UMass Law holds week-long event celebrating social justice

Justice Week, beginning Feb. 12, at UMass Law features theme “Race, Rights, and Rebels".

2017 entering class standing outside law schools

Beginning Monday, February 12 at 12p.m., UMass Law School Dean Eric Mitnick will kick off a week’s worth of learning opportunities that look to engage the public and those in the law community with important topics relating to social justice.

 

Schedule for Justice Week:

  • Monday, February 12, 12p.m. – 1p.m. - Implicit Bias with Pamerson Ifill. Ifill leads the new Cultural Proficiency initiative for the Massachusetts Probation Service and the Statewide Steering Committee on Workforce Diversity and Cultural Competency. This session will look at the associations harbored in the subconscious that cause feelings and attitudes about other people based on characteristics such as race, ethnicity, age, and appearance.
  • Tuesday, February 13, 12p.m. – 1p.m. - Resistance Lawyering Panel Discussion. Discover how to be an agent of change for political and legal reform by working with modern day movements within the system while helping clients. Join Makis Antzoulatos, Jeffrey Feuer, Ilana Greenstein, and Benjamin Falkner, with Hillary Farber moderating, to understand what it means to be a resistance lawyer.
  • Wednesday, February 14, 12p.m. – 1p.m. – Law against Desire with Professor Jeremiah Ho. A one-hour workshop explores what we don’t talk about in law schools: the culture of American law schools and how its distinctive characteristics hold implications for our contemporary thinking about law and justice.  Why American legal education is structured the way it is?  Why do we learn through the Case Method?  How do all of these attributes of American law schools reproduce a social and cultural hierarchy that restricts a fuller engagement with the law, which ultimately affects our conceptions of law and justice?
  • Wednesday, February 14, 4:30p.m. – 6p.m. – Vincent Who? Join Mali Lim for a special screening and discussion of "Vincent Who?", a documentary on the murder of Vincent Chin. In 1982, Vincent Chin was murdered in Detroit by two white autoworkers, but his killers served no jail time. Outraged by this injustice, Asian Americans around the country united for the first time to form a pan-Asian identity and civil rights movement. Followed the movie will be a discussion on the impact on the Asian-American political identity, and lessons we can apply to community responses to hate crimes today.
  • Thursday, February 15, 12p.m. – 1p.m. – Keynote Speaker: Adam Foss. As a former Assistant District Attorney in the Juvenile Division of Suffolk County, Adam Foss has become one of Boston's leading voices for compassion in criminal justice. Recognizing that prosecutors have a unique opportunity to intervene in offender's lives, Foss co-founded the Roxbury CHOICE Program, a collaborative effort between defendants, the court, the probation department, and the D.A. to recast probation as a transformative experience rather than a punitive process.
  • Friday, February 16 – Sunday, February 18 – RebLaw. The RebLaw conference brings together practitioners, law students, and community activists from around the country to discuss innovative, progressive approaches to law and social change. The conference, grounded in the spirit of Gerald Lopez’s Rebellious Lawyering, seeks to build a community of law students, practitioners, and activists seeking to work in the service of social change movements and to challenge hierarchies of race, wealth, gender, and expertise within legal practice and education.

The event is co-sponsored by the National Lawyer’s Guild – UMass Law Chapter, Black Law Student’s Association, and Criminal Law Society.


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