ALAA Roots — An Unofficial Site

December 18, 2017

From: Letwin, Michael
Sent: Monday, December 18, 2017 12:16 PM
Subject: FYI: Tomorrow: Rally to Save the Right to Know Act

Right2Know

Rally to Save the Right to Know Act
Tuesday, Dec. 19 fr/ 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM
https://facebook.com/events/172598263344003/ https://facebook.com/nycdsa/events/
http://socialists.nyc http://twitter.com/nycDSA  Public · Hosted by NYC Democratic Socialists of America

Ritchie Torres, in coalition with the Mayor and the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association (PBA), is now pushing a toothless version of his part of the #RightToKnowAct, which is not even remotely what was initially agreed to. He is pushing a new piece of the legislation called Intro.182D, which seeks to undo the protections we’ve fought for and undermine our neighbors’ safety in daily police encounters.

HOWEVER, the better news is that Council Member Reynoso has followed through with his half of the Right to Know Act: Intro.541C is finally up for a vote on Tuesday! We need the City Council to vote YES on Intro541C to help end unconstitutional searches by the NYPD.

The next council meeting will be Tuesday, December 19th at City Hall.

Our partners at CPR are asking everyone to show up from 11:00AM to 2:00PM on Tuesday for this final push to save the Right to Know Act, urging a NO vote on Torres’ bill and a YES vote on Reynoso’s bill.

WE NEED EVERYONE WHO IS ABLE TO SHOW UP TO SEND A STRONG MESSAGE TO CITY COUNCIL: We won’t tolerate backroom deals or bills that serve the NYPD at the expense of the public!
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About NYC Democratic Socialists of America
NYC Democratic Socialists of America
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NYC chapter of the largest socialist organization in the country. We fight, and organize, for more democracy in more places with activism and education.

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December 6, 2017

FYI: Three Palestinian lawyers seized by Israeli occupation

From: Torres, Azalia
Sent: Wednesday, December 06, 2017 11:37 AM
Subject: FYI: Three Palestinian lawyers seized by Israeli occupation

Please read carefully. This is another attack on lawyers who, like us, stand up for human rights. Let’s show our support!

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Three Palestinian lawyers seized by Israeli occupation

4 December 2017

Palestinian Lawyers

Israeli occupation forces seized three Palestinian lawyers well-known for their involvement in defending Palestinian human rights and particularly the rights of Palestinian prisoners in armed, overnight, pre-dawn raids. The three lawyers are:

All three of the lawyers’ homes was stormed at night by police and intelligence agents who ransacked the home before taking him. The three were taken to the Petah Tikva interrogation center.

Zabarqa is one of the most prominent lawyers defending Palestinian political detainees and prisoners in occupied Palestine ’48. Most recently, his advocacy on behalf of imprisoned Sheikh Raed Salah has highlighted the sheikh’s solitary confinement and political targeting. Zabarqa has been targeted in the past, barred from entering Jerusalem in 2015. Misk is also the former legal director for Defence for Children International – Palestine and, as current director of legal work for the Prisoners’ Affairs Commission, has a leading role in defending many Palestinian prisoners before Israeli occupation courts.

Al-Sabbah is the director of al-Meethaq Foundation, which offers public legal services to the Jerusalemite population, including dealing with Israeli occupation entities like insurance officials, the municipality, and the interior department. The foundation also works together with Physicians for Human Rights to document abuses against child prisoners and support parents in filing complaints about their children’s treatment.

The targeting of the three lawyers comes hand in hand with the ongoing attacks on Palestinian human rights defenders such as Salah Hamouri, new Palestinian lawyer and field researcher for Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association; Hasan Safadi, Arabic-language media coordinator for Addameer; Issa Amro, al-Khalil organizer against settlements; Khalida Jarrar, Palestinian parliamentarian and Addameer board member; Abdallah Abu Rahma, coordinator of Bil’in’s Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements.

“Human rights defender” is a term used to describe people who, individually or with others, act peacefully to promote or protect human rights. These three Palestinian lawyers are human rights defenders who serve as a first line of defense for Palestinian civilians under occupation targeted for arrest, detention and persecution by Israeli occupation forces.

This is also a specific and targeted attack on Palestinian legal work and Palestinian lawyers, in what appears to be an attempt to deprive Palestinian prisoners of even the barest legal representation which is in and of itself frequently barred from providing any meaningful defense in a colonial system meant merely to legitimize the ongoing detention of Palestinians. It also appears to be an attempt to intimidate and suppress Palestinian lawyers from engaging public work to defend Palestinian political prisoners and people under attack.

