Want to Learn More about Prison Reform and Immigration Detention? Check Out the Lunch Events This Week!

November 2: End It, Don’t Mend It!: Abolition & the Mainstreaming of Prison and Police Reform

Date: Monday, Nov. 2, 2015
Time: 12:30 – 1:20 PM
Location: William H. Gates Hall, RM 127 unless otherwise noted

IMAP Event Flyer

November 3 & 10: Two-Part Social Justice Tuesday Presentations – Resistance to Immigration Detention: From the Local to the National

SJT

Date: Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015; Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2015
Time: 12:30 – 1:20 PM
Location: William H. Gates Hall, RM 127 unless otherwise noted

In the absence of effective immigration reform, the federal government’s use of detention as an immigration enforcement strategy has increased exponentially.  To keep up with the national quota that requires Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to maintain no less than 34,000 immigration detention beds at all times, immigrants, including lawful permanent residents and asylum seekers, are detained for months and sometimes years. Conditions of confinement in immigration detention facilities are deplorable and yet there are no enforceable regulations that govern management of the detention facilities.  Without access to affordable legal services, conditions of confinement often go unaddressed and immigrant detainees remain particularly vulnerable.  While detained individuals and their families suffer greatly, the private prison industry that contracts with the government to oversee immigration detention facilities are using “guaranteed minimum” contract provisions to maintain profits whether the beds are filled or not.  This contract scheme safeguards profits for private companies while incentivizing the incarceration of immigrants. Problematic partnerships between ICE and local law enforcement only exacerbate the problem, leading to the transfer of immigrants from jails and prisons to immigration detention centers.

Our two-part Social Justice Tuesday Presentations will address the proliferation of immigration detention and showcase stories and strategies of resistance and defiance both locally and nationally.

Tuesday, Nov. 3rd:  Panel 1:  The Problem and The Local Response:
The first panel will help frame our discussion and bring the problem to life. The panel will highlight immigrant activists who were on the front lines of the hunger strikes at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma.  Their experiences and insights will lay the foundation a legal advocate from the ACLU of Washington to examine the role of lawyers in the detention resistance efforts.  The panel will conclude with the perspective of a community organizer who is engaged in fighting against the privatization of prisons.

Maru Mora Villalpando, Latino Advocacy /Northwest Detention Center Resistance
Maru Mora Villalpando is a bilingual community organizer, consultant and political analyst with more than 10 years of experience working on immigrant rights and racial justice issues. She is the founder of Latino Advocacy Inc. which provides consulting for non-profits in the areas of policy and membership development, workshops and meetings facilitation.

Margaret Chen, ACLU of Washington
Margaret Chen is a Staff Attorney at the ACLU of Washington  She was one of the attorneys that sought a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) to prohibit U.S. Immigration and Enforcement (ICE) from retaliating against immigration detainees who engage in First Amendment-protected activities by placing them in solitary confinement.  The lawsuit grew out of events at the Northwest Detention Center (NWDC) in Tacoma, Washington.  Several hundred detainees at (NWDC) initiated a hunger strike to express concerns with national immigration policy and to raise awareness about the conditions of their confinement.  In response, ICE began placing individuals in solitary confinement in retaliation for their support of the hunger strikes.

Andrea Lopez-Diaz, Community Organizer, Ending the Prison Industrial Complex/YUIR
Andrea Lopez-Diaz is a community organizer whose woks focuses on prison reform issues in Washington state.

If you would like lunch please RSVP via Symplicity or gatespsl@uw.edu RSVP by 12:00 pm Monday, November 2.

November 12: Fania Davis – Understanding the Intersection of Restorative and Racial Justice

Fania Davis Flyer

Date: Thursday, Nov. 12, 2015
Time: 6:30 PM
Location: Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute, 104 17th Ave. S., Seattle, WA 98144

FREE ENTRY.  Join us for a casual reception starting at 5:30 PM.  Light refreshments will be served.

Fania Davis is a founder and current Director of RJOY (Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth). She has been active for many decades in the civil rights, Black liberation, women’s, prisoners’, peace, anti-racial violence and anti-apartheid movements.

