- Dean Spade: "No Prisons, No Borders, No Cops, No State?" (2023)
Dean Spade is an organizer, writer, and teacher. He is a professor at Seattle University School of Law, where he teaches Administrative Law, Poverty Law, Gender and Law, Policing and Imprisonment, Professional Responsibility, and Law and Social Movements. Dean has been working to build queer and trans liberation based in racial and economic justice for the past two decades. He is the author of Normal Life: Administrative Violence, Critical Trans Politics and the Limits of Law (South End Press, 2011). A second edition with new writing was published in 2015 by Duke University Press. Bella Terra Press published a Spanish edition in 2016. In 2015, Dean released a one-hour video documentary, Pinkwashing Exposed: Seattle Fights Back!, which can be watched free online with English captions or subtitles in several languages. Dean's latest book, Mutual Aid: Building Solidarity During This Crisis (and the Next), was published by 2020 by Verso press and has since been published in Italian, Spanish, Czech, Korean, and Catalan and is forthcoming in Thai and German.
Nicole Smith Futrell is an associate professor and co-director of the Defenders Clinic at CUNY Law School. She also serves as faculty director of both the Center for Diversity in the Legal Profession and the W. Haywood Burns Chair in Human and Civil Rights Program. Professor Smith Futrell’s career has been dedicated to advocating for the rights of those accused of criminal offenses. Her teaching and scholarship focus on criminal procedure, post-conviction relief, reentry, legal ethics, race and the law, and legal education. Her publications appear in the North Carolina Law Review, the NYU Review of Law and Social Change, and the Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law, among others. Her recent work explores the relationship between carceral abolition and clinical legal pedagogy. She received the 2022 PEN America Writing as Activism Fellowship for her racial justice advocacy work and writing. Prior to joining the CUNY Law faculty, Professor Smith Futrell was a public defender with the Bronx Defenders, where she litigated misdemeanor and felony cases and conducted criminal law trainings for new attorneys and local community groups. Before attending law school, she studied South Africa’s post-apartheid criminal system as an Institute for International Public Policy Fellow. She currently serves on the Law School Engagement Committee of the Black Public Defenders Association and the Board of Directors of the Bronx Defenders.
- Salonee Bhaman, Senti Sojwal, & Haeyoung Yoon: "Anti-Asian Violence: An Intersectional Feminist Lens" (2022)
Salonee Bhaman is a scholar and historian who writes, thinks, and teaches about work, housing, care-giving, sexuality, and immigration. She is currently a PhD Candidate in the Department of History at Yale University. Her research interests focus on histories of race, gender, social welfare, migration, and labor in the twentieth century United States. She is a member of the NYC Asian American Feminist Collective leadership committee, and her dissertation is entitled “The Borders of Care: Immigration, Welfare, and Intimacy in the Era of AIDS,” exploring struggles for social provision and the politics of care work during the first years of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Her writing has been featured in the Washington Post, Truthout, the Boston Review, and the Radical History Review, and she currently serves as a co-editor of the Black and Asian Feminist Solidarities series hosted by the Asian American Writers Workshop. She holds a BA from Columbia University and an MA/MPhil from Yale University.
Senti Sojwal (she/her) is an India-born, NYC-bred writer, communications strategist, and reproductive justice advocate based in Brooklyn. She is media relations director at The Center for Popular Democracy, the nation’s largest multiracial organizing network and has been named one of “15 AAPI Feminists Everyone Should Know” by Buzzfeed News. Previously, she was creative director at women’s health startup Tia, led brand & digital strategy at Planned Parenthood of Greater New York and communications & outreach at Sakhi for South Asian Women. For three years, Senti ran the award winning Feministing Five column at Feministing, where she interviewed the likes of Mitski, Lizzo, Aparna Nancherla, and Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors. She is a co-founder of the Asian American Feminist Collective, which has been featured in the New York Times, NPR, Teen Vogue, Vice, Bust, and Ladygunn, among others.Senti is committed to intersectional gender justice advocacy and movement building. Her writing on reproductive health and feminist issues has been featured in the Huffington Post, Rewire, Mic, and more. She currently serves as co-editor of the Black / Asian Feminist Solidarities project at the Asian American Writers’ Workshop. She holds a BA from Hampshire College in Gender Studies & Politics and a Masters in Public Health from New York University.