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network urges international organizations, especially lawyers’ and legal organizations, to take a stand and pressure the Israeli state and international governments to take a stand against the escalating attacks on Palestinian lawyers and other human rights defenders

November 29, 2017

Tonight FYI: The Criminalization of Home: Organizing to Protect Communities from NYC to Palestine

From: Letwin, Michael
Sent: Wednesday, November 29, 2017 10:49 AM
Subject: Tonight FYI: The Criminalization of Home: Organizing to Protect Communities from NYC to Palestine

Moderated by Bina Ahmad (CDP Manhattan). Sponsors include the Center for Constitutional Rights.

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 Criminalization

The Criminalization of Home: Organizing to Protect Communities from NYC to Palestine

https://www.facebook.com/events/513700239003246/

Wednesday, November 29 at Verso Books, 20 Jay St., Suite 1010, Brooklyn, NY
Doors open at 7 p.m., panel begins at 7:30

With
Sahar Francis of Addameer
Darializa Avila-Chevalier of Black Youth Project–100
Mujahid Farid of Release Aging People in Prison (RAPP)
And moderated by Bina Ahmad

This panel explores the different ways criminalization fractures communities and separates people from the place(s) they call home. Bringing together activists from New York City to Palestine, it looks at how state violence enforces a system of racialized dispossession, whether through eviction, deportation, incarceration, or colonization and ethnic cleansing. We’ll also learn how people are protecting their communities by fighting back against the increasingly militarized policing of their neighborhoods, supporting prisoners’ rights, and advancing a vision of freedom and self-determination.

DARIALIZA AVILA-CHEVALIER is an organizer with the NYC chapter of Black Youth Project 100, a member-based organization of radical 18-to-35-year-old people that work toward the liberation of Black people. BYP100 works to center the most marginalized, which includes incarcerated people and trans/gender non-conforming people. Their work is done via direct action, political education, and internal leadership development. Their current long-term project is Campaign H.O.M.E. (Housing Over Monitoring and Evictions), which seeks to end the racist NYCHA policy of Permanent Exclusion. Before joining BYP100, Darializa organized with Students for Justice in Palestine and helped launch the Columbia University Apartheid Divest campaign.

MUJAHID FARID is the lead organizer for the Release Aging People in Prison Campaign (RAPP), which aims to decarcerate US prisons by accelerating the release rate of elderly people. Farid himself was confined for 33 years in New York State and released in 2011, after entering the system in 1978 with a sentence of 15 years to life. While confined, Farid earned four college degrees, including two Master’s, and was part of a trio that created the first HIV/AIDS peer education program in NYS prisons, which later developed into the widely acclaimed PACE (Prisoners AIDS Counseling & Education) program. In 2013 he was awarded an Open Society Soros Justice Fellowship, a joint NYS legislative commendation, and a Citizens Against Recidivism, Inc. award for social activism. In 2016 RAPP was awarded the New York Nonprofit Media’s Cause Award.

SAHAR FRANCIS has been the director of Addameer (Arabic for conscience), a prisoner support and human rights advocacy organization, since 2005, and has been a human rights legal advocate since 1994. She specializes in issues of Palestinian political prisoners, including ill treatment and torture, administrative detention, prison conditions, and prisoners’ rights. She has extensive litigation experience in the Israeli military court system as well as in Israeli civil courts.

Co-organized by Adalah-NY: Campaign for the Boycott of Israel, Addameer Prisoner Support & Human Rights Association, BYP100 NYC chapter, and the Center for Constitutional Rights

Verso Books is wheelchair accessible.

Coverage of Yesterday’s Brooklyn Walkout Against ICE Arrest

From: Letwin, Michael
Sent: Wednesday, November 29, 2017 10:22 AM
Subject: Coverage of Yesterday’s Brooklyn Walkout Against ICE Arrest

Organized by Brooklyn CDP ALAA membership (joined by 1199SEIU members and staff from Brooklyn Defender Services), in the tradition of Eric Garner Die-In in Brooklyn (2014) and long history of ALAA collective solidarity and social justice activism.

