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Criminal Defense Attorney, Roxbury Defenders Unit, Committee for Public Counsel Services
"Crash the System: Social Justice Movements v. The Law"
Carl Williams is a criminal defense attorney with the Roxbury Defenders Unit of the Committee for Public Counsel Services. Mr. Williams is a graduate of the University of Rhode Island (1991) and the University of Wisconsin Law School (2006). A long-time resident of Boston's Roxbury neighborhood, he has been an activist and organizer on issues of war, immigrant's right, LGBT rights, racial justice and Palestinian self-determination. Mr. Williams is a member of the National Lawyers Guild and has served on its Massachusetts board of directors. During the Occupy Boston movement he was part its legal defense and support team, which provided nearly 24-hour support to the participants.
Elyse Cherry '83
Chief Executive Officer, Boston Community Capital
"Enhancing the Flow of Capital to Low Income Communities: A Lawyer's Role"
Elyse Cherry is Chief Executive Officer of Boston Community Capital, and the President of Boston Community Venture Fund, an affiliate of Boston Community Capital. Ms. Cherry helped found Boston Community Capital in 1984 as a member of its original Board of Directors. Under her leadership, Boston Community Capital has grown from a single, debt-based business line to a multi-tiered organization that includes two double bottom-line venture funds, a national tax credit program, a mortgage brokerage, a mortgage lender aimed at stabilizing urban neighborhoods, a real estate acquisition entity, and an alternative energy initiative focused on controlling utility costs in multi-family affordable housing developments. In addition, Ms. Cherry is an active civic leader. She served as a member of Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick’s nineteen-member statewide transition team. Ms. Cherry is a frequent panelist and speaker at national conferences. Ms. Cherry is an attorney and a former partner at the law firm of Hale and Dorr, now known as Wilmer Hale, where her transactional practice focused on commercial real estate finance and development. Early in her career, Ms. Cherry served as a field examiner at the New England region of the National Labor Relations Board and as a VISTA volunteer in rural Tennessee. Ms. Cherry is a graduate of Wellesley College (1975) and the Northeastern University School of Law where she delivered the student commencement address.
Co-Director and Co-Founder, Advocates for Environmental Human Rights
“Environmental Justice and Human Rights Law”
This course is designed for students interested in the intersection of human rights and environmental protection. The course will explore the environmental justice movement in the United States and its global linkages to environmental human rights law. Course materials focus on the similarities and differences of statutory, administrative, and judicial responses to toxic and hazardous environmental conditions in the United States and select foreign countries. Students will be evaluated on a course project involving environmental human rights litigation.
Staff Attorney and Director of Litigation, National Consumer Law Center
“Predatory Lending on Trial: Consumer Advocacy Impact Litigation in the Fringe Financing Marketplace”
Students can expect to gain or improve their consumer advocacy and civil litigation skills, as well as deepen their substantive understanding of state and federal consumer laws and procedure in this brief course.
Executive Director, Justice Now (Oakland, California)
“Social Change vs. Appropriation; Abolition vs. Reform”
The course will examine the role and limits of the law in effecting radical social change as seen through critical examination of the current work of the prison reform movement and the counter modern resurgence of the prison industrial complex abolition movement. Emphasis will be placed on evaluation of legal tools for effecting gender liberation, racial justice, and anti-violence strategies (including anti-state violence). In addition to critiquing the role of law, students will be asked to explore the viability and possibility of combining the law with communications, human rights, organizing, and other tools to impact social change: generally asking who should use the law and how, toward what end, and how do you know when you get there. The course is intended to prepare students for on-the-ground problem-solving as practitioners and activists surrounding lawyering, coalition building, evaluating one's impact, ethical use of one's power, and what to do if your strategies "fail."
Howard Friedman ’77
Law Offices of Howard Friedman, PC
"Litigation: Liability of Law Enforcement Officers and Local Government Entities"
Litigation Director, Asian Pacific American Legal Center of Southern California
“Strategies for Social Change Lawyering: Litigation and Beyond in the Fight for Worker Justice”