Founded in 2005, RJOY focuses on reducing racial disparities by promoting restorative approaches that engage families, communities, and systems. Beginning in 2007, RJOY’s West Oakland Middle School pilot project eliminated violence and expulsions, and reduced suspension rates by 87%.

For more information, click here.


December 10 – 13: Early Bird Rates Ends November 6! Register Now for Conference on Advancing Human Rights 2015 – Sharpening Our Vision, Reclaiming Our Dreams

 

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Date: Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015 – Sunday, Dec. 13, 2015
Time: 5:00 AM EST – 5:00 AM EST
Location: Hilton Austin, 500 E. 4th St., Austin, TX 78701

This year’s conference theme is Sharpening our Vision, Reclaiming our Dreams. This theme reflects the deep need to re-center an economic, social and cultural rights (ESCR) agenda as a key component of our movement work. Building off of Martin Luther King, Jr’s Poor People’s Campaign and his understanding that an end to racial oppression requires addressing poverty and all human rights, we seek to re-affirm and elevate the link between inequality, violence, and the criminalization of economically and politically marginalized groups. Effective human rights movement building demands an intersectional approach in which equal attention is given to the role and impact of race, gender and gender identity, economic and social class, sexuality, disability, age, immigration status and other dimensions of our lives.

For more information, click here.

January 15: Save the Date! King County Bar Association Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Annual Luncheon

KCBA 2016 Luncheon Banner

Date: Friday, Jan. 15, 2015
Time: 12:00 PM
Location: Seattle Sheraton Hotel, 1400 Sixth Ave., Seattle, WA

Keynote Speaker: 

C.T. Vivian

Additional Information about C.T. Vivian

  • Legendary Civil Rights Activist
  • Presidential Civil Rights Advisor
  • Founder, C.T. Vivian Leadership Institute

Please join us on January 15 to honor and celebrate Dr. King’s birthday and his legacy.

Questions, please call the KCBA CLE & Events Department at 206.267.7067.

Attention Post Grad Students! AmeriCorps Fellowship Deadlines Fast Approaching!

Want to Host A Social Justice Tuesday This Year?

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Want to host a Social Justice Today this Year? Don’t miss out! Any UW Law student organization can team up with the Center for Public Service Law to host an SJT.

Learn more about how to sign up here. 

2015 AmeriCorps Legal Fellowships Still Available to Begin between August 15 and September 15

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There are several postgraduate fellowship positions available with organizations across the country through out Veterans Legal Corps and Employment Opportunity Legal Corps. The fellowships are one-year and will begin in August or September 2015.

Host organizations will post more information on positions over the next several weeks, so please continue to check back!

For more information click here.

Attention 3Ls and Recent Grads! 2016 Equal Justice Works Fellowships Application Deadline Closes September 18

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The 2016 application is open through September 18. Register for these 2016 Equal Justice Works Fellowships webinars for application tips and to learn about sponsorship opportunities in medical-legal partnerships with special guest, Ellen Lawton of the National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership at GWU’s Department of Health Policy.

Check out the following for helpful information about EJW Fellowships:

Filipino Lawyers of Washington Now Accepting Applications for 2015 Pangarap Scholarship

Filipino Lawyers of Washington

Each year, the Filipino Lawyers of Washington (“FLOW”) awards up to 3 scholarships ranging from $500 to $3,000 to law students in the Pacific Northwest. The scholarships are intended to recognize law students who have demonstrated significant commitment to community service, particularly service to the Filipino/Filipino American community. You need not be of Filipino ethnicity to apply.

Applications must be e-mailed to students@filipinolawyers.org no later than Saturday September 25, 2015 at 5pm PST.

To download the application, click here.

U.S. Grassroots Groups File Request for Hearing on Right to Water and Sanitation at International Human Rights Commission

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By US Human Rights Network

Washington, DC – July 29, 2015 – Yesterday, on the 5th Anniversary of the UN General Assembly resolution on the human right to safe and clean drinking water and sanitation, the US Human Rights Network, along with more than twenty U.S. grassroots and national groups, individuals, and universities filed a request for a hearing with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), a regional human rights commission, regarding the human right to water in the United States.

