Social Justice Monday - Managing Student Loan Debt
April 17, 2017
Students have important decisions to make about student loans. Flexible repayment options and forgiveness provisions are available, but the details matter and it can be confusing to figure out on your own. Heather Jarvis, attorney and national student loan expert gave an engaging and practical presentation that clearly explained:
Heather Jarvis, widely known for her depth of knowledge and accessible teaching style, has provided student loan education and consultation for universities, associations and professional advisors since 2005. Heather graduated cum laude from Duke University School of Law in 1998 and is a dedicated advocate on behalf of high-debt student loan borrowers. Heather contributes to student debt relief policy for the House Education Committee and others in Congress and serves on the American Bar Association Task Force on Financing Legal Education.
Professor Christian Halliburton discussed Alaska Senate Bill 91 and Seattle University School of Law's satellite campus in Alaska. In 2014, after decades of accumulating inefficiencies and amidst escalating concerns about racial and economic disparities, the State of Alaska undertook a bold initiative to engage in a comprehensive, data-informed assessment of the operation and performance of its criminal justice system. Responding to this call, the Alaska legislature established the bipartisan Alaska Criminal Justice Commission, whose duty was to conduct the criminal system review and to forward a set of actionable recommendations to the legislature and relevant administrative agencies designed to address the problems identified in the study. After much debate, the legislature eventually adopted the majority of the Commission’s recommendations and drafted a substantial body of new or revised statutes, known generally as SB 91 that was signed into law in 2016. Along with the attendant changes to the Alaska Criminal Code, SB 91 represents one of the most ambitious, forward-looking, and promising efforts to better align a state criminal law system with the deeper interests of equity, justice and public safety.
The intentionally staggered implementation process is well underway, but there are many changes still waiting in the wings. Nevertheless, we are seeing some early results that might both validate the State’s overall approach and also confirm the fears of SB 91’s critics. This presentation discussed SB 91's potential and risk, and began to suggest some answers to these complex and compelling questions.
Building on its long-running Alaska Summer Program, Seattle University School of Law formally launched the Alaska 3L Program and opened its Alaska Satellite Campus in the fall 2015. The Alaska Summer Program continues to offer a one-of-a-kind immersive summer experience for law students, including a four credit course focused on Alaska’s unique legal issues, a wide variety of placement opportunities and networking events with local legal organizations, and a chance to connect with Alaska’s rich natural and cultural landscape. With the addition of our Alaska 3L Program, which offers students up to 30 credits of classroom instruction and experiential learning assignments, law students from anywhere in the country can now learn, work, and live in Alaska while completing their JD degree. Open to law students from any ABA-accredited law school, the Seattle University School of Law Alaska Satellite Campus is a pathway to professional development and opportunity equally accessible to both returning Alaskans and those seeking to forge their Alaska connections for the first time.
Christian Halliburton, Associate Professor at Seattle University School of Law, is the founding faculty member and Faculty Director for Seattle University School of Law’s Alaska Satellite Campus at Alaska Pacific University, which opened in the fall of 2015. After receiving his JD from Columbia University School of Law, Professor Halliburton spent several years in private practice, and two years clerking for the Honorable Barbara Jacobs Rothstein of the United States District Court in Seattle, before joining the faculty at Seattle University in 2002. Professor Halliburton teaches Criminal Law, Constitutional Law, Investigative Criminal Procedure, and Law and Religion, and his scholarship focuses on Fourth Amendment Jurisprudence, the challenges of normative constitutional interpretation, and the role of neuroscience in legal decision-making. In addition to his teaching and leadership responsibilities at the Alaska Satellite Campus, Professor Halliburton is actively involved in developing collaborative partnerships with the Alaska legal community and efforts to enhance educational and service opportunity for future lawyers. Professor Halliburton also volunteers his time as a board member of several civic organizations, as a legal commentator and frequent speaker on civil liberties issues and, when time permits, as a coach for local youth soccer, football, and Little League Baseball teams.
