCO and the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Conference of Mayors has established the U.S. Coalition of Cities Against Racism and Discrimination.  Over 100 mayors have signed on to the initiative (not yet including New York City).

Click here to see a list of mayors who have signed on.
Click here to read more about the coalition’s 10-Point Plan of Action.

Civil Legal Corps Announces Innovative Social Enterprise Fellowship

CLC Equal Justice Under the Law

Civic Legal Corps (CLC) is an innovative legal social enterprise fellowship and training program that empowers young attorneys to restore justice and expand access to legal services for low- and moderate-income people. CLC supports young attorneys committed to bridging the justice gap, building healthy and sustaining communities, and improving the quality of life for everyone.

Our creed is simple: young attorneys should be able to make a living fighting for justice, and justice should be accessible for all Americans – regardless of their ability to afford it.

Continue reading here. (Photo courtesy of CLC.)

Reminder: QLaw Foundation Offers Summer Grant Program Up to $5,000, Due 3/14

QLaw Foundation Logo

Are you a member of the LGBTQ community or an ally?  Do you plan on spending your summer internship promoting the rights of LGBT persons or persons living with HIV/AIDS?  Will you be working with a non-profit organization or government agency?

If so, you may be eligible for up to a $5000 grant to fund 10 full-time, 40 hour weeks of work. The goal of the QLaw Foundation grant program is to ensure that unmet legal needs in the LGBT community are recognized and prioritized, and that the next generation of legal advocates for LGBT rights develop the skills necessary for careers in public interest law.

Applications due by March 14, 2014.

For more information and application details, please click here.

International Human Rights Day News and RSVP Deadline Extended for San Francisco Public Service Visit in January

How About We Celebrate Human Rights Every Day?

human_rights_logo

By Anna Crosby, ACLU Human Rights Program

Henry Hill was 16 when he was charged for his involvement in a shooting that took place in a Michigan park. He is now 48 and has spent two-thirds of his life in a prison cell. Although in recent years the Supreme Court has struck down some laws that allow children to be committed to die in prison, the United States remains the last country in the world where children can still be sentenced to serve life without the possibility of parole. While the U.S. has historically provided global leadership on some human rights issues, Henry Hill serves as a grave reminder that we’re still out of step with rest of the world on many of the most fundamental human rights protections.

Sixty-three years ago today, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed December 10 International Human Rights Day. It celebrates the birthday of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the foundational document expressing our collective will to advance human rights and “strive by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance.”

This year also marks the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the principal outcome of the landmark international conference on human rights which took place in Vienna in 1993.

The United States’ track record in some of what the UDHR calls the most basic of rights—the right to life, right to vote, freedom from torture, and economic rights, among others—is greatly in need of improvement. We often don’t practice what we preach. Just last week, at the annual summit hosted by Human Rights First, National Security Advisor Susan Rice publicly criticized the Iranian government for not allowing the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Human Rights to visit the country. The U.S., however, lacks credible leverage to change this policy when it continues to deny U.N. human rights experts unimpeded access to the prison at Guantánamo Bay.

In commemoration of this year’s Human Rights Day, we’re releasing a new fact sheet that provides a critical snapshot of 12 human rights issues the United States is failing to adequately address, including some astounding statistics on persons deprived of their liberty. In 2012, the number of people held in immigration detention reached 410,000 people, an increase of more than 400 percent since 1996. Fueled by over-incarceration policies and discrimination, the incarceration rate in the United States is still the highest in the world. Other issues addressed in our fact sheet include:

  • Women’s Rights
  • Criminal Justice (more specifically, capital punishment, life without parole for children)
  • Voting Rights
  • LGBT Rights
  • Rights of Persons with Disabilities
  • Socioeconomic Rights
  • Racial Profiling
  • Children’s Rights
  • Accountability for Torture

In addition to the areas addressed in the fact sheet, the United States also continues to set a poor example for other countries when it comes to mass surveillancetargeted killings, and more.

As our fact sheet explains:

Without doubt the U.S. continues to provide global leadership on some human rights issues. For example, the current administration provided vigorous leadership in fighting for LGBT equality, combating trafficking, and championing religious freedom and peaceful assembly rights. But while some U.S. laws and policies have been comparatively advanced in protecting civil rights and civil liberties, the U.S. has fallen behind in protecting the universal human rights recognized by the UDHR. Our government has only partially and selectively embraced these rights, ignoring international obligations and widening the gap between the United States’ sixty-five-year-old promise and its own current practice.

As we celebrate Human Rights Day, we cannot forget urgent and ongoing domestic human rights violations, like mass incarceration and juvenile life without parole. For people like Henry Hill, who has spent half of the UDHR‘s history behind bars, paying our respects to human rights once a year won’t get him home.

