Today Week Month

"Resistance Lawyering" w/ Judith Browne Dianis of Advancement Project.

Start/End Thursday, October 17, 2013 12:10 PM EDT -- 01:10 PM EDT
Location Name JG 105

We are living in an era of burgeoning resistance movements in the United States. Communities and activists are fighting against issues that include: unjust immigration laws and policies, mass incarceration, voter suppression and inequitable public education. Many of those fighting these injustices are marginalized communities with fewer economic resources and under-utilized political power. Are lawyers still relevant? What is their role? Should you know more than law and policy? Student organizer turned litigator Judith Browne Dianis will discuss what it means to be a lawyer to resistance movement in this moment.

SJI is pleased to welcome Judith Browne Dianis, Co-director of Advancement Project, as our Fall '13 Visitor from Social Justice Practice. On October 17th, Ms. Dianis will present the above lunchtime talk and meet with students 1-on-1 and in small groups. If you wish to meet with Ms. Dianis, please email Brian Juergens at SJI.

Lunch will be served. Presented by SJI.

Judith Browne Dianis has an extensive background in civil rights litigation and advocacy in the areas of voting, education, housing, and employment.  She has protected the rights of people of color in the midst of some of the greatest civil rights crises of our modern times, including in Florida after the 2000 election and in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. 

Under Dianis’ leadership, Advancement Project has been dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline in school districts throughout the country since 1999. Working closely with grassroots organizations, Advancement Project’s work has significantly decreased student suspensions and arrests in Denver, Baltimore and Florida. In recognition of Dianis’ work on these issues, she was recently named a Black Male Achievement Social Innovator by the Leadership & Sustainability Institute.

Dianis’ efforts to protect voters of color spans years. From filing one of the first-ever lawsuits to enforce the “Motor Voter” law to litigating on behalf of Black Floridians after the 2000 election, Dianis has established herself as an expert in voting rights. She continued her litigation efforts in 2004, stopping the Republican National Committee from engaging in voter suppression in Ohio and requiring Virginia in 2008 to ensure equitable allocation of voting machines.  As Advancement Project has continued its aggressive voter protection efforts effectively blocking voter suppression efforts in 2012, Dianis has also been leading an effort to develop a campaign to secure an explicit right to vote in the U.S. Constitution.  In 2013, she was awarded a Prime Movers Fellowship for trailblazing social movement leaders to further develop this campaign.  

Dianis joined Advancement Project at its inception in 1999, after serving as the Managing Attorney in the Washington, D.C. office of the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc.  She is a graduate of Columbia University School of Law, was awarded a Skadden Fellowship, served as a Tobias Simon Eminent Scholar at Florida State University Law School, and as an Adjunct Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center.  She was named one of the “Thirty Women to Watch” by Essence Magazine and has written and commented extensively in the media about race, voting rights, and education issues, appearing often on MSNBC, CNN, BET, TVOne and various radio shows.