Supervised Consumption Spaces: Where Public Health and Public Defense Meet
April 3, 2017
Supervised consumption spaces, or spaces where people who use drugs can consume under medical supervision without fear of arrest or prosecution, have been shown to save lives, save money, and reduce outdoor drug use. While such spaces exist across the world, none exist in the United States. Seattle and King County recently approved recommendations to change that.
Patricia Sully and Kris Nyrop from the Public Defender Association (PDA) discussed the campaign for Supervised Consumption Spaces and explored how criminal justice reform work and public health can intersect to move people out of the criminal justice system and into the public health system.
Patricia Sully is a staff attorney at PDA. She joined PDA in 2014, where she works on a number of public policy issues and most recently the campaign to bring Supervised Consumption Spaces to the Seattle/King County area. She also provides legal support to individuals engaged in direct action and coordinates VOCAL-WA. Patricia received her B.A. from Calvin College in 2004 and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Seattle University School of Law in 2011.
Kris Nyrop is the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) National Support Director at PDA and has worked on the LEAD project since 2009. He was the Executive Director of Street Outreach Services in Seattle from 1997-2007. Prior to that he worked for the Washington State Department of Health, Public Health - Seattle and King County, and the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute at the University of Washington. He was a project ethnographer for the Vancouver Injection Drug User Study from 1997 to 1999. He has worked as an outreach worker, researcher, and trainer in the areas of HIV/AIDS prevention, hepatitis C prevention, syringe exchange, harm reduction, and drug policy reform. Additionally, he has consulted with projects throughout the U.S. as well as in Canada, Russia, and the Republic of Georgia.
Environmental Justice: How the Lummi Nation Protected its Cultural and Environmental Future
Monday, March 27, 2017
In May 2016, the Lummi Nation, the third largest tribe in Washington State, prevailed in its fight to block the largest coal port ever proposed in North America at Cherry Point, or Xwe’chi’eXen, a culturally significant site for the Lummi Nation. Xwe’chi’eXen is located on the Strait of Georgia between Lummi Bay and Birch Bay and is within Lummi’s adjudicated “usual and accustomed” fishing grounds and stations. Xwe’chi’eXen is inextricably linked to the Lummi Schelangen (Way of Life).
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the permitting authority for the deep water port project, agreed with the Nation that construction and operation of the terminal would infringe on the Lummi Nation’s treaty-protected fishing and shellfish harvesting rights. The Nation manages nearly 13,000 acres of tidelands on its Reservation. In so doing, the Corps affirmed the agency’s fiduciary duty to take treaty rights into consideration when making permit decisions.
The terminal would have brought some of the largest ships afloat into the Nation’s treaty-protected fishing waters up to 487 times a year to load and unload bulk commodities, principally coal, bound for Asian ports. The Nation opposed the terminal not only due to the increased vessel traffic and risk of pollution, but to the inevitable disturbance to its ancestral lands, including the one of its oldest and largest villages and burial grounds, upland from the proposed terminal.
Mary Neil, attorney for the Lummi Indian Business Council, discussed the Nation’s hard-fought campaign to protect its treaty rights and cultural heritage within the context of environmental justice and civil rights of Native Americans. Ms. Neil’s presentation was co-sponsored by the Korematsu Center, which connects the internment of Japanese Americans during WWII to current civil rights struggles. Ms. Neil discussed how the unique historical and legal position of the Lummi Nation and other tribes not only advances their civil rights, but the environmental rights of all.
Mary Neil is an attorney for the Lummi Indian Business Council and has represented the Lummi Nation since 2003. As in-house counsel, she has worked on a variety of tribal government matters, including on matters related to natural and cultural resources, economic development, environmental regulation, tax, and other intergovernmental matters. She has been involved in litigation regarding treaty-fishing rights, including United States v. Washington, 70-9213. Mary graduated from Western Washington University with a BA in Law and Diversity. In 2003, she graduated from Gonzaga University School of Law. Mary is a Lummi Tribal member.