Video and more photos

NY Post: ICE agents ‘pounced’ on immigrant in Brooklyn courthouse: attorney

Village Voice: Legal Aid Lawyers Stage Walkout After Yet Another ICE Court Arrest

WNYC: Courthouse Immigration Arrest Leads to Courthouse Protest

ALAA Statement: Brooklyn Legal Aid Attorneys Walk Out Against ICE-NY Courts Collaboration

LAS Statement: Statement on Today’s ICE Arrest in Brooklyn

Additional coverage:

https://www.democracynow.org/2017/11/29/headlines/lawyers_stage_walkout_at_brooklyn_criminal_court_to_protest_ice_arrests_at_courthouse

http://pix11.com/2017/11/28/legal-aid-attorneys-demand-ice-agents-stop-targeting-immigrants-at-court/

https://www.telemundo47.com/noticias/local/Abogados-protestan-contra-arrestos-de-ICE_TLMD—Nueva-York-460623053.html

http://www.ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs/news/2017/11/29/immigration-and-customs-enforcement-detain-genaro-rojas-hernandez-in-brooklyn-court

November 13, 2017

FYI: Tues. 11/14: Reimagining Justice Towards a World Without Prisons

Filed under: Civil Rights,Criminal Justice,Racism,Sentencing — nyclaw01 @ 9:21 am

From: Letwin, Michael 
Date: Mon, Nov 13, 2017 at 9:21 AM
Subject: FYI: Tues. 11/14: Reimagining Justice Towards a World Without Prisons

Walls

https://www.facebook.com/events/1934498340136702

Please join CUNY School of Law’s Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild in an open conversation with community members critical in the movement towards Prison Abolition. It is our objective to hold an honest and intersectional discussion that encourages our communities to reflect on the challenges facing the movement for prison abolition. In this space, we will strive to imagine a world without prisons, and inspire those wary of prison abolition to reconsider a punitive paradigm to problems that largely have their root in social and economic systems of oppression.

Speakers:

Abraham Paulos, Communications Director, Black Alliance for Just Immigration

Cory Greene, Co-Founder, H.O.L.L.A. (How Our Lives Link Together!)

Justine “Taz” Moore, Co-Founder/Member, National Council for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls

Tray “Rock” Johns, National Director, Black and Pink; Member, National Council for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls

Gabriel Arkles, Core Collective Member, Sylvia Rivera Law Project and Senior Staff Attorney, ACLU LGBT & HIV Project

Register here: http://bit.ly/breakingdownwallscunynlg
*Food will be provided*

Access Notes: CUNY School of Law has a wheelchair/mobility device accessible entrance, and there is elevator access to the 2nd floor. The Auditorium is also accessible, but there is a slight decline from the entrance of the Auditorium towards the front. CUNY Law is unfortunately not a scent-free building, but we are encouraging attendees to create a scent-free atomopshere in the auditorium.

If any interpretation or visual/audio support is needed, please reach out to nlg@mail.law.cuny.edu!

Co-sponsored by: Outlaws, Labor Coalition, Police Accountability Organization, Students for Justice in Palestine, Luis DeGraffe Racial & Social Justice Orientation, CUNY Law Review, Parole Preparation Project, NLG NYC, Brooklyn Law School NLG, Cardozo Law School NLG, and National Council for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls

October 6, 2017

FYI: Decolonize This Place! Ask New York City to Change Columbus Day to Indigenous People’s Day

Filed under: Civil Rights,Indigenous Rights,Racism — nyclaw01 @ 9:25 am

From: Letwin, Michael 
Date: Fri, Oct 6, 2017 at 10:25 AM
Subject: FYI: Decolonize This Place! Ask New York City to Change Columbus Day to Indigenous People’s Day

For the same reasons that LAS has changed the name to Indigenous People’s Day:

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Indigenous
Sign here: Decolonize This Place! Ask New York City to Change Columbus Day to Indigenous People’s Day

368 SUPPORTERS IN NEW YORK CITY

6,446 SUPPORTERS

7,000 GOAL

For more than 80 years, the U.S. has celebrated Christopher Columbus with a federal holiday in his name. Columbus is celebrated for having discovered the Americas. But Columbus didn’t “discover” anything. In fact, he dispossessed the native peoples already living in the Americas of their land, and laid the groundwork for centuries of ongoing Western colonization across the globe.

The genocidal violence of Columbus is well attested to by his own journals, where he recounts unspeakable acts carried out by his forces against the indigenous population. In addition, Columbus has the bloody distinction of having inaugurated the transatlantic slave trade, which over subsequent centuries would result in the kidnapping and enslavement of millions of African people.

Columbus is not a venerable hero. He is an odious conquistador. It is time to stop honoring him.