Haeyoung Yoon is senior director of policy at the National Domestic Workers Alliance. Over the course of her career, Haeyoung worked on low-wage and immigrant workers rights issues. Prior to National Domestic Workers Alliance, Haeyoung was Distinguished Taconic Fellow at Community Change, working on immigration issues. She also worked at the National Employment Law Project as the Director of Strategic Partnership and a Deputy Program Director. Haeyoung co-directed a program area that combines policy design, campaign support, advocacy, research, and strategic communication to expand economic opportunity and security for working people in our economy. She currently serves as a member of the Biden-Harris Administration COVID-19 Equity Task Force. Haeyoung also has extensive litigation experience. At the Urban Justice Center, she represented low-wage and immigrant workers working in service industries, including domestic work, restaurant, and construction in wage and hour litigation. She was one of the lead counsel in Iqbal v. Ashcroft, a civil rights case on behalf of two South Asian and Arab immigrant men who were wrongfully detained and subjected to cruel and inhumane treatment and discrimination in a detention center in the aftermath of 9/11. She was awarded a Trial Lawyer of the Year Finalist by Public Justice in 2006 for Iqbal v. Ashcroft. Haeyoung co-directed the Immigrant Rights Clinic at the New York University School of Law.
- Cara Page: “New Cosmologies for Freedom in the 21st Century” (2021)
Cara Page is a Black Queer Feminist cultural and memory worker, curator, and organizer. For more than 30 years, she has organized with Lesbian/ Gay/ Bisexual/ Transgender/ Queer/ Gender Non-Conforming/ Intersex and Black, Indigenous and People of Color liberation movements in the US and Global South at the intersections of racial, gender & economic justice, healing justice, and transformative justice. She is leading a new archival/memory and cultural change project, Changing Frequencies, which seeks to unveil, hold accountable, and abolish the Medical Industrial Complex as a tool of state violence, policing, and social control.
She is one of the architects of healing justice, a political strategy envisioned by many in the South and deeply rooted in Black Feminist traditions and Southern Black Radical Traditions of the Global South. The healing justice framework identifies how we can holistically respond to and intervene in generational trauma and violence to bring collective practices that can impact and transform the consequences of oppression on our bodies, hearts, and minds. Through this framework, we continue to build political and philosophical convergences of healing inside of liberation movements and organizations.
Page is co-founder and current leadership team member of the Kindred Southern Healing Justice Collective. She is also the former executive director of The Audre Lorde Project and former national coordinator of the Committee on Women, Population & the Environment. She is a recent recipient of the Open Society Foundation Soros Equality Fellowship (2019-2020) and an ‘Activist in Residence’ at the Barnard Research Center for Women.
Page organizes nationally and internationally with groups like Southerners on New Ground (SONG), Project South,INCITE! Women & Trans People of Color Against Violence, and the National Queer & Trans Therapist of Color Network. Her organizing looks toward building racial, gender, and healing justice strategies for liberation, care, and protection.
Dorothy Roberts is an acclaimed scholar of race, gender, and the law. She holds joint appointments at the University of Pennsylvania’s Carey School of Law and Departments of Africana Studies and Sociology, where she is the George A. Weiss University Professor of Law and Sociology and the Raymond Pace and Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander Professor of Civil Rights. She is also founding director of the Penn Program on Race, Science & Society in the Center for Africana Studies.
Her pathbreaking work in law and public policy focuses on urgent contemporary issues in health, social justice, and bioethics, especially as they impact the lives of women, children and African-Americans. Her major books include Fatal Invention: How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-create Race in the Twenty-first Century (New Press, 2011); Shattered Bonds: The Color of Child Welfare (Basic Books, 2002), and Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and The Meaning of Liberty (Pantheon, 1997). She is the author of more than 100 scholarly articles and book chapters, as well as a co-editor of six books on such topics as constitutional law and women and the law. Among Roberts’s recent scholarship is the sweeping essay "Abolition Constitutionalism," which appeared as the Foreword to the Harvard Law Review’s volume on the 2018 Supreme Court term.