Social Justice Monday - The Missing American Jury: Restoring the Fundamental Constitutional Role of Civil, Criminal, and Grand Juries
Monday, March 20, 2017
Criminal, civil, and grand juries have disappeared from the American legal system. Over time, despite their significant presence in the Constitution, juries have been robbed of their power by the federal government and the states. For example, leveraging harsher criminal penalties, executive officials have forced criminal defendants into plea bargains, eliminating juries. Capping money awards, legislatures have stripped juries of their power to fix damages. Ordering summary judgment, judges dispose of civil cases without sending them to a jury.
Today’s Social Justice Monday featured Professor Suja Thomas. Professor Thomas contends that this diminishment of the presence and power of juries runs afoul of the Founders’ intent. Examining the Constitution’s text and historical sources, Professor Thomas discussed how the jury’s authority has been taken and how it can be restored to its rightful, co-equal position as a “branch” of government.
Professor Thomas is a professor of law at the University of Illinois College of Law at Urbana Champaign. Her research interests include the Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Amendment jury provisions, civil procedure, employment law, theories of constitutional interpretation, and consumer issues. Professor Thomas graduated from New York University School of Law, clerked for a federal judge, and practiced law in New York City including with Cravath, Swaine & Moore, before beginning her academic career at the University of Cincinnati College of Law. She joined the University of Illinois College of Law faculty in the fall of 2008.
Social Justice Monday - Family Defense, Incarcerated Parents, and Fifth Amendment Protections: Avoiding Collateral Consequences of Conviction
March 6, 2017
Parents who are navigating both the child welfare and criminal justice systems are at an increased risk of permanently losing their parental rights. A criminal case often negatively affects a parent’s dependency case and vice versa. Dependency cases are nebulous, emotional, complicated, and the law is not often covered in law school. This presentation covered one parent’s struggle to be reunited with her children, the social stigma and legal obstacles she faced, and the numerous people who advocate for parents and their children.
Social Justice Monday - Cyber Civil Rights: Legal Responses to Non-Consensual Pornography on the Internet
February 13, 2017
With the click of a mouse, a bitter ex or hacker can upload compromising photos or videos to public websites without the consent of the pictured individual. On-line dissemination of nonconsensual pornography (also called “revenge porn”) is a an invasion of privacy that can destroy reputations and terrify victims: amounting to a “cyber civil rights” violation. Panelists discussed cyber civil rights and legal efforts to protect victims of nonconsensual pornography. Panelists included Professor Chon; attorney David Bateman of the Cyber Civil Rights Legal Project at K&L Gates; Gary Ernsdorff of the King County Prosecutor’s Office; as well as victims of revenge porn.
Margaret Chon is the Donald & Lynda Horowitz Professor for the Pursuit of Justice, and formerly Associate Dean for Research at Seattle University School of Law. She teaches civil procedure, intellectual property, as well as race and law. She is the author of numerous articles, books, book chapters, and review essays. Professor Chon has been a member of the faculty at Seattle University since 1996.
David Bateman is an attorney at K&L Gates, with extensive litigation experience in cases involving malicious online behavior and cyber-forensics. He is a co-founder of the firm’s Cyber Civil Rights Legal Project, which provides pro bono legal representation to victims of revenge porn. He has also published works in the area of cyber security and also frequently speaks on the issue. Mr. Bateman received both his B.A. and J.D. from Yale Law School.
Gary Ernsdorff has 20 years of trial experience as both a public defender and as a prosecutor in King County. Having worked for the King County Prosecutor’s Office for the past 15 years, he has extensive trial experience, including domestic violence and cyber civil rights issues. He also serves as the Board President of the Domestic Abuse Women’s Network (DAWN). Mr. Ernsdorff received his J.D. from UW Law School.
