Law & Social Movements Colloquium

The Colloquium is a five-part series that will feature pairs of lawyers and organizer-activists who have collaborated with each other in the context of active social movements. Attendees will learn about collective mobilization, the role of law in both impeding and encouraging the political activism of marginalized people, and the ways in which lawyers are working in support of such mobilizations.

The following UCI Law students and faculty are colloquium organizers: Sameer Ashar, Helen Boyer ‘18, Zackory Burns ‘18, Elliott Cavnaugh ‘19, Seth Davis, Kaaryn Gustafson, Annie Lai, Claire Lucas ‘18, and Emily Satifka ‘19.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Jessica Karp Bonsal
Jessica Karp Bansal, Staff Attorney, National Day Laborer Organizing Network (left)
Jacinta Gonzáles, Organizer, Mijente (right)

The Fight for Immigrant Rights: Collaborations Between Lawyers and Organizers

Jessica Karp Bansal is litigation director for the National Day Laborer Organizing Network and Jacinta Gonzáles is lead organizer of Mijente. Bansal and González are known for their creative, bold, and forward-thinking advocacy. González recently made national headlines after being detained by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement during a Donald Trump campaign protest, despite being an American citizen. They will speak about their past collaboration, as well as law and activism in the Trump era.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Abolition of the Criminal Legal System

The Law & Social Movements Colloquium will host a conversation on abolitionism, anti-violence, policing, and prisons featuring Rachel Herzing, organizer, writer, and co-founder of Critical Resistance. Herzing will be joined in discussion by Emily Thuma, Gender & Sexuality Studies, UC Irvine School of Humanities.

Herzing is a long time organizer fighting against imprisonment and policing and for self-determination and a co-founder of Critical Resistance, a national grassroots organization dedicated to abolishing the prison industrial complex. She has been a grant maker, a health educator, and a researcher working on community-based interventions to violence. Her writing has been featured in anthologies, academic journals, and magazines, and she is a frequent speaker and resource to advocates nationally and internationally on issues related to the prison industrial complex, community responses to interpersonal harm, and the impact of policing on communities of color.

Thuma is an Assistant Professor of Gender and Sexuality studies at UCI and a volunteer-member of the California Coalition for Women Prisoners.

Thursday, February 22 2018

Environmental Justice

The Law & Social Movements Colloquium and Center for Land, Environment, and Natural Resources present a panel discussion on Environmental Justice, Law, and Organizing featuring Angela Johnson Meszaros, staff attorney for Earthjustice, and Angela Howe, legal director of the Surfrider Foundation. 

Johnson Meszaros's docket focuses on working with communities of color on issues related to air pollution, energy and the urban environment. Over nearly 25 years, Johnson Meszaros has used a range of tools to enhance the health, safety and quality of life in communities impacted by environmental hazards. She holds both a degree in philosophy and a J.D. from USC. 

After a couple of years honing legal skills at a large law firm and volunteering, Howe transitioned to Surf Foundation. In leading the organization's legal strategy, she fights for sustainable solutions to environmental challenges and works to increase Surfrider's impact for healthy coasts. Howe holds a J.D. from UC Berkeley.

March 21, 2018

Justice for Youth

5:00-6:30 p.m., MPAA 430


The Law & Social Movements Colloquium will host a conversation about youth engagement, youth rights and transformative justice with Abraham Medina and David Celedon of Resilience Orange County and Andrew Chen of Public Counsel. Resilience Orange County is an organization working towards social-systemic transformation and the building of youth-oriented institutions in Orange County. It engages in leadership development and promotes healing, trauma-informed and culturally relevant practices that are inclusive of all members of the community. Medina is the outgoing Executive Director. Celedon is a youth intern, and representative at the National Youth Alliance.  Chen is an attorney at Public Counsel in Los Angeles. In 2015, he was awarded an Equal Justice Works Fellowship to operate a legal clinic for homeless youth at a drop-in shelter in Venice called Safe Place for Youth. The clinic handles a range of issues from assisting youth with citations and criminal record expungements to education and immigration law issues.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Housing Justice

5:30-7:00 p.m., EDU 1111


The Law & Social Movements Colloquium will host a conversation about housing justice, which will touch upon the movements for: adequate and affordable housing; safety and dignity among those who are under-housed and homeless; public and government prioritization of housing needs; and democratic participation of individuals who are homeless in decisions that affect them.

The colloquium will include Lou Noble, an Orange County resident who became homeless in 2008 and who has become an activist for those in Orange County's homeless community. The session will feature Carol Sobel, a civil rights attorney who has been involved in prominent cases involving the rights of people who are homeless. These cases include Jones v. Los Angeles and the ongoing case, O.C. Catholic Worker v. Orange County, involving people who until recently had been living along the Santa Ana riverbed.