The request is responding to the urgent situations nationwide involving a lack of access to clean and affordable water, and highlights several of those critical situations that represent key water challenges in urban, rural, and indigenous communities. The request includes information on African-American communities in Michigan, Maryland, and rural Alabama, Latino communities in rural California, and Indigenous communities in the Southwest that have been disproportionately affected.

Continue reading here.

Solitary Confinement: Punished for Life

Joseph Harmon Photo, (c) NYT, Max Whittaker

By Erica Goode | New York Times | Photo credit Max Whittaker for NYT (Photo of Joseph Harmon)

In 1993, Craig Haney, a social psychologist, interviewed a group of inmates in solitary confinement at Pelican Bay State Prison, California’s toughest penal institution.

He was studying the psychological effects of isolation on prisoners, and Pelican Bay was among the first of a new breed of super-maximum-security prisons that states around the country were beginning to build.

Twenty years later, he returned to Pelican Bay for another set of interviews. He was startled to find himself facing some of the same prisoners he had met before, inmates who now had spent more than two decades alone in windowless cells.

Continue reading here.  

Watch the video on the Effects of Solitary Confinement by Colin Archdeacon and Center for Constitutional Rights here.

Upcoming Events on the Law, Race, Human Rights and Justice

May 28: Webinar: CCR, CRR & USHRN Present “Defending the Defenders”

Webinar

Wednesday, May 28, 2014
2:00 – 3:00 PM EST

The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR), in collaboration with the US Human Rights Network (USHRN) are hosting a webinar this coming Wednesday, May 28th at 2 pm EST on human rights defenders in the United States. Please join us to learn about how we can use the human rights framework to protect ourselves and our work, hear from others who have successfully engaged in human rights defenders advocacy, and to get details on how you can join a new USHRN human rights defenders member-initiated action team!

Speakers:

  • Ejim Dike, Executive Director of the U.S. Human Rights Network
  • Sunita PatelStaff Attorney at Center for Constitutional Rights
  • Karla Torres, Human Rights Fellow at Center for Reproductive Rights
  • Ahmad Abuznaid, Legal and Policy Director at Dream Defenders
  • Reena Shah, Director of Human Rights Project at Maryland Legal Aid

Click here to register.

May 29: Senator Elizabeth Warren Reading of A Fighting Chance: Elizabeth Warren by Henry Holt

Elizabeth Warren Book Cover

Thursday, May 29, 2014
7:00 PM
University Temple United Methodist Church Chapel, 1415 NE 43rd Street

In her first year as senior senator of Massachusetts, Senator Elizabeth Warren has become a liberal political hero and a lively, say-it-like-it-is star of what might otherwise be a dull Senate floor. This spring, you can hear Warren speak yourself as she presents her new memoir about her journey from small-town Oklahoma to the political chambers of Washington, D.C. that is as passionate, funny and rabble rousing as Warren herself. Join us for an evening with the Senator, and if rumors turn out to be true, you might even be able to say you met a future presidential frontrunner.

Tickets are $32.76 and available from Brown Paper Tickets. Each ticket admits one person and includes a copy of A Fighting Chance.

Click here for more information.

May 29: Tele-Conference – Combating Violence Against Women: What’s Working?

ABA section of internat law

Thursday, May 29, 2014
11:00 AM – 12:30 PM EDT
By Teleconference Only

A FREE non-CLE teleconference proudly presented by ABA Section of International Law International Human Rights Committee; Asia/Pacific Committee; India Committee; NGO & Not-For-Profit Organizations Committee; Women’s Interest Network (WIN) and IMPOWR

Recent horrific and highly publicized attacks against women, international advocacy to combat sex trafficking, and efforts to pass I-VAWA and other legislation have heightened awareness about the global epidemic of violence against women. Less well-know are the various innovative and practical strategies and approaches around the globe that have significantly increased prosecutions and convictions of offenders, empowered women to vindicate their right to be free from violence, and otherwise improved the safety and security of women. This teleconference will highlight best practices throughout the world to combat violence against women, including: mobile courts to enhance access to justice for victims in rural areas; coordinated response centers for victims of sexual violence; and, specialized units training of judges, police officers, prosecutors and local leaders/elders to educate them about gender violence and to ensure effective and timely investigations, prosecutions and convictions. Speakers will include representatives from advocacy groups operating in various regions of the world and judges/law enforcement personnel involved in developing/implementing these approaches.