- Elizabeth Yeampierre: "Climate Justice: The Challenges of the Global Majority" (2019)
Elizabeth Yeampierre is an internationally recognized Puerto Rican attorney and environmental and climate justice leader of African and Indigenous ancestry. She is the co-chair of the Climate Justice Alliance and Executive Director of UPROSE, a Latinx community-based organization driven by an inter-generational, multi-cultural, and community-led vision. She serves on the Solution Project’s steering committee.
Prior to assuming her position at UPROSE, Ms. Yeampierre was the Director of Legal Education and Training at the Puerto Rican Legal Defense Fund; Director of Legal Services for the American Indian Law Alliance; and Dean of Puerto Rican Student Affairs at Yale. She founded the NYC Climate Justice Youth Summit, a space where young people of color learn to engage their communities in climate justice work. She created the Climate Justice Center, NYC’s first bottom-up climate adaptation and community resiliency planning project. She is a long-time advocate and trailblazer around just, sustainable development, environmental justice, and community-led climate adaptation and resiliency in Sunset Park. In 2015, she helped lead the People’s Climate March Mobilization—a march of over 400,000 people—ensuring that the frontline was made up of young people of color. She is a co-founder of the BEA-I (Building Equity & Alignment for Impact).
Ms. Yeampierre has received numerous accolades for her work. She was named one of the top 100 Green Leaders by Poder Hispanic Magazine and has received such awards as the 2015 Earth Day New York & NRDC Advocate of the Year Award; 2011 National Alliance for Hispanic Health Vision, Innovation, Dedication, and Advocacy Award; American Bar Association Commission on Hispanic Legal Rights and Responsibilities 2011 Award; and the La Federación Nacional de Pioneros Puertorriquenos Award 2010. She was the first Latina Chair of the US EPA National Environmental Justice Advisory Council. She was the opening speaker at the first White House Forum on Environmental Justice in 2008. In 2015, she was one of the opening speakers at Pope Francis’s Climate Change Rally.
Introduced by: Juan Cartagena
- Mariame Kaba: "Survived and Punished" (2018)
Mariame Kaba grew up in New York City, the daughter of immigrants from Guinea and the Ivory Coast. Her parents encouraged empathy for oppressed people and action for change. In 1995 she moved to Chicago and for more than two decades was, in the words of Chicago Magazine, “a linchpin of virtually every important activist effort in the Windy City.
Kaba founded and directs Project NIA, a grassroots organization working to end youth incarceration. She founded multiple other organizations, including the Chicago Freedom School, which provides training and education for young people and adult allies to create a just world, the Chicago Taskforce on Violence Against Girls and Young Women, the Chicago Alliance to Free Marissa Alexander, and the Rogers Park Young Women’s Action team. Her blog, Prison Culture, is an essential resource for anti-prison activists. Kaba is a founding advisory board member of the Chicago Community Bond Fund, a revolving bond fund that supports individuals whose communities cannot afford to pay bonds themselves and who have been impacted by structural violence. Kaba is a 2016-17 Soros Justice Fellow, where she expanded her work to end the criminalization of survivors of violence.
Kaba helped launch the We Charge Genocide campaign, which in 2014 presented evidence of police brutality in Chicago to the United Nations. On May 6, 2015, the Chicago City Council unanimously passed unprecedented legislation providing reparations to the Chicago Police torture survivors and their family members, becoming the first municipality to provide systemic redress for racially motivated police violence. Both Kaba and Joey L. Mogul were critical leaders in that historic effort.
Kaba co-founded her current organizing and political home, Survived and Punished (S&P), in 2015. S&P organizes to de-criminalize efforts to survive domestic and sexual violence, support and free criminalized survivors, and abolish gender violence, policing, prisons, and deportations.
Introduced by: Joey L. Mogul
- Maria Elena Durazo: "Building Bridges Not Walls: The Intersection of Immigration and Labor" (2017)
Maria Elena Durazo is vice president for UNITE HERE international labor union, which represents more than 270,000 hospitality workers in the hotel, gaming, food service, manufacturing, textile, distribution, laundry, transportation, and airport industries in the US and Canada. Under her leadership in 2016, UNITE HERE and its Las Vegas local, the Culinary Union, led an unprecedented citizenship drive, helping more than 2,000 residents apply for citizenship. This campaign launched the union’s large-scale door-knocking campaign in Nevada, the only swing state to go blue. In Phoenix, Maria Elena and UNITE HERE helped lead the campaign in which voters defeated the anti-immigrant Sheriff Joe Arpaio. She has served as Democratic National Committee vice chair since 2013.