From Los Angeles to Seattle, many U.S. cities have chosen to do what is just and renamed Columbus Day as Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Why is New York not among them? There is no reason for holding out any longer. It’s time for the Mayor and City Council to stand on the right side of history. Please sign this petition to ask New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio to officially replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

New York City sits on the territory of the Lenape people, which was expropriated from them by Dutch and British settler-colonists in the 17th century. Yet many thousands of Indigenous people from the New York region, the country, and across the Americas currently live in the city–more than any other in the United States. Let us honor the rich histories, moral claims, and ongoing presence of Indigenous people in this city, and reject the celebration of imperial conquest. This public holiday must be relaunched with a new ethical compass, one that acknowledges history and points towards a just future. We must no longer remain in the thrall of a figure widely associated with exploitation and enslavement.

Please sign to ask New York City to acknowledge these injustices by creating Indigenous People’s Day!

This petition is being initiated by NYC Stands with Standing Rock, Decolonize This Place, Black Youth Project 100, Eagle and Condor Community House, and South Asian Solidarity Initiative.

#decolonizethisplace #notmyhero

decolonizethisplace.org
Facebook
Instagram
Twitter

Update #16 hours ago

Please join us in an Anti-Columbus Day Tour at the American Museum of Natural History on Monday, October 9th, beginning at 3:30 PM. All are welcome to join the tour, tickets will be provided. Read our public letter here.

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DTP

 

2nd Annual Anti-Columbus Day Tour

RSVP and details at: https://www.facebook.com/events/1302697323192187/

 

The 2nd Annual Anti-Columbus Day Tour is upon us. On October 9th at 3:30 pm we will gather in the main atrium of the American Museum of Natural History, and through an alternative narrative tour developed in collaboration with communities and groups based throughout the city and beyond, we will collectively press for the three demands we articulated last year: Remove the white supremacist statue in front of the museum, Rename the day to Indigenous People’s Day, and Respect the Ancestors. This action will be strong and beautiful with your participation and presence.

Family friendly
Tickets provided
Bring a friend

#decolonizethisplace
#notmyhero

September 21, 2017

FYI: 9/28: Book Talk: Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 

From: Letwin, Michael
Sent: Thursday, September 21, 2017 10:17 AM
Subject: FYI: 9/28: Book Talk: Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971

Join us on [Thursday] 9/28 when @hthompsn presents
“Blood In The Water: The #Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and its Legacy”:
$5 tix:  http://bit.ly/2i6auA5
https://twitter.com/brooklynhistory/status/909896109681672193
@brooklynhistory http://twitter.com/brooklynhistory 718.222.4111 www.brooklynhistory.org
Winner of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize in History, Heather Ann Thompson shares the complicated and gripping tale of the five-day prison uprising, as well as the muddied investigations, lawsuits, and untold stories that followed.

Book Talk: Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971
Thursday, September 28
Doors: 6:00 pm
Event: 6:30 pm
$5 General Admission / Free for Members

BHS Members: to reserve tickets at the member price, click on “Tickets” and enter your Member ID on the following page after clicking on “Enter Promotional Code.”

REFUND POLICY Brooklyn Historical Society requires 24 hours notice before the date of the event to refund a ticket. No refunds are provided after that point. No refunds are provided on the day of the event and all subsequent days.

Thu, September 28, 2017
6:30 PM – 8:00 PM
Brooklyn Historical SocietY
128 Pierrepont St
Brooklyn, NY 11201

Organizer of Book Talk: “Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971”

Founded in 1863, Brooklyn Historical Society (BHS) is a library, museum, and urban education center dedicated to the people of Brooklyn, providing opportunities for civic dialogue and thoughtful engagement.

. Transparency, Journalism, and the White House tickets
$5
Tue, Oct 3 6:30 PM
Transparency, Journalism, and the White House

. Criminalizing Poverty, Community Organizations, and Fighting Back tickets
Free
Thu, Oct 5 6:30 PM

© 2017 Eventbrite

August 25, 2017

FYI: Sunday: Stop Fascism & White Supremacy: National Day of Action in Solidarity with Berkeley

Filed under: Civil Rights,Criminal Justice,Political Repression,Racism — nyclaw01 @ 9:54 am

From: Letwin, Michael
Date: Fri, Aug 25, 2017 at 10:54 AM
Subject: FYI: Sunday: Stop Fascism & White Supremacy: National Day of Action in Solidarity with Berkeley

Stop Fascism

Stop Fascism & White Supremacy: National Day of Action in Solidarity with Berkeley
Sunday August 27th
Union Square
3pm – to coincide with the counter-demonstration against the fascist mobilization in Berkeley

In the wake of Charlottesville, the streets of Boston this weekend were a resounding showing of the mass outrage against fascist mobilizations. The more than 40,000 people in Boston today have outnumbered and made it impossible for the racists to congregate on Boston Common.