Twitter link: http://tiny.cc/gcaw7w

Human Rights Report Card Gives U.S. Poor Grades on Housing

NLCHPDecember 10, 2013, Washington D.C. – The National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty released its 2013 Human Right to Housing Report Card today, marked globally as human rights day, reviewing U.S. compliance with the human right to housing in the context of American homelessness over the past year. The report card found that while there were areas of improvement, much more needs to be done.

“In 2010, the federal government released a plan to end and prevent homelessness,” said Maria Foscarinis, Executive Director of the Law Center, “ensuring affordable housing to very low-income people is essential to ending and preventing homelessness, and many of the poor grades we assigned in this year’s report card reflect the failure to prioritize and fund such housing.”

There were encouraging policy developments this year, most notably the Violence-Against Women Act 2013 reauthorization, which significantly expanded housing rights for survivors of domestic violence. Additionally, a federal court mandate upheld the order forcing government compliance with Title V of the McKinney-Vento Act requiring government agencies to make vacant properties available to homeless service agencies.

In another significant development, the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness began holding its member agencies accountable to their human rights obligations, following up on a report it issued with the U.S. department of Justice last year on the criminalization of homelessness and in response to inquiries from the United Nations this year.

“The U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness deserves credit for beginning to hold its member agencies accountable to human rights standards following a question from the UN Human Rights Committee about the criminalization of homelessness in the U.S.,” said Eric Tars, Director of Human Rights & Children’s Rights Programs at the Law Center, “But we have yet to see actions being implemented, and our human rights obligations to our most vulnerable citizens remain compromised.”

In order to improve its grades next year, the Law Center recommends that funds be increased to at least $1 billion per year for federal homelessness prevention programs and $1 billion be devoted to the National Housing Trust Fund. The report also recommends that the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act become permanent, the right to counsel be assured for all housing cases, and federal agencies develop funding incentives for communities to stop the criminalization of homelessness.

To read the report card, click here. For general inquiries, contact Selam Aberra.

The National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty is a leader in the movement to prevent and end homelessness. To achieve its goal, the Law Center uses three main strategies: policy advocacy, public education, and impact litigation.

Human Rights Essay Award Competition: Persons with Disabilities and International Human Rights Law

Academy of HR & Humanitarian Law

Deadline: February 1, 2014

This annual competition sponsored by the Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law at American University Washington College of Law seeks to stimulate the production of scholarly work in international human rights law.

The 2014 topic is Persons with Disabilities and International Human Rights Law. Participants have the flexibility to choose any subject related to the assigned topic. The best articles may be published in the American University International Law Review.

The Academy will grant two Awards, one for the best article in English and one for the best article in Spanish. The Award in each case will consist of:

  • a scholarship to the Academy’s Program of Advanced Studies
  • travel expenses to and from Washington D.C.
  • housing at the university dorms
  • a per diem for living expenses

For detailed guidelines about the award please click here.

Deadline Extended! RSVP By December 17, 5pm ! San Francisco Public Service Employer Visit

SF

2014 SAN FRANCISCO PUBLIC SERVICE CITY VISIT: JANUARY 17, 2014

The  Center for Public Service Law has planned our third annual San Francisco  Public Interest Law City Visit for Friday, January 17, 2014.  On that day we will visit 4 public interest/public service agencies – two in Oakland  and two in San Francisco.  This year we will visit a variety of  organizations including the National Council on Crime and Delinquency, the US Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS), the California Department of Justice (Attorney General’s Office) and the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights.  Over the past two years 13 UW Law students have taken this trip and visited different public service and public interest sites, receiving excellent exposure to public service law in San Francisco.

Who may attend?  UW law students.

Why attend? If you are interested in seeking summer positions in the San Francisco Bay Area or if you think you might practice public interest law in the Bay Area after graduating then this is a great opportunity to get a sense of the lay of the land.  At each place we visit, the  organization will give us a brief presentation and then lawyers on staff will answer our questions.  Meeting the public interest lawyers in these offices will help you to begin building relationships — which is vital to “breaking in” to a new community.  None of the employers we visit can guarantee our jobs for students, but students have created important connections and at least one secured an externship.  Two other organizations we have visited have welcomed collaborative projects with students or hosted Equal Justice  Works fellowship applications, based on us establishing relationships with them through the city visits.

What are the expenses? You must pay for your own airfare and lodging. On Friday we will provide lunch and public transportation fees.  Participants will be eligible for up to $150 reimbursement of documented travel expenses.

How to RSVP:  contact Dean Storms at mestorms@uw.edu if you are interested in attending or if you have additional questions.  Please do so by December 17 5pm as  we will want to confirm a minimum number of participants in order to go forward with the trip.