Social Justice Monday - Reinvigorating Commonality: Gender and Class Actions
January 30, 2017
The modern class action, the modern feminist movement, and Title VII were all products of the creativity and turmoil of the 1960s. As late as 1961—a year after Justice Felix Frankfurter rejected new law school graduate Ruth Bader Ginsburg as a law clerk because she was a woman—the Supreme Court unanimously upheld the constitutionality of a Florida statute that required men, but not women, to serve on juries, on the ground that women’s primary role was in the home. As Betty Friedan put it in 1963’s The Feminine Mystique, “In almost every professional field, in business and in the arts and sciences, women are still treated as second-class citizens.” But change was imminent. The Equal Pay Act of 1963, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the founding of the ACLU Women’s Rights Project, and a rising social and intellectual feminist movement brought women’s equality into the national conversation.
Simultaneously—at least in part in response to the civil rights movement and the Civil Rights Act—an (all-male) Judicial Conference and Supreme Court ushered in the modern era of collective litigation by promulgating Rule 23, and more specifically, Rule 23(b)(2), which provided a formal structure for civil right plaintiffs to seek aggregate relief for violations of federal and state anti-discrimination laws. Together, these phenomena gave impetus to communities of women to combat legal and cultural injustices through the courts. The result has been widespread improvement in the lives of working women—and men—across many industries.
In this discussion, Professors Brooke Coleman and Liz Porter examined the interplay of Rule 23(b)(2) class actions, feminism, and Title VII sex discrimination doctrine over the past fifty years. They discussed how the four “waves” of feminism found corresponding analogs in the development of Title VII class action law. While not an empirical or comprehensive study, this discussion aimed to generate thought as to ways in which class action doctrine simultaneously reflects and reinforces evolving views of feminism and gender. The discussion also reflected on whether the Rule 23(b)(2) suit continues to serve a vital function in achieving gender equality, as well as how the relative decline in feminist legal theory over the past 20 years, particularly but not only in procedure, has impacted its vitality.
Professors Coleman and Porter presented their analysis last Fall at NYU as part of a larger panel on class actions.
Social Justice Monday - Going Pro Bono: Engage in Legal Work that Ignites Your Passion and Builds Your Career
January 23, 2017
This Social Justice Monday featured representatives from the Access to Justice Institute (ATJI) and the Center for Professional Development (CPD). The representatives outlined out why law students should integrate pro bono work their legal education, and the many options—open even to 1Ls—for doing so. Volunteer work not only gives context to what students learn in the classroom, but also enhances resumes and helps students find great jobs both during school and afterwards.
This presentation also included an introduction to fellowships. If you are a 2L or a 3L thinking about a summer or post-graduation fellowship, you are encouraged to reach out to CPD for additional information and personalized recommendations.
Attorneys and students from organizations that are currently doing exciting pro bono work were also on hand to discuss their organizations and ways to get involved.
Social Justice Monday - Advocating in the 2017 Legislature to Address the Legal Services Gap Identified by Washington’s Civil Legal Needs Study
January 9, 2017
Washington State recently underwent and published a comprehensive study to better understand the civil legal needs of low-income individuals, families and communities: the Civil Legal Needs Study Update.
The results are daunting. The study confirmed that Washington has an acute civil justice crisis. The good news is that we can all do something to help address and solve this crisis. Jay Doran, Communications & Advocacy Director of the Legal Foundation of Washington, discussed the civil legal needs of low-income Washingtonians. Jay discussed the work of the Equal Justice Coalition, a non-partisan statewide coalition advocating for sufficient public funding for legal aid, and talked about how law students can help advocate for justice for all during the 2017 State Legislative Session.
Jay Doran is the Communications & Advocacy Director of the Legal Foundation of Washington and staffs the Equal Justice Coalition, which works to increase public funding for legal aid. Previously, Jay worked for the Friends of Youth, Washington United for Marriage Campaign, and Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness. Jay holds a BA from Duke University and a Masters in Social Work with a concentration in Policy/Administration from the University of Washington.