Maria Elena started organizing with Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Union Local 11 in 1983 and was elected its president in 1989 after she launched a campaign to transform the local into an accountable democratic organization. In 1996, Maria Elena was the first Latina to be elected to the executive board of HERE international union, and in 2003, she led the national the Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride. From 2006 through 2014, she was the first woman secretary-treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, representing the interests of more than 300 local unions and over 600,000 workers. Maria Elena secured allies on the Los Angeles City Council and County Board of Supervisors to push through a minimum wage law that requires large Los Angeles hotels to pay workers at least $15.37 an hour—one of the nation’s highest base wages. In 2010, Maria Elena was elected vice president of the National AFL-CIO Executive Council.
Maria Elena has been elected to numerous national positions within the Democratic Party. She served on several City of Los Angeles commissions. Maria Elena is a graduate of Saint Mary’s College of California and earned a law degree from Peoples College of Law in 1985.
Maria Elena Durazo is the proud daughter of Mexican migrant farmworkers.
Introduced by: John Wilhelm
- Kathy Boudin, Gara LaMarche, Urvashi Vaid, and Vince Warren: "What Now? Building an Intersectional Resistance Post-Election" (2017)
Kathy Boudin, Columbia University Criminal Justice Initiative, Supporting Children Families and Communities
Gara LaMarche, President, Democracy Alliance
Urvashi Vaid, LGBT Activist and CEO, The Vaid Group
Vince Warren, Executive Director, Center for Constitutional Rights
- Linda Sarsour: "Moving Muslim Women's Voices from Margin to Center in 2016 (2016)
Linda Sarsour is a Brooklyn-born Palestinian-American Muslim racial justice and civil rights activist, community organizer, and mother of three. She is the Executive Director of the Arab American Association of New York, and is widely recognized among American Muslims for her focus on intersectional movement building.
Linda has worked tirelessly to increase the civic empowerment of Muslim Americans. In New York, she was a co-founder of the Muslim Democratic Club of New York City, which seeks to support responsible Democratic candidates and increase the number of registered and active American Muslim Democratic voters in New York city. Nationally, she is the co-founder of the first Muslim American online organizing platform, MPOWER Change, an organization dedicated to building American Muslims’ grassroots political power while advancing social, spiritual, racial and economic justice for all people.
Linda has been at the forefront of major civil rights campaigns including calling for an end to unwarranted surveillance of New York’s Muslim communities and ending police policies like stop and frisk. She co-founded Muslims for Ferguson to build solidarity amongst American Muslim communities and encourage work against police brutality, and is a member of the Justice League NYC.
Linda was instrumental in the Coalition for Muslim School Holidays. In 2015, New York City became the largest school system in the country to officially recognize two Muslim high holy holidays in its academic calendar. Linda has received numerous awards and honors including “Champion of Change” by the White House, YWCA USA’s Women of Distinction Award for Advocacy and Civic Engagement and the Hala Maksoud Leadership Award from the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.
Introduced by: Vince Warren
- Andrea Ritchie: "Say Her Name: Racial Profiling and Police Violence Against Black Women" (2015)
Andrea Ritchie is a civil rights attorney who has led groundbreaking research, litigation, and advocacy efforts to challenge profiling, policing, and physical and sexual violence by law enforcement against women, girls and LGBTQ people of color for the past two decades. In her work, Ritchie confronts the role played by police as the front lines of the criminal punishment system, building and sharing knowledge, skills, and strategies for resistance within communities targeted by the police.
Ritchie helped found and coordinate Streetwise & Safe, a leadership development initiative for LGBTQ youth of color that educates youth about their rights and helps them develop strategies for safety and for long-term change. She now serves as Senior Policy Counsel. She is on the Steering Committee of Communities United for Police Reform, a citywide campaign challenging discriminatory policing practices in New York City, and is also a member of the LGBT Advisory Panel to the NYC Police Commissioner, playing a leadership role in its effort to revise the NYPD Patrol Guide to give officers greater guidance and training in interactions with LGBTQ New Yorkers.
