Legal aid society of northeastern NY!
We are thrilled to bring you an intensive Anti-Racism + Race Equity Training at your organizational retreat on September 24-25, 2019.
Here you will find information about your facilitators and your homework to prepare for the training, as well as additional resources for you to continue deepening your understanding and commitment to anti-racism -- in the workplace, in legal services, and throughout your life.
DO your homework!
To make the most of our time together at the retreat, we need you to do some homework. We have selected the following readings, videos, and reflection exercises to help you prepare for the conversations and activities we will do together at the training.
We ask you to do all of the assignments below. We've offered suggested deadlines for doing them (for those who need some structure!) but you can really do them at your own pace, as long as you get them done before the retreat. Trust us, you'll be glad you did.
HOMEWORK SET #1: Structural Racism + Talking About Race
DUE BY MONDAY, SEPT 9
Watch "A Story of Access - Stanley Nelson's Film for Starbucks" [warning: contains depictions of police violence] (see below, 8 min)
Complete this anonymous + confidential reflection exercise
HOMEWORK SET #3: Growing From Ally to Anti-Racist Accomplice
DUE BY MONDAY, SEPT 23
Watch "Deconstructing White Privilege with Dr. Robin DiAngelo" (see below, 22 min)
Have questions or concerns about the homework?
HOMEWORK SET #2: The Urgency of Intersectionality
DUE BY MONDAY, SEPT 16
Watch "The Urgency of Intersectionality - Kimberlé Crenshaw - TED Talk" (see below, 19 min)
Watch "This is the Economy in Black & White" (see below, 2 min)
Read excerpt of "Race, Class, and Access to Civil Justice" by Sara Sternberg Greene [offering valuable narratives of people of color engaging (or not) with civil legal services and justice systems]
Complete this anonymous + confidential reflection exercise
OPTIONAL: Watch "On White Privilege - Tim Wise" [excerpt on structural racism benefiting from illusions of race and class divides] (see below, 9.5 min)
True to our firm’s mission to achieve workplace equity and inclusion, our team members are always people of color, people with disabilities, and/or LGBTQ+ people.
This particular facilitation team was hand-picked to make your training as incredible as possible.
[scroll for bios]
tanya douglas, EsQ.
Tanya Douglas (she/her/hers) is the Director of the Disability Advocacy Project (DAP) at Manhattan Legal Services (MLS) and coordinates the Veterans Justice Project at MLS which is a program of Legal Services NYC. Tanya is a graduate of Cornell University and Cornell Law School. Tanya is admitted to the Southern District of New York and the Eastern District of New York. Tanya has spent her entire 26-year legal career as a public interest attorney with Legal Services NYC. Tanya has been a DAP advocate for 20+ years. During her legal career, Tanya has represented clients primarily in Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and education cases. Tanya has represented hundreds of clients in their claims for SSI/SSDI benefits at the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) hearing and Appeals Council levels. Additionally, she has represented clients in their SSI/SSDI claims at the Federal Court level. