Tools for Social Change: Race and Justice Clinic
What can lawyers do?
The Tools for Social Change: Race and Justice Clinic (previously Race and Justice Clinic) examines and practices methods that lawyers use to respond to social problems in the context of racial disproportionality in the juvenile justice system:
The clinic responds to the systemic issues that have resulted in an increasingly disproportionate number of minority youth being excluded from school and pushed into the juvenile justice system.
- Locking youth up: In King County, African American youth are 9 times as likely as white youth to be confined in detention or a youth prison.
- Educational Equity: Currently, 5 school districts in Washington (including the Seattle School District) are being investigated by the Department of Education Office of Civil Rights for discriminatory practices related to school discipline and treatment of English Language Learners.
The Race and Justice Clinic addresses race in the justice system through multi-forum advocacy focusing on disparities for youth of color in the juvenile justice and education systems. Students and faculty work together to choose intervention points:
- representing youth directly
- providing community education
- conducting empirical research
- exploring policy change and impact litigation.
Examples of past projects include: Partnering with a youth organization to draft Police in Schools: Student Perceptions of School Resource Officers and drafting an Amicus brief filed in the Washington Supreme Court; representing youth in probation violation, sentencing and school discipline hearings; conducting focus groups with youth who were previously incarcerated; working on juvenile re-entry issues; educating youth in detention and attending school board and community meetings.
Race and Justice News
Apr 15, 2015
Source: The Seattle Times
A new program offered by the University of Washington’s School of Law will help more minority students finish their law degrees and study for the bar exam.
Mar 31, 2015
King County is proceeding with plans to develop a new family justice center, which will include a new juvenile detention center.
Mar 25, 2015
Source: The Washington Post
The Supreme Court sided with black challengers Wednesday and told a lower court to reconsider whether a redistricting plan drawn by Alabama’s Republican-led legislature packed minority voters into districts in order to dilute their influence.
Jan 19, 2015
Truth and reconciliation.
As we mark Martin Luther King Jr. Day this year, it's worth asking: Can America handle either one?