Legal Momentum News Brief - Week of August 20, 2018

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August 22, 2018

National Urban League Know Your Rights Seminar

Legal Momentum’s President and CEO, Carol Baldwin Moody, was a panelist on Who Runs the World: Empowering Your Girls in the Public Education System, the keynote event for the Third Annual Street Law Clinic at the National Urban League Annual Conference in Columbus, Ohio, on August 4. The event was designed to help members of the community navigate common situations encountered by girls (particularly girls of color) in the public education system.

National Urban League Panel with Carol Moody speaking

Educational institutions need to let young black girls be seen in all of their innocence and with all of their potential, as opposed to characterizing them negatively once they make a mistake or are punished in school. Panelists emphasized the systemic, wide-sweeping causes of disparities in punishment, school pushout, and educational opportunities. Young black girls get more frequent and harsher disciplines for real or imagined infractions in schools, including dress code violations. They tend to be viewed as more mature and more sexualized than their peers. Carol spoke on Legal Momentum’s work to ensure equality in education and in the workplace, and its research on how girls, especially girls of color, are often disadvantaged. The other panelists were Brianna Baker, Founder, Justice for Black Girls; Brandi Slaughter, CEO, Voices for Ohio’s Children; and Dr. Theda G. Gray, Assistant Professor at Patton College of Education, Ohio University.

Summer Interns Contribute to Legal Momentum’s Mission

This year, as in previous years, Legal Momentum thanks our summer interns for their invaluable contributions to Legal Momentum’s ongoing work. Legal interns helped evaluate calls to our Helpline for potential litigation.

In addition to the Helpline, completed intern projects included:

  • Legal interns Olivia Barket, Kayana Cobb, Olivia Smith, and Shaina Weisbrot participated in the Courtroom Advocates Program run by Sanctuary for Families. The program provided training on representing domestic violence victims seeking Orders of Protection through Family Court in New York City. The interns were able to attend court and represent victims.
  • Legal interns performed complex legal research on issues of constitutional law, Title VII, Title IX, New York City and New York State human rights laws, and more.
  • Our Duke Moxie Project undergraduate intern, Akanksha Ray, helped finalize and launch our new victim advocate online training course.
  • Our Communications and Administrative undergraduate intern, Saba Sakhi, researched other women’s advocacy organizations, researched and wrote a blog post on immigration policies, and assisted the Chief of Staff and the Office Manager.
  • Our Research and Social Media undergraduate intern, Mercedes Janis, expanded and improved Legal Momentum’s key media contacts list, researched potential emcees for our fundraising events, and identified key social media influencers who can extend Legal Momentum’s publicity outreach.

Legal Momentum Hosts International Visitors

From time to time, the U.S. State Department invites Legal Momentum to host delegations from overseas that are interested in learning about our work advancing women’s rights. On August 14, 22 visitors from around the world met with Senior Vice President and Legal Director Lynn Hecht Schafran and Deputy Legal Director and Senior Attorney Jennifer Becker as part of a multi-regional project on human and civil rights for marginalized communities.

Visitors from diverse countries, including Hong Kong, Argentina, Botswana, and Cambodia, learned about Legal Momentum’s important work advancing women’s rights and, in particular, championing equal rights for disadvantaged girls of color, low-wage and immigrant workers, and other marginalized groups through Legal Momentum’s Women Valued program. The 90-minute, wide-ranging discussion focused on ending violence against women by improving training for law enforcement to use trauma-informed practices when interviewing victims of gender-based violence. The visitors were particularly interested in the ways that the use of language can shape responses to sexual and domestic violence.

Legal Momentum Is Growing

Legal Momentum is currently seeking qualified applicants for two career opportunities, a Staff Attorney and a Rights Now! Policy Fellow. Please visit Legal Momentum’s website at for details and how to apply.

The full-time Staff Attorney will work with members of the Legal Department to advance laws and policies that promote expanded protections for victims of gender-based violence and equality in the workplace and schools. Candidates should have a law degree from an accredited law school and admission/eligibility for admission to the New York State bar and federal district court(s), as well as 3-5 years of civil rights litigation experience.

The part-time Rights Now! Policy Fellow will spearhead this program into its third year, by recruiting and training a cohort of young women of color to facilitate empowerment-based, activity-based, and dialogue-focused workshops with other young women of color. Candidates should have a four-year college degree, experience as a social justice advocate, supervisory experience, and knowledge of women's rights and civil rights issues.