Social Justice Monday - Election 2016: Its Aftermath and the Continuing Need for Washington’s Voting Rights Act
November 21, 2016
Last Tuesday’s election was the first since the United States Supreme Court struck down the coverage formula used to determine the preclearance requirement of section 5 of the Voting Rights Act in Shelby v. Holder, 133 S.Ct. 2612 (2013). Prior to the decision, states which had a history of discriminating against minority voters were required to preclear changes to state voting laws. In the wake of the Shelby decision, several states added voter ID requirements and reduced the number of voting venues, which could have impacted voter turnout.
The Shelby decision left intact section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, which prohibits voting practices or procedures that discriminate on the basis of race, color, or membership in certain minority language groups. Washington has yet to pass its own Voting Rights Act.
David Perez, is the co-author of the state complement to Section 2 in the proposed legislation, and is also a civil rights litigator. David offered an early report on the 2016 election and assessed the continued need for a state Voting Rights Act to protect and ensure representation of minority voters and communities. While the numbers are still being crunched, he also commented on local, state, and national turnout and their implications for our democracy.
David Perez is a former Korematsu Fellow, an attorney at Perkins Coie, and a litigator whose practice focuses on constitutional law, consumer protection, class actions, intellectual property, and unfair competition. As part of his practice, David regularly counsels entrepreneurs, high-growth technology startups and established companies. In addition to presenting over 20 arguments at the trial level, David has substantial appellate experience, briefing cases at all levels of state and federal government, including the U.S. Supreme Court, and he has argued successfully in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and the Washington Court of Appeals. Each year since 2013, David has been named a “Rising Star” in Washington Law and Politics. Maintaining an active pro bono practice, David focuses on issues related to civil rights, constitutional law and voting rights. David received his J.D. from Yale Law School and his B.A. from Gonzaga University.
Social Justice Monday: Law Students Improving Access to Justice through the use of Technology, Design, and Collaboration
November 14, 2016
In the United States, approximately 80 percent of the serious civil legal needs of low-income people are unmet, disproportionately affecting poor communities of color and other marginalized groups. In addition, legal aid is under-resourced and underfunded, resulting in a situation where even people that are able to qualify for representation through a legal aid organization are not getting assistance.
Can the use of technology, human-centered design, and innovative collaborations increase the capability of the civil legal services community to meet the legal needs of poor persons in this country? How can law students learn to use and deploy technology in a meaningful way to close our legal access gap and ensure justice?
This Social Justice Monday featured a group of legal innovators who discussed the challenges in our civil justice system and the need for future lawyers to leverage technology to allow the legal expertise of one lawyer to reach hundreds – or even thousands – of clients at once, wherever possible. The panelists also discussed the ATJ Tech Fellows Program—a national program to educate law students in the use of technology to improve legal service delivery.
Brian Rowe, Program Manager, Legal Services Technology Assistance Project at Northwest Justice Project. Brian, a lawyer and techie, manages the National Technology Assistance Project and teaches at the University of Washington and Seattle University. Brian lectures on Privacy Law, Cyborg Rights, Ethics, Copyright and Information Policy. Find him online at Twitter, Instagram and Youtube @sarterus.
Destinee Evers, 1L, Seattle U School of Law. Destinee serves on advisory committees for the KCBA and WSBA, including the Access to Justice Board’s Technology Committee, and is the program coordinator for ATJ Tech Fellows. Prior to law school, Destinee spent six years as a civil litigation paralegal with a focus on complex-asset divorce litigation.
Miguel Willis, 3L, Seattle U School of Law. Last year, Miguel organized Seattle U's first ever Social Justice Hackathon, and the recent TeamChild Hack, collaborative events bringing the legal community together with technologists to build innovative technologies to tackle long-standing problems. Additionally, he serves as the founder and Program Director for ATJ Tech Fellows.
