Our American Constitution Society hosted Texas Senator Wendy Davis on April 10, 2018. She spoke about her experiences filibustering for reproductive rights in the Texas Senate, the impact of gerrymandering, and other ways she has been fighting for voting rights and increased access to our democracy.
She emphasized the need for empathy in the law and for lawmakers, sharing the story of the impact Earl Warren’s role in the Japanese Internment camps had in his legal career and the Brown vs. Board of Education case. She encouraged students to look for opportunities to share their skills and experiences to increase civic participation and answered student questions after her talk.
This year the National Lawyers Guild’s 2nd annual event on mass incarceration focused on the intersection of mass incarceration with immigration. The panel discussion looked specifically at the targeting of immigrants for deportation using the Chicago Gang Database, officially known as the “Strategic Subject List.”
NLG Secretary Rosie O’Malley moderated the panel discussion with these speakers:
Irene Romulo from Organized Communities Against Deportation
Sheila Bedi from the MacArthur Justice Center
Claudia Valenzuela from the National Immigrant Justice Center
During Diversity Week 2018, our Muslim Law Students Association featured a panel of members who shared their stories as law students about how their faith has motivated them to join the legal field. They also addressed the types of discussions and questions they encounter about their religious practices and beliefs.
Shahina Khan, MLSA President 2017-2018, moderated the panel.
During Diversity Week 2018, The Chicago-Kent Lambdas hosted an event titled “The T in LGBT: Dispelling Myths and Raising Awareness on Trans Issues.”
The event was moderated by Lambdas Secretary Elisabeth Hieber and featured Reyna Ortiz, a Trans Latinx activist and author.
Elisabeth began by introducing the wide ranging work and talents of Reyna, then continued with questions she had prepared, from basic vocabulary to outreach and advocacy within and for the trans community. The event ended with an open Q&A with the audience.
This year’s Diversity Week started off with a panel about what diversity means to law students and issues affecting minorities in the legal field.
Moderator Joanna Martin started the panel with prepared questions, then opened it up for a Q&A with the students in the audience. Our speakers shared their experiences in classrooms and courtrooms to show the value of including more diverse perspectives in the legal field.
While the student leaders agreed on many principles, they also offered contrasting perspectives about presenting their experiences in conversations or written statements like scholarship applications.
This week Chicago-Kent faculty, students and staff observed Constitution Day 2017 with a panel discussion featuring Dean Harold Krent and Professors Sheldon Nahmod, Mark Rosen and Carolyn Shapiro. Professor Christopher Schmidt moderated the panel discussion and open Q&A following their presentations.
This panel represented the range of constitutional experts at Chicago-Kent. Each faculty member was asked by the moderator to emphasize issues they saw as the most relevant, important, or pressing issues related to the Constitution and the Trump presidency so far.
This panel discussion was co-hosted by our Asian Pacific American Law Student Association and International Law Student Association. The event flyer, slides from our speakers, and a video of the discussion are available here if you missed attending this event.
Dr. James Nolt, Adjunct Associate Professor at New York University Program in International Relations and Senior Fellow at the World Policy Institute
Edward Harris, Assistant Dean and Associate Professor for International LL.M. programs at Chicago-Kent College of Law
Bartram S. Brown, Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Program inInternational and Comparative Law at Chicago-Kent College of Law
Kofi Ademola gave some historical context for the Black Lives Matter movement, which was founded by Alicia Garza, Opal Tometi, and Patrisse Cullors. These three black queer women started the hashtag on social media in reaction to the verdict in the Trayvon Martin case.
The Black Lives Matter website helped build the movement when activists protesting the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson used it to start local chapters across the country.
Criminal Justice Reform in Chicago
In Chicago, Kofi Ademola noted there had already been 20 police shootings in 5 years with no convictions, so the issue of police violence has always been central. He said the goal of Black Lives Matter Chicago is to decentralize power and to centralize marginalized voices and communities.
Our Muslim Law Student Association hosted an “Ask Muslims Anything” event during our Diversity Week 2017, giving students a chance to submit questions about Islam or Muslims anonymously.
These questions covered a range of topics from historical Islam to understanding religious practices and challenges Muslims face in the United States due to common misconceptions or outright discrimination.
The panelists represented a range of different personal and religious backgrounds and offered contrasting perspectives throughout the discussion.