Moderator: 

  • Elizabeth Brundige, Executive Director, Avon Global Center for Women and Justice at Cornell Law School

Speakers:

  • Justice Elena Highton de Nolasco, Vice President of the Supreme Court of Argentina and founder of the Supreme Court’s Domestic Violence Office
  • Maimbo Ziela,National Coordinator of WLSA-Zambia
  • Smriti Minocha, Senior Program Officer, Human Rights Law Network, New Delhi, India

Please RSVP to Jonathan Lewis at jonathan.lewis@americanbar.org.

Email questions to: inthumrights@gmail.com or tweet us @ABAIHRC or use the hashtag #ABAIHRC

June 9: Discussion on Perceptions of Justice

Equal Justice

Monday, June 9, 2014
8:45 AM – 12:00 PM
*Registration opens at 8:30 AM
OB2 Auditorium DSHS, 1115 Washington Street SE, Olympia, WA

Sponsored by: The Washington State Minority and Justice Commission

Prosecutors, police representatives, judges, defense counsel, and representatives of community organizations will be present for this discussion.  There will be an opportunity to ask questions during the presentations and for informal conversations during the lunch hour.

Speakers:

  • Don Stemen, Measures for Justice
  • Mark Peffley, John, Hurwitz, and Jeffrey Mondak, Researchers

No Cost to Register ~ Lunch provided.

Advance registration is recommended. Register by emailing: cynthia.delostrinos@courts.wa.gov with “Perceptions of Justice” in the subject line.

*3 general CLE credits approved.

June 20: Save the Date for Negotiating Justice: Advancing Racial Equity and Client Goals

equity

Friday, June 20, 2014
8:45 AM – 5:00 PM
Gates Hall, RM 138

One of the most challenging skills that an attorney can conquer is learning to humanize their client and translating that practice into a successful negotiation of their client’s case. This CLE will focus on how to improve your awareness of the obstacles that our clients face in their lives. You will learn how to negotiate your cases in a way that uses this understanding.

Speakers include:

  • John A. Powell, Berkeley Law, an internationally recognized expert in civil rights, civil liberties and structural racism, ethnicity, housing, poverty and democracy.
  • Judge Robert S. Lasnik , U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, who recently decided the landmark Wilber v. Mount Vernon case concerning meaningful representation of indigent clients.

Sponsored by the University of Washington Law School, the Washington Defender Association, Columbia Legal Services, ACLU-WA, Northwest Justice Project, TeamChild and Center for Children & Youth Justice.

CLE credits pending. This program is free nad open to WDA members, civil legal service attorneys, attorneys in private practice who handle pro bono cases and law students.

Advance registration is required. Please email wda@defensenet.org or fax (206) 623-5420 with the following information:
-Name ______________
-Bar Number ______________
-Are You a WDA Member? Yes ______ No _______
-I may want to join WDA – please send info. ______
-Email: ______________________
-Employer/Organization: ____________________
-Phone: _________________________________

Celebrating International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

March 21: Today is International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

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USHRN

March 21, 2014– By USHRN. Photo courtesy all-images.org.

Today as we celebrate the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, we share Dr. Carol Anderson’s keynote address to the USHRN 2013 Biannual National Conference.

Dr. Anderson argues that the Civil Rights Movement “did not have the frame in order to deal with the depth of degradation that had happened from centuries of slavery and Jim Crow. And so as one victory after another led to greater exposure of the human rights remains in the black community, it became clear that the root of systemic inequalities remained even after all of the blood, all of the struggle, and all of the martyrs.”