Social Justice Monday - Bottom Dollars: How Working People with Disabilities Still Earn Far Less than the Federal Minimum Wage
November 7, 2016
When the Fair Labor Standards Act passed in 1938, it included a revolutionary civil rights protection: a minimum wage. American workers could no longer be exploited for their hard work with one huge exception: People with disabilities could be paid less – much less – than minimum wage. The law remains unchanged today. In 2016, nearly 250,000 working people are still legally paid less than the minimum wage – on average, less than $2 an hour.
Social Justice Monday featured a screening of the documentary, “Bottom Dollars”, which exposes the injustice and hardship suffered by working people with disabilities through personal stories and expert interviews. It also shows alternatives with competitive wages and community inclusion to the “sheltered workplaces” where workers with disabilities often labor. The screening was followed by a discussion of its legal and social implications with its co-producer Tina Pinedo.
Social Justice Monday - Dispelling Fear-based Policies: Protecting the Transgender Community Through Effective Advocacy
October 31, 2016
Seattle University OUTLaws and leaders in the transgender community explored legal, social, and organizing efforts to include and protect a vulnerable community whose rights and interests have made headlines in the national fury over bathroom access. Panelists examined polices and legislation that misrepresent the transgender community and threaten to roll back their civil rights—including Initiative 1515, regarding bathroom choice, which failed to qualify for the Washington ballot this year. Panelists also discussed counter-efforts to protect the rights of transgender individuals. Greater understanding of the threats the transgender community faces to its civil liberties in this charged political climate will help everyone in the Law School community create a more welcoming space for transgender individuals and provide more effective, compassionate legal services to the transgender community.
Leo Segovia is a graduate of the LGBTQ leadership development program, Out In Front. With a commitment to social justice, Leo serves the transgender community in many ways such as working with the City of Seattle developing Trans* competency curriculum for their front line staff. Leo also helped produce an LGBTQ visibility campaign for Seattle Office for Civil Rights. Through extensive travels, Leo witnessed social movements of displaced populations across countries and economic systems. The physical displacement of communities from their land and culture resonated with the displacement he felt in his physical body and as a first generation "American." Inspired by the healing and unity sought out by these movements, Leo came out as transgender in 2014. Through community outreach and education, his work focuses on the relationship between race and gender; a complex intersection that many trans* folks are forced to navigate within our greater society.
Kiyomi Fujikawa is a queer, mixed-race, trans-feminine and gender-fabulous, anti-violence organizer. She has been based in Seattle since 2005 and has been involved with the Social Justice Fund NW’s Gender Justice Giving Project and many other projects. She formerly worked with the Queer Network Program at API Chaya where she engaged Queer and Trans* communities of color around responses to intimate partner violence and helped build agency. Kiyomi has also been a key contributor to the King County Trans Resource Guide and numerous arts and entertainment programs focused at QTPOC community in Seattle. She has been involved with movements to end sexual assault and domestic/dating violence since 2001, and in 2013, she participated in the Trans* Justice Funding Project, which distributed over $50,000 to organizations working for liberation for Trans* people and our communities.
Social Justice Monday
October 24, 2016
The Access to Justice Institute and the Seattle University Student Animal Legal Defense Fund held a talk titled “Animal Liberation and the No New Animal Lab Campaign."
The Seattle University Student Animal Legal Defense Fund is dedicated to providing a forum for education, advocacy, and scholarship aimed at protecting the lives and advancing the interests of animals through the legal system, and raising the profile of the field of animal law.
Social Justice Monday: Changing the Criminal Justice System to Keep Teenagers Out of Jail and In School in King County
October 17, 2016
Unleash the Brilliance (UTB) is a youth organization that works directly with teen-aged students charged with truancy to redirect them from the court system back into school. UTB works through a peer-to-peer mentoring and supports the Truancy Diversion Program of the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office (PAO).
