Racial Justice Advocacy Workshop 2017 - L8809
Professor Katherine Franke
Tuesdays 4:20 - 6:10
Room JG 701, Case Lounge
2 credits. It is possible to register for up to 2 additional clinical credits for a Supervised Experiential Project upon consultation with the instructor and arrangement of an appropriate placement.
Litigation plays a critical role in movements for racial justice. Across a range of cutting edge issues legal advocates work closely with movement leaders to mobilize litigation as one of the tactics deployed to combat structural racism.
This Workshop will give students exposure to litigation on cutting edge issues in racial justice such as: voting rights, police violence, privatization of parole, criminal justice debt, access to clean water, ending mass incarceration, and decriminalization of sex work.
The Workshop will bring leading advocates working on racial justice litigation related to the topics listed above to speak at the law school every other week during the semester. These sessions will offer students the opportunity to discuss with civil rights advocates the role of lawyers in larger social movements, the notion of “success without victory” (how losing a lawsuit can still mark success by raising, framing, and advancing the underlying issues that were at stake in the case), the relationship of litigation to strategies based in the Freedom of Information Act, legislative hearings, media campaigns, and direct action.
Students will be expected to attend every session of the Workshop, prepare written questions in advance of the sessions with outside speakers, and write a 10 page final paper in which they critically evaluate the role of litigation in racial justice movements. In the weeks when there is no speaker we will read background materials that situate the speakers’ presentations in the context of systemic thinking about strategic litigation. In addition, students who have registered for a Supervised Experiential Project will have the opportunity to discuss their placements in class (subject to confidentiality concerns relevant to the interests of clients at their placement).
January 17th: Intro to the Workshop - Martin Luther King, Jr. Letter from a Birmingham Jail
January 24th: Different Modes of Work
January 31st: Success Without Victory/Winning Through Losing
February 7th: Readings Related to Geraghty talk
February 14th: Sarah Geraghty – Managing Attorney for Impact Litigation Unit, Southern Center for Human Rights: Debtors Prisons, Privatized Probation, & Financing of the Criminal Justice System
- Elizabeth King, et al. v. Consolidated Gov't of Columbus, et al. - Complaint
- Cleopatra Harrison v. Consolidated Gov't of Columbus, et al. - Motion and brief in support of class certification. filed this week.
- Adel Edwards v. Red Hills Community Probation, Inc. - Complaint
- Luse v. Sentinel Offender Services, Inc. - Complaint
- Private Probation Company Agrees to Stop Drug Testing People Absent Court Order, January 31, 2017 – Announcement of settlement of Luse case.
- Luse v. Sentinel Offender Services, Inc. Consent Order, March 31, 2016.
February 21st: Readings related to Parker talk
- Adkins et al. vs. Morgan Stanley. ACLU.org - Updated March 3, 2016.
- Green Group Holdings v. Schaeffer: Defense of Environmental Protesters Against Defamation Lawsuit. ACLU.org - Updated February 7, 2017
- Green Group Holdings v. Schaeffer - Company's Amended Complaint. U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama, Northern Division. Filed April 22, 2016.
- Green Group Holdings v. Schaeffer - Plaintiffs' and Defendants' Consolidated Joint Motion to Dismiss Claims with Prejudice. U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama, Northern Division. Filed February 6, 2017.
- Brewer, Suzette. Protect the Children, Preserve the Tribe. ACLU.org. October 10, 2016.
- Kenny v. Wilson. ACLU.org - Updated November 29, 2016.
February 28th: Dennis Parker, Director ACLU Racial Justice Program
A National Agenda for Racial Justice Litigation
March 7th: Readings related to Farah & Hussain talk, scheduled for 3.21.2017
March 14th: Spring Break
March 21st: Omar Farah and Aliya Hana Hussain, The Center for Constitutional Rights: Discriminatory Surveillance, Policing, and Detention of Arabs & Muslims
March 28th: Midterm Review of Course Papers and Clinical Work
April 4th: Readings related to Appah-Gyamfi talk: Model of NYLPI and Environmental Justice as Racial Justice
April 11th: Christine Appah-Gyamfi: Environmental Justice as Racial Justice
NYC Communities for Change v. NYC DOE
South Bronx Unite! v. NYC Industrial Development Agency
April 18th: In preparation for 4/25 – Racial Justice and the Schools to Prisons Pipeline – Guest lecture by Ebony Howard, Southern Poverty Law Center
April 25th: Ebony Howard, Associate Legal Director, Southern Poverty Law Center: Racial Justice and the Schools To Prisons Pipeline