We need to continue to show our numbers and our refusal to allow Nazis to grow or mobilize. Next weekend, another “alt-right” call is convening in Berkeley – and they will be met with resistance. A large ad hoc coalition is organizing a broad, large call to counter the right. They have put out a call for a national weekend of solidarity actions. As one chant in at demonstration today highlights: “Wherever you go, whatever you do, we are many, you are few!” So next weekend, let’s make it a national day of action against hate that the fascists will remember.

***We want this to be as broad and large and representative as possible – email ntylim@gmail.com to endorse. We will list endorsers and make them admins for this event as we receive them. There will be an organizing meeting on Wednesday 8/23 at 7pm at the Brooklyn Free School (372 Clinton Ave) – an event page for this is posted on the wall of this event***

____________________________________________________________

We have seen, all too chillingly, the impact the Trump presidency has had on an emboldened and rebranded “alt-right”. Charlottesville has exposed the nature of these organized racists who aim to enact violence against people of color, activists, and anyone who stands in their way. While mourning the life of Heather Heyer, we must redouble our commitment to stopping these murderers in their tracks. We need to unite every organization and every individual in the shared goal of marginalizing their message, halting their efforts at organizing, and refusing to accept the normalization of Nazis in the streets.

Tens of thousands have rallied against the right since Charlottesville. We have another upcoming opportunity to stake our ground next weekend. Berkeley, which has been at the center of right wing mobilizations since the election, is calling for a day of solidarity actions as a broad, united front of trade unions and political and faith-based organizations seek to counter a far-right provocation. Now is the time to take up the call. There is a renewed opening in the aftermath of Charlottesville to unite tens of thousands across the country against racism, against fear, and against fascist mobilizations.

Let’s take this opportunity to build as large and broad a demonstration as we can here in NYC on August 27th. This is a crucial next step in better organizing our side, and to take on the fights against racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia, anti-semitism and all the forms of oppression and hatred stoked by the Trump regime. Showing in numbers that these forces are not welcome is the only way to demoralize and isolate them. This is an urgent task.

Sponsored by (list in formation): American Muslims for Palestine, Decolonize This Place, International Socialist Organization, Jewish Voice for Peace, Jews for Palestinian Right of Return, Jews say No, NYC Solidarity With Palestine, Samidoun: Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, Science for the People NYC

August 18, 2017

FYI: [M4BL] Join us, tomorrow Saturday, August 19th as we Confront White Supremacy from Charlottesville to the White House. Post or Find an Action Now 

Filed under: Civil Rights,Political Action,Political Repression,Racism — nyclaw01 @ 12:29 pm

From: Letwin, Michael
Sent: Friday, August 18, 2017 1:29 PM
Subject: FYI: [M4BL] Join us, tomorrow Saturday, August 19th as we Confront White Supremacy from Charlottesville to the White House. Post or Find an Action Now

The events in Charlottesville are not anomaly; They are happening all over America. In cities like Durham, Tampa and New Orleans, people are organizing to take down racist monuments. Symbols of white supremacy take different forms; For some it is a monument, for others it’s street name or campus building. For many it is an institution that continues to inflict harm on their people.

Join us in action Saturday Aug. 19th. We will continue to focus our attention on the many institutions that maintain white supremacy. Visit out site to either plan or take action Saturday.

Post or find an action near you today.

Challenge yourself to use your imagination and consider all the symbols and institutions of white supremacy:

A corporate headquarters
A local police union
A campus building
A local politician who has yet to cut ties with the Trump / White Supremacist project,
And for those close enough, the White House.

We’re calling everyone to be bold and publicly choose to side in this fight. Thank you for joining us in opposition to white supremacy and state violence. Let’s tear down systems of hate and build a world we believe in.

