JULY 31- FRIDAY - RIVERSIDE CHURCH - HARLEM
11:00 - 12:30 PM
Defending the Accused: Radical Approaches to Criminal Defense Room 10T
Criminal defense attorneys who are part of social movements often build their cases with one eye looking far beyond the courtroom. Join criminal practitioners innovating the field for a session exploring how to service individual clients while also building collective power. Examine a range of approaches from the ‘holistic defense’ model in which family support, social work, and civil legal services are woven into criminal defense; to policy work designed to disrupt the pipeline funneling individuals into the criminal system; and to the defense of activists who have been targeted for their political work. Can the practice of criminal defense evolve to provide better support to individuals while also challenging the circumstances driving poor people and people of color into the criminal justice system
From Civil Rights to Human Rights: International Accountability for Police/State Violence in the U.S. Room 430 MLK
Challenging highly powerful entities—like the government or the police--is often incredibly difficult using solely domestic courts and domestic laws. This panel will explore the challenges and opportunities of infusing international human rights strategies into our work. We will explore case studies of the use of international mechanisms and solidarity work to address state violence and structural racism in the U.S. Lawyers and impacted persons will provide insight and analysis into the utility and limits of international human rights law as a tool for social change.
Reforming The Police: Movement-Based Litigation & Policy Strategies Room 9T
While people are coming out to protest, they often look to legal advocates to understand how the legal system works and why there isn’t more accountability for police violence. Changing policing requires both the carrot and the stick. This panel will explore how legal advocates are working with movements to challenge structural racism through innovative litigation and policy strategies.
Self Determination: Building Economic Power in the Black Community Room 20T
Baltimore to Ferguson highlighted the economic conditions of many Black communities, particularly low-income and working class communities: lack of good jobs, affordable housing, healthy food, and viable Black businesses. Simultaneously, in each community, the uprisings have catalyzed and accelerated a focus on solidarity economies and the importance of community-based institutions that are rooted in Black economic, political, and social liberation. This panel will engage the audience in a discussion of models of Black-led campaigns, coalitions, and organizations that utilize the numerous existing assets in our communities, particularly Black churches, farms, and businesses, to create new possibilities of more just and equitable local economies.
#AllBlackLivesMatter 3rd Floor Chapel
From Ella Baker and Bayard Rustin, to the trans* New Yorkers responsible for the Stonewall Riots, women, transgender and queer folks of color have always been at the forefront of movements to liberate and empower black and brown people. The #BlackLivesMatter movement is no exception. yet the realities of women, queer people, and transgender people continue to be marginalized in our movements. Despite being harassed and terrorized by police at equally profound rates, our deaths and injuries seemingly don’t warrant massive protests and widespread media coverage. Despite the refrain that #AllBlackLivesMatter, we are often left with the feeling that within our own movements and beyond, only the lives of cisgender, heterosexual black men matter. How do we reconcile these contradictions? What would it look like to have #AllBlackLivesMatter? How do we ensure that the #BlackLivesMatter movement continues onward, without leaving our concerns, our wishes, and our very lives behind?
Lawyering in Support of Youth Movements South Hall
From their schools to their own streets, youth of color are standing up and fighting back. Black and brown youth-led movements have helped win deferred action for immigrant youth facing deportation, transformed the conversation on discipline in schools, and galvanized a generation after Mike Brown, Trayvon Martin and too many other young lives were taken. This panel will explore how legal advocates can best support burgeoning youth movements whether they are high school students fighting the school to prison pipeline or college students challenging police violence in the streets.
Building Political Power from the Grassroots Multipurpose Room
This panel will explore how the momentum of the #BlackLivesMatter movement can be channeled into building long-term electoral and political power. We will examine the intersection between voting rights and criminal justice while also examining successful campaigns to run activist candidates for school boards, municipal and higher elected office. We will also discuss the possibility of harnessing political power when populations are unable to vote.
Protecting Activists & Movements From Repression, Surveillance & Retaliation Room 411 MLK
Throughout history, as movements have grown in size and impact, so too has surveillance, infiltration, and the targeting of organizers/protesters. You will hear from lawyers and activists who have grappled with these weapons of the state in and out of the movement context and inside and outside of the United States. This panel will highlight the prevalence of repressive responses to movement building and surface movement-based strategies and creative uses of the law to challenge the repression of activism.
Legal Observing For Uprisings Room 423 MLK
This workshop explores the principles and tactics of legal observing in the context of uprisings and mass unrest. In addition, this workshop explores the unique aspects of legal observing in a context where racial biases and stereotypes are relevant. Participants will learn best practices used in the field through role playing and examining real scenarios from Ferguson, Baltimore and Texas.