A staunch advocate for human rights, in her seminal work, Eyes Off the Prize, Dr. Anderson reminds us that the struggle for human rights – the struggle for adequate healthcare, education, housing, decent work and our civil and political rights – is the path to ending racial discrimination in the U.S.

As we prepare for the review of the U.S. Government record to end racial discrimination in all of its forms by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) in August of this year, we are reminded of the work ahead to ensure that the Obama administration adopts a National Plan of Action for Racial Justice. A National Plan of Action would address persistent contemporary forms of racial discrimination and race disparities in almost every sphere of life in the U.S. Click here for more information on why we need the National Plan of Action. Click here to access the US Human Rights Network’s Template for a National Plan of Action to learn how activists and advocates can provide input into developing a National Plan of Action.

On the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination join us in our fight to end racial discrimination in the U.S. If you are interesting in learning more about the upcoming work on CERD, please join the ICERD Listserve.

Looking to Fund Your Summer Doing Public Service Work? Apply for the Labor & Employment Summer Grant Applications

Black Law Students Association Alumni Committee of the Public Defender for DC Announces 2014 Spring Break Criminal Defense Trial Practice Institute, Due TODAY

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The Black Law Students Association Alumni Committee of the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia is pleased to present the 2014 Spring Break Criminal Defense Trial Practice Institute (Institute).  The Institute seeks to help students cultivate effective trial advocacy skills and explore indigent criminal defense work.  The program consists of a week of workshops on how to conduct opening statements, direct examinations, cross examinations, and closing arguments.  In addition, students will learn how to develop theories of defense, master the rules of evidence, and impeach witnesses at trial.  At the end of the program, students will participate in full-length mock trials presided over by Superior Court judges.

The Institute will be held March 10 – March 14, 2014.  The program is free of charge to students, although students are expected to provide their own transportation and lodging. To apply, students must be a member of the school’s Black Law Students Association and commit to the entire program.

Students should submit their applications electronically by clicking here. For more information about PDS, click here.  The deadline to submit  applications is Friday, February 26, 2014.

2014 Labor & Employment Summer Grant Applications Now Available, Due 4/3

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WSBA Logo

Do you have an unpaid summer internship lined up with a government agency or non-profit organization working on labor and/or employment law issues? Wondering how you can fund your summer doing  this public service work?

The Labor and Employment Law sections of the King County Bar Association and Washington State Bar Association are dedicated to educating future lawyers about the practice of labor and employment law. They sponsor two $6000 summer grants to give students the opportunity to have hands-on experience in the field of labor and employment law in King County and Washington State respectively. Applications including letters of recommendation are due no later than Thursday, April 3. Download the KCBA application here. Download the WSBA application here. For more information please email Aline Carton-Listfjeld at the Center for Public Service Law.

Click here to download the WSBA Summer Grant Application information.

Click here to download the KCBA Summer Grant Application information.

Honoring Justice Tom Chambers in Special Edition of Trial News

AP News Tribune_Justice Tom Chambers

In honor of Justice Tom Chambers – Trial News published a special edition of Trial News this month.  It is on-line – below are instructions on how to access the paper.

The February issue of Trial News is now viewable online here.  If you would like to read Trial News offline you can use the Free App – FLIPEXPLORER – it can be used to download or transfer the publication into iPad/iPhone/iPod and Android for offline reading.

The Opportunity Agenda Publishes Report on Human Rights in State Courts 2014

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The Opportunity Agenda and the Program on Human Rights in the Global Economy of Northeastern University School of Law has released a new report, Human Rights in State Courts 2014. The report reviews state court decisions and Attorneys General opinions interpreting human rights treaties, laws, and standards.

Since the last version of this report was released in 2011, litigants have continued to use international human rights law in their arguments before state courts. In fact, the range of cases in which international law arguments are offered seems to have increased, now encompassing environmental claims, tort cases, and guardianship matters. Many of these arguments have been cursorily dismissed, with a few courts and individual judges staking out their opposition to the application of international human rights law. However, some state courts have considered and affirmatively used international law as persuasive authority for the interpretation of state constitutions, statutes, and common law. Further, individual judges regularly draw on human rights norms in concurring or dissenting opinions.