Onward,

Movement for Black Lives

July 6, 2017

The Black Attorneys of Legal Aid

Filed under: ACLA,Affirmative Action,Racism — nyclaw01 @ 9:40 pm

Dear Colleagues,

The Black Attorneys of Legal Aid (BALA) are pleased to announce our formation and existence as an official faction of attorneys at the Legal Aid Society. Black lawyers have played an integral role in Legal Aid’s pursuit of its mission to provide quality representation to low-income and underrepresented individuals in New York City. We have been staunch advocates for just outcomes for our clients, which has required that we battle against the social injustices and institutionalized racism that have an overarching dictate on the lives and trajectories of our clients. Simultaneously, black attorneys have had to engage in an ongoing effort to ensure that we are being equally recognized at Legal Aid, valued in the same way as our colleagues and not targeted or treated in a disparate manner. Moreover, black attorneys have had to take up the responsibility of making sure that we and attorneys of color at large are recruited and retained by Legal Aid.

An examination of United States history makes it clear why it is necessary that groups exist to protect and advance the interests of black people. Throughout the centuries of slavery in America, Reconstruction, the Jim Crow Era and the Civil Rights Movement; evolving and perpetual systems were put in place to oppress black people. These systems continuously facilitate many of the existing obstacles that impact our lives and the lives of our clients, from pervasive poverty and disenfranchisement to mass incarceration. It is not happenstance that the majority of Legal Aid’s clients are black. As a result of the documented lineage of American anti-black racism, many educational institutions; corporations, including a number of law firms; social organizations and even the U.S. Congress have seen the necessity of establishing groups to address issues pertinent to its black population. Similarly, it is essential that Legal Aid has BALA.

As Black people, in general, we often have to strive to make sure that we are being heard and that our individual and collective concerns are not buried or ignored. Black caucuses within various organizations offer a space for black people to address issues relevant to the black population within its ranks. Black attorneys here at Legal Aid need an official space to address concerns that are specific to us; a space where black attorneys can dissect nuanced issues that intersect with race, identity and our profession, as well as how those issues reach our clients.

The fact that black attorneys are an invaluable asset to the Legal Aid Society, cannot be reiterated enough. In many instances, we mirror the faces and backgrounds of our clients: This is a reality that makes us indispensable. It is vital that Legal Aid makes a priority out of maintaining a thriving population of black lawyers. Recent social trends demonstrate the importance of having black attorneys occupy a space within Legal Aid. We lend a resonant voice to the experiences of so many of our clients in an era that is rapidly returning to conservatism. We are living through a period in which black men and women make up the highest number of individuals killed by police; where corporately sponsored gentrification is displacing large numbers of residents in historically black neighborhoods from their homes in the city; where right-wing policies deny poor black people access to healthcare and proper education; where undocumented black immigrants are among those most heavily targeted by the government; where black LGBTQIA individuals are besieged by police, discriminated against, and experience violence at alarming rates; where black transgender individuals are murdered at rates higher than that of any of their counterparts; and where black neighborhoods are over-policed, serving as a pipeline into the prison system. All of these issues highlight the need for our clients to see scores of black attorneys advocating on their behalf. The current incidence of black attorneys departing in droves from Legal Aid must be addressed in a way that is direct and effective. Although black attorneys have traditionally fought for the rights of attorneys of color, other marginalized groups, as well as the larger union and will continue to do the same; black attorneys come up against challenges at the organization that are germane to being black and a lawyer at Legal Aid. There are issues that particularly affect the well-being of black attorneys at Legal Aid that require the singular focus that the black caucus would provide.

In our practice, we continuously balance the stress of our daily work against the insidious influence of anti-blackness; this process intensifies the vicarious trauma we endure in our profession. Black lawyers at Legal Aid have had to discreetly discuss the ways in which race impacts our experience, which includes our intersectional identities, such as being black and part of the LGBTQIA spectrum or being black and an immigrant or being black and from a historically under-resourced but over-policed neighborhood. Such informal conversations often go unacknowledged because black professionals frequently navigate the very real fear of being seen as agitators in environments where we are the minority; history has shown us that resultant repercussions can occur. Nonetheless, we understand that our quiet summits actually serve as a place to strategize against oppression and focus on our issues. At Legal Aid, black lawyers consistently battle against erasure as well as struggle to be included. The Legal Aid Society is not a Utopia, but rather a microcosm of the world that surrounds us, with all of its flaws and shortcomings. Within this microcosm, we the black attorneys at the Legal Aid Society intend to carve out a space for our voices, by us and for us, to address issues we face. Black attorneys have fought and will continue to fight for the rights of all marginalized people and stand beside our union brothers and sisters in solidarity on issues that affect us all. We know that our efforts will advance racial and social equity, not just for black attorneys, but our clients and the Legal Aid Society at large.

In Solidarity,
The Black Attorneys of Legal Aid

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