Ritchie coauthored A Roadmap for Change: Federal Policy Recommendations to Address the Criminalization of LGBT People and People Living With HIV (Ctr. for Gender & Sexuality Law at Columbia Law, 2014), Queer (In)Justice: The Criminalization of LGBT People in the United States (Beacon 2011), Stonewalled: Police Abuse and Misconduct Against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender People in the United States (Amnesty Int’l, 2005), Education Not Deportation: Impacts of New York City School Safety Policies on Immigrant Youth (Desis Rising Up and Moving, 2006), and consulted for Caught in the Net: The Impact of Drug Policies on Women and Families (ACLU, Brennan Center for Justice & Break the Chains, 2005).
Ritchie is a 2014 Senior Soros Justice Fellow, and graduated magna cum laude from Howard University School of Law in 2000.
Introduced by: Urvashi Vaid
- Ai-jen Poo: "Waking Up the Caring Majority: Why We All Need to Care About the Aging of America" (2015)
Ai-jen Poo, Founder Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA) and Co-Director of Caring Across Genereations
Introduced by: Gara LaMarche
- Winona LaDuke: "Predator Economics, Human Rights, and Indigenous Peoples" (2013)
Winona LaDuke, Founder and Co-Director, Honor the Earth
Introduced by: Tiokasin Ghosthorse
- Kathy Boudin: "Hope, Illusion, and Imagination: The Politics of Parole and Reentry in the Era of Mass Incarceration" (2012)
Kathy Boudin, Director, Criminal Justice Initiative: Supporting Children, Families and Communities, Columbia University School of Social Work
Introduced by: Chesa Boudin
- Debbie Almontaser: "Arab Culture and Islam: Challenges in Diversity Education" (2011)
Debbie Almontaser, Founding Principal, Khalil Gibran International Academy
Introduced by: Donna Nevel
Watch the 2011 Rose Sheinberg Lecture
- Dolores C. Huerta (2010)
Dolores C. Huerta, Co-Founder and First Vice-President, United Farm Workers of America, AFL-CIO (UFW); President, Dolores Huerta Foundation
Introduced by: Cristina Rodríguez
- Van Jones (2010)
Van Jones, Senior Fellow, American Center for Progress Policy Advisor, Green For All
Introduced by: Gara LaMarche
- Previous Speakers (1993-2008)
Monica Roa (2008)
Programmes Director, Women's Link Worldwide
Introduced by: Janet Benshoof, President, Global Justice Center
Tracie L. Washington (2008)
President & CEO, Louisiana Justice Institute
Introduced by: Julia Beatty, Program Officer, The Twenty-First Century Foundation
Eva Jefferson Patterson (2007)
President and Co-Founder, Equal Justice Society
Introduced by: Drucilla Ramey, Executive Director, National Association of Women Judges
Ellen M. Barry '78 (2005)
Founder, Legal Services for Prisoners with Children
Introduced by: Lynn M. Paltrow, Founder and Executive Director of National Advocates for Pregnant Women (NAPAW)
Esther Chavez Cano (2004)
Founder & Director, Casa Amiga in Juarez, Mexico
Introduced by: Eve Ensler, Author of The Vagina Monologues
Constance L. Rice '84 (2004)
Co-Director, Adancement Project
Introduced by: Professor Anthony G. Amsterdam
Baroness Helena Kennedy (2003)
Introduced by: Michael Ratner
Vivian Stromberg (2001)
Executive Director, MADRE
Introduced by: Monica Aleman
Judge La Doris Hazzard Cordell (1999)
Superior Court of Santa Clara County, California
Introduction by: Jean E. Fairfax, Activist and Philanthropist
Judge Constance Baker Motley (1998)
Senior Judge in the Southern District of New York
Introduced by: Leroy D. Clark
Dr. Julianne Malveaux (1997)
Economist and Journalist
Introduced by: Marcia Ann Gillespie, Editor in Chief of Ms. Magazine
Professor Dessima Williams (1996)
Introduced by: Kimberle Crenshaw, Columbia University Law School
Gay McDougall (1995)
Executive Director, International Human Rights Law Group
Introduced by: Ruth Messinger, Manhattan Borough President
Bernardine Dohrn (1994)
Director, Children and Family Justice Center at Northwestern University School of Law
Introduced by: Haywood Burns
Antonia Hernandez (1993)
President, Mexican American Legal Defense Fund
Introduced by: Sally Hernandez-Piñero