Read the complete report here.

Become a F.I.H.R.E. Starter! Apply to USHRN’s Human Rights Education Program, Due 3/14

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As the U.S. human rights movement grows, so does the need for accessible, strategically-focused human rights education to ignite change. The goal of the USHRN Fighting Injustice through Human Rights Education (F.I.H.R.E) Program is to do just that. A re-launch of our Summer Training Institute, FIHRE aims to place the tools of a people-centered human rights framework in the arsenal of human rights defenders to ensure coordinated, strategic, and holistic growth to the movement.

For complete application details, click here.

Center for Women & Democracy Offers Its Leadership Institute from June 24-28 This Year at SU, Applications Due 4/1

Center for Women and Democracy (CWD) Logo

Center for Women & Democracy’s signature program – our Leadership Institute – will take place this year from June 24th to 28th at Seattle University. This week-long program offers a format built for women, by women and for women, training them to lead wherever they land. From knowing how to handle money and negotiating for better wages, to listening & leading skills, to appreciating cultural diversity, to achieving balance in your life, this celebrated curriculum also features the best women: elected leaders, professional business women, non-profit geniuses, young entrepreneurs, and women succeeding in all aspects of life.

The Center underwrites all but $275 per person for this five-day experience, including all food, housing, trainings, events & materials. This program draws applicants from all over the world and has graduated more than 400 very impressive women who have gone on to become successful leaders, international scholars, elected officials, and innovative business entrepreneurs. Some of these accomplished young women return to the program year after year to mentor the new class.

For more information, click here.  To apply, click here.

Calling for Volunteers! UW Offering Its First Law Academy for Diverse High School Students

Friday, March 14, 2014
UW Law School, 10:30 AM – 4:00 PM
You are cordially invited to participate in our first UW Law Academy! 

With the help of the UW Office of Minority Affairs, Rise UP/GEAR UP! and DiscoverLaw.org, the UW School of Law is inviting diverse high school students from around the State to spend the day at the law school.  We hope to inspire students to really consider pursuing a legal education and career by introducing them to judges, attorneys, and law students.

We need attorney/professor/judge/law student volunteers to help make this a great experience for our high school guests.  Please RSVP at Lisa Castilleja  ASAP.  Let her know if you would like to attend the morning or afternoon session, either session +the luncheon, or stay with us for the entire day.  Please feel free to forward the invitation to your colleagues (Walk-ins Welcome!).

Proposed schedule:
10:00-10:20 am: Check in/Registration/
10:30 am: Keynote Speaker: Justice Steven C. Gonzalez, WA Supreme Court
11:00 am-1200 pm: Overview and Action Plan (from High School to Law School): Sehee Thomas, Associate Director of Admissions/Lisa Castilleja, Assistant Director, CPLD
12:00 pm-1:15 pm: Lunch & Learn;
1:15- 1:30 pm: Break
1:30pm-2:45 pm: Street Law Programming/Mock Trial
2:45pm-3pm: Closing  Remarks

Attention Law Students! This is a great networking opportunity!
Law student volunteers are especially needed to help with the mock trial portion of the program which includes the lunch & learn and then partnering with the volunteer attorneys on the mock trial.

UW Law Academy Flyer

Pro Bono Opportunities, Summer Funding, US Human Rights Treaty Compliance and a Victory for the Homeless

Meena Jagannath ’10 Shines Light on US Failed Compliance with Human Rights Treaties

Police Shooting TeenBy Trymaine Lee at MSNBC, photo courtesy of John Minchillo/AP

A broad umbrella group of American human and civil rights groups has filed a joint submission to the United Nations, calling for the United States and the Obama administration to hold itself to the same international standards of human rights compliance as it does other nations.