This Social Justice Monday, featured the co-founders of UTB, Terrell Dorsey and Jorell Dorsey. It also featured Linda Thomas, the Truancy Coordinator for the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office (PAO) and several youth leaders for UTB. UTB won the 2016 Outstanding Partner Award from the PAO.
This novel criminal justice program, fueled by the passion and dedication of relentless volunteers, is changing the lives of youth throughout King County.
Terrell Dorsey, Founder/President of UTB. Terrell is also the Co-Director of the 180 Program that serves youth who are cited for relatively low-level crimes committed in King County. In both roles, Terrell has a duty and a passion to change the life trajectory of troubled teens towards the path of progress.
Jorrell Dorsey, Co-Founder of UTB. He recruits and trains new UTB Youth Leaders every year from local schools. He is also one of the main speakers for the organization. He enjoys sharing his personal story of adversity that was layered with daunting challenges to finding his strength back to success.
Linda Thomas, Truancy Coordinator for the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. Linda has worked for the KCPAO for 12 years and is devoted to helping youth at-promise graduate from high school.
Cierra Conley, UTB Youth Coordinator. She started working for UTB a month after she arrived in Seattle from West Virginia in 2015, and brings a heart full of compassion and understanding to the youth she meets. Her fundamental goal is to connect with the youth she engages during the workshop and earn their trust and friendship.
Marika Koroma, UTB Youth Leader. She is a high school senior in Federal Way and loves doing things to help others and making people happy.
Andres Arano, UTB Youth Leader. He enjoys supporting UTB and the King County Truancy Workshops. He believes it is one of the best ways to spend his energy.
Charlie Shih, UTB Youth Leader. She is a senior at the University of Washington focusing on sexual violence as a politicized issue. She is passionate about creating social change through education and the arts.
Social Justice Monday: Nestora Salgado - Indigenous Leader, Human Rights Activist, and U.S. Citizen - Freed After Illegal Imprisonment in Mexico
October 3, 2016
Nestora Salgado, a citizen of the United States and Mexico, was arrested for community service in her home village of Olinalá in the state of Guerrero. Mexican law guarantees the rights of indigenous communities to form their own security institutions. Abandoned by the Mexican government, indigenous communities have increasingly formed such groups to protect themselves from the brutal violence of drug traffickers. Ms. Salgado was the first woman leader of a community police force, and was immediately persecuted by corrupt Mexican authorities. After enduring two and a half years of illegal detention, the School of Law’s International Human Rights Clinic helped obtain her freedom.
Ms. Salgado moved to the U.S. in 1991 at the age of 20. She has divided her time between Olinalá and the Seattle area, where she lives with her husband, her daughters, and her grandchildren.
Ms. Salgado discussed her community, her activism, and her return from detention. Ms. Salgado was introduced by Professor Thomas Antkowiak, Director of both the International Human Rights Clinic and the Latin America Program.
Social Justice Monday: Racial (In)Equity and Policing
September 26, 2016
The long-smoldering issue of racial bias in policing and the criminal justice system is finally front and center in America’s consciousness. LLSA and ATJI presented a panel of nationally-recognized experts on how conscious and unconscious bias can manifest in police and prosecutorial interactions and how such bias may influence outcomes throughout various stages of the criminal justice system and particularly impact Latinx people and other communities of color.
In addition to a scholarly perspective, panelists also offered insight as to how these issues are arising and being addressed in real-time through United States v. City of Seattle, in which the U.S. Department of Justice alleged excessive use of force violations by the Seattle Police Department.
