Calling all activists, allies, and legal professionals! Join us for the NLG's annual #Law4thePeople Convention, October 21-25 in Oakland, CA for 5 days of panels, workshops, CLEs and camaraderie. This year, our Keynote Speaker will be Alicia Garza, co-founder of Black Lives Matter and Special Projects Director for the National Domestic Workers Alliance. Programming will address topics including housing and labor rights, racial justice, police accountability, international law, and much more. Registration and other details are coming soon. RSVP on facebook to stay up-to-date on the latest news!
Law for the People Intern
Alicia Garza will deliver the keynote address at the upcoming #Law4thePeople Convention, October 21st through the 25th in Oakland. Garza is most well known for co-founding #BlackLivesMatter in 2013. That movement was a response to the murder of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman, and the latter’s subsequent acquittal. The movement however, is more than just a hash tag and is conscious of the multiple oppressions at work in society. As Garza stated in her October 2014 article for The Feminist Wire, “Black Lives Matter affirms the lives of Black queer and trans folks, disabled folks, Black-undocumented folks, folks with records, women and all Black lives along the gender spectrum. It centers those that have been marginalized within Black liberation movements.”
Over 93% of prisoners leave prison and return to the community. In California, over 45,000 individuals leave prison each year. They are provided $200 cash, and have to use this money to pay the prison for clothing and the journey home. The Prisoner Reentry Network (PRN) was founded by NLGSF member Jared Rudolph to support these individuals, providing information and resources to individuals anticipating release from prison.
Stephen Zollman recently joined our chapter's Executive Board. We asked him a few questions to introduce him to our members and supporters.
Where are you from and what major twists and turns have you taken in your life?
I am from a small town in northern Indiana. I knew from an early age that I wanted to go to law school to represent the needs of our youth. Due to some financial changes after finishing undergrad early, I enlisted in the Army. From a diversity perspective it was a great experience. Serving during a time prior to “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” was not so great.
Last week’s Supreme Court decision that same-sex couples have a constitutionally protected right to marriage is historic and the result of decades of struggle. However, it should not be seen as the culmination of the struggle, as there is so much more to win for genuine LGBTQ equality. Indeed, marriage is, historically, a conservative institution, and the majority opinion is riddled with praise for the institution and its importance in our intimate associations. It is of course important for many of us, but that doesn’t mean that those who choose to not marry, or those who are polyamorous, or those who never get married for any other reason, do not have relationships that are as important. In many states, despite this win at the Supreme Court, employees can be fired because they are gay or transgender, and may have no recourse. Despite this win at the High Court, trans women of color continue to be overincarcerated and, in a prison system that is already rampant with abuse and torture, transgender inmates often face even worse conditions than cisgender inmates.