In more than 30 so-called shadow reports filed by the U.S. Human Rights Network (USHRN), advocacy groups raised a number of concerns and issues, including racial profiling, gun violence, stop-and-frisk policies and Stand Your Ground laws.

“While USHRN recognizes the positive steps the U.S. has made towards the advancement of human rights, it remains concerned about the general trend of the country and the large number of individuals whose rights as provided for under the [International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights] remain unprotected, in particular the racial, ethnic, gender, and class disparities that persist in the enjoyment of those rights,” the USHRN wrote in its submission.

Read full article here.

ABA Commission on Homeless & Poverty Annouces 2014 Summer Grant Program

homeless_headerThe Curtin Justice Fund Legal Internship Program is seeking motivated law student interns to apply for stipends available for the Summer 2014 Program. These students should have a position offered, contingent on funding, from a qualified organization.

The Curtin Justice Fund Legal Internship Program is managed jointly by the ABA Commission on Homelessness and Poverty and the Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defendants. The Program will pay a $2,500 stipend to three law school students who spend the summer months working for a bar association or legal services program designed to prevent homelessness or assist homeless or indigent clients or their advocates. The Legal Internship Program will provide much-needed legal assistance to organizations serving the under-represented and give students direct experience in a public interest forum. Through this, it aims both to help homeless clients and to encourage careers in the law that further the goals of social justice.

Application Deadline: March 31. For complete description and application instructions please click here.

For more info on how to fund your summer in public service please attend the January 14 Social Justice Tuesday. You can also learn more here.

Volunteer Interpreters Needed to Support the Clinical Law Program

InterpreterIf you speak a second language, the Clinical Law Program Language Bank needs your skill.  All foreign languages are required but there is a high demand for interpreters of Spanish.  As a volunteer interpreter, you will assist clients of the Clinical Law Program (CLP) and Immigrant Families Advocacy Project (IFAP).

A free interpreter orientation (four hours) will be provided here at the Law School.

Interpreting assignments involve phone conversations and face-to-face interviews as well as document translations.  No in-court interpreting is involved.  Assignments are offered via email and you decide whether to volunteer for the assignments.  In most instances, dates and times for the interpretation are set in coordination with your fellow law student who is assisting the client; thus, providing maximum scheduling flexibility.  Most assignments do not require any travel.

Although requiring only a few hours of your time during the year, by volunteering you will provide invaluable public service and experience the satisfaction of helping others.

For more information or to volunteer send your full name, class, UW email address, phone number, language competency and any questions to:  hdaniels@u.washington.edu.

Volunteer for UW Law’s International Treaty Monitoring Project

CEDAWApplications to be involved with the International Treaty Monitoring Project, sponsored by CHRJ, are due this Friday, October 18. Click here to access the application form!

This is a great opportunity to gain experience in international human rights law and learn about treaty enforcement. Questions? Please contact Brittany Tri at Trib@uw.edu

Victory for Homeless People’s Rights

HomelessArizona’s Anti-Begging Law Declared Unconstitutional. In Flagstaff, Arizona, a federal judge struck down as unconstitutional an Arizona state law that made it a crime to beg in public places.  The ruling follows a recent trend, reported in the May issue of IJT, of federal rulings striking down laws banning begging. Read the full decision here.

The ruling comes at a time when increased need has pushed more and more people out on the streets. In a misguided response, many communities have adopted ill-conceived laws and policies to criminalize conduct such as sleeping, eating and begging in public places. According to the National Law Center on Homeless and Poverty’s Criminalizing Crisis report, over 120 cities of 234 surveyed had bans on begging, and such bans had increased 7% over the previous two years.

The lead plaintiff, a 77 year old Hopi woman, had been arrested after asking an undercover police officer for $1 in bus fare.

New ABA President Pledges to Work on Legal Jobs and ATJ, Call for Human Rights Conference Proposals, Rape Victims Legal Redress in Kenya & The Farm Worker Labor Debate

New ABA President Pledges to Work on Legal Jobs, Access to Justice

SilkenatCHICAGO (Legal Newsline) — James Silkenat, a partner in the New York office of Sullivan & Worcester, took office Tuesday as president of the American Bar Association.