J. Michael ("Mike") Diaz is the Civil Rights Program Coordinator for the Civil Division of the United States Attorney's Office for the Western District of Washington, as well as an Assistant U.S. Attorney. He has investigated and/or prosecuted a wide variety of civil rights matters, from "classic" civil rights cases such as housing, employment and educational matters to more "modern" matters, including rights violated by police misconduct. Due to his expertise, Mike is a faculty member of the DOJ's National Advocacy (Training) Center teaching on civil rights enforcement. Mike has been the lead line attorney on the investigation, lawsuit, and consent decree in United States v. City of Seattle (SPD) since its inception in 2010. In addition to other volunteer work, Mike, in his individual capacity, currently serves on the Washington State Minority and Justice Commission. Mike received his JD from Cornell Law School in 2002.
Taki V. Flevaris is a Faculty Affiliate at the Fred T. Korematsu Center for Law and Equality at Seattle University School of Law and an attorney at Pacifica Law Group, LLP, with a practice focused on constitutional and governmental litigation. He has a background in psychological study and research, and he writes and presents regularly on equal access and equal treatment in the justice system, with special emphasis on race and the use of psychological science to inform legal rules and procedures. He is a graduate of Harvard Law School and Northwestern University.
Dr. William Parkin, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Criminal Justice at Seattle University, focuses his research on ideological violence, bias crimes, and the media's relationship with the criminal justice system. Dr. Parkin has worked on research projects related to domestic terrorism, the nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting Initiative, and community public safety in Seattle. He received his Ph.D. in Criminal Justice from the City University of New York, Graduate Center in 2012.
Social Justice Monday: Mobilizing for Refugee Rights
September 19, 2016
We are in the midst of the largest refugee crisis since the aftermath of World War II. Over 1 million people made the decision to cross the Mediterranean in 2015, fleeing inhumane and deeply troublesome conflicts in their home countries. They are running into barriers both systemic and drawn from the darkest fears of human nature as they struggle to find peace and security.
The International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) was sparked as a way of helping those swept up in the crisis. IRAP staff and volunteers have spent the past 8 years resettling as many individuals as possible, working with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees to ensure that refugees receive legal assistance during some of the most trying times in their lives. More recently, as countries face an overwhelming influx of refugees resulting from the Syrian Civil War, IRAP is also working to confront xenophobic rhetoric and a toxic social reality by engaging in policy work and continuing to offer legal aid to the most vulnerable populations.
Students from Seattle University’s IRAP Chapter, including Emily Wright (2L), Whitney Wootton (2L), and Stephen Anderson (2L), discussed ways to get involved through case work and policy research. For more information about getting involved, email Whitney Wootton, Director of Seattle University's IRAP Chapter.
Social Justice Monday: Washington in the Era of Mass Incarceration
September 12, 2016
Did you know that more than 18,000 Washington residents were incarcerated in prisons in 2015? Over thirty years ago, Washington enacted a comprehensive Sentencing Reform Act that dramatically impacted sentencing in our state. Many changes in sentencing law and policy have come and gone since then, often in response to shifting public policy toward crime and punishment.
Professor Emeritus and sentencing and ethics expert David Boerner presented an analysis of Washington's prison population and sentencing over the past third of a century. He presented information about who is imprisoned in Washington, why, and how we have gotten to the point of mass incarceration today.
Social Justice Mondays: In Pursuit of Social Justice
August 29, 2016
Social Justice Mondays is a weekly series that encourages discussion about the many issues surrounding the idea of "social justice" in order to foster learning and strengthen the social justice community of students, faculty and staff at the law school. In the first session of the year we explored the very definition of social justice through the work and voices of students, alumni, faculty, and staff. What does the ‘act’ of social justice require? What is the role of law students and attorneys in movements that work to advance social justice?
This week, Social Justice Monday featured Professor Mark Chinen, Professor Lisa Brodoff, Staff Attorney and SU Leadership Justice Fellow Marisa Ordonia, and joint JD/MBA candidate Ammon Ford. They engaged in a discussion about how a commitment to social justice informs their work and about ways law students can get involved in social justice issues that they are passionate about. The panel was moderated by Jennifer Werdell, Associate Director of the Access to Justice Institute.
Interested in Getting Involved? Check Out the Following Resources: