News and Events: Law for Black Lives, Youth outreach and more

Legal News Update

A National Gathering for #Law4BlackLives

By Jennifer De Jesus and Helen Martinez, LJP interns

Law for Black Lives

Organized by activists and the Center for Constitutional Rights, the #Law4BlackLives Conference was held in Harlem, NY on July 30 to August 1. The three-day national gathering of lawyers, law students, and community advocates discussed the historical and present Black liberation movement. The Conference included radical talks and inspirational messages for legal advocates to continue to stand with the #BlackLivesMatter movement.

LJP summer legal interns Jennifer De Jesus and Helen Martinez attended the conference and concurring sessions: Lawyering in Support of Youth Movements, and Immigrant, Black & Muslim: Bridging the Gap Between Communities Under Attack. The youth session addressed the everyday criminalization of youths in New York City public schools, contrasted with advocacy efforts by Florida’s Dream Defenders, the Ohio Student Association and the Urban Youth Collaborative geared towards dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline. The second session, attended by community members and lawyers, discussed both the necessity for and tensions within coalition building among the diverse communities.

The conference’s fundamental lesson was that we are still far from achieving freedom but we must not give up because “we will win!”

LatinoJustice Youth Outreach

By Jose Perez, Deputy General Counsel at LJP

High School Outreach

LJP Deputy General Counsel Jose Perez along with Summer Legal Interns Helen Martinez and Rodolfo Martinez conducted a Civil Rights presentation for Legal Outreach’s 2015 Summer Law Institute (SLI) at St. John’s School of Law. The program is comprised of 28 eighth-grade Middle School students from underprivileged backgrounds in Queens who were selected to participate based on their commitment to educational success and desire to pursue careers in law.

The students attended classes and lectures at the law school introducing them to the law, the legal system and law as a career, culminating in their participation in a mock trial at the end of July before sitting judges. During the session, Helen & Rodolfo also coached the students in an engaging First Amendment student free speech moot court argument presided over by Justice Perez – decision was reserved!

Perez and LJP Summer Interns Martinez, Steve Nunez and Maria Jose Padilla also gave a presentation on July 31st to the 2015 Sonia & Celina Sotomayor High School Judicial interns at the Thurgood Marshall Memorial Courthouse. The thirty-six high school juniors and seniors from New York City participating in the judicial internship program were given a historical overview of LJP, civil & constitutional rights, our CAP Leadership Program and pre-law programming as well as useful tips on applying to college.

LJP Community Outreach & Education

By Jackson Chin, Senior Counsel at LJP

Maria outreach

LJP Senior Counsel Jackson Chin and legal interns Steve Nunez and Maria Padilla conducted presentations on “Language Access Rights under Title VI” and “Immigrant Access to NYS Health Coverage, ACA, Medicaid, and PRUCOL” on July 16th in Poughkeepsie, New York. There were Thirty six attendees from several local community organizations including MiSN, Poughkeepsie Public Schools, Dutchess County Department of Health, Dutchess County Healthy Families, Grace Latino Outreach – Episcopal Church, La Voz magazine, Latinos Unidos and other members of the Poughkeepsie Healthy Latino and Healthy Black Minority Task Force that was hosted by Planned Parenthood Mid-Hudson Valley.

“This was so enlightening! A presentation that had good substance and will assist those who perform outreach.” said Evelyn Garzetta, Director of Grace Latino Outreach at the Grace Episcopal Church in Millbrook, NY.

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