The ABA held its annual meeting in San Francisco. It wrapped up Tuesday.

Silkenat, who is a member of the law firm’s corporate department, will serve as the association’s president until the close of its meeting next August.

Silkenat said he plans to help develop a Legal Access Job Corps, which will seek to address the country’s growing unmet legal needs and the underemployment of recent law graduates.

“Instead of looking at the dearth of jobs and the large number of unmet legal needs as two separate silos, we will find ways to match young lawyers who need practical job experience with disadvantaged clients who need legal assistance,” the new president said. Continue reading here.

US Human Rights Network Call for Conference Proposals

Advancing Human Rights ConfAre you working on a human rights concern that receives little to no attention? Do you need more champions and foot soldiers to advance your work or campaign?  Have you experienced a recent victory?

If so, then now is the time to Submit a Proposal Application to share your experiences and stories with other conference attendees and to strengthen a growing people-centered movement to secure dignity and justice for all in the U.S.

In preparing the proposal application we ask you to reflect on how race, gender, sexuality and class impact your work. We encourage you to use the Framing Questions on Intersectionality as a guide to assist you in developing your proposals. We hope that the Framing Questions will also serve as a good tool for assessing how an intersectionality approach can strengthen your current human rights work. PROPOSAL DEADLINE IS SEPTEMBER 5!

REGISTER FOR THE CONFERENCE TODAY: Join fellow human rights activists in Atlanta in December as we celebrate USHRN’s 10th Anniversary and gather to learn, share and organize. Click here to register. 

Registration Discounted for Members! Early Bird Registration Ends October 22. Limited Travel Scholarships Available: Click here to learn more and apply.

Debate Continues Over Farm Labor Contracting

Apple Picker Andy Sawyer Yakima HeraldAugust 12, 2013–By Mike Faulk, Yakima Herald, Photo courtesy by Andy Sawyer, Yakima Herald-Republic

YAKIMA, Wash. — Legal advocates for employees and employers are engaged in a public debate over whether the state Farm Labor Contractor Act is serving its original purpose to protect employees, or if it’s eliminating jobs by running unsuspecting companies out of business.

The debate follows two decisions in state and federal courts in recent years that haven’t settled the contention over what constitutes farm labor contracting, fees for service and how penalties and damages should be applied to those held liable for violating the law.

Legal advocates for employers say there could be hundreds of companies and farmers currently operating as unlicensed farm labor contractors under state law. Farm labor advocates, meanwhile, say the law is unambiguous and has successfully provided recourse to workers who were denied basic information about their wages and other terms of their contracts.  Continue reading here.

Kenyan Rape Victims Seek Compensation

nairobi_high_court_-_t_chenGroup of women who suffered sexual attacks during mass violence five years ago to sue officials.

August 14, 2013–By J.J. Wangui, Photo courtesy of Ting Chen/Flickr- International Justice – ICC, ACR Issue 358,

Eight Kenyan women who were victims of rape and sexual violence during months of unrest in 2007-08 are to bring a civil case against some of the country’s highest-ranking officials, accusing them of failing to investigate their cases.

The women say they have lost faith in seeing the perpetrators face prosecution, and argue that police, in particular, have been largely immune from prosecution for rape and other crimes.

An independent inquiry into the post-election violence carried out by the Waki Commission indicated that police were responsible for 405 shootings and hundreds of injuries and rapes during the violence.

Many of the women who were attacked, however, say they were turned away by police when they tried to report assaults by a member of the force.

“A number of victims have [attempted to lodge] criminal cases against the police who either shot or raped them but the latter has failed to document these cases,” Christine Kungu, a lawyer at the NGO Federation for Female Lawyers, FIDA, which is representing the women.

Kenya descended into chaos when violence broke out along political and ethnic lines following the disputed outcome of the December 2007 general election. More than 1,100 people were killed and 3,500 injured before calm was restored in February 2008 by an internationally-brokered agreement between the rival Orange Democratic Movement and the Party of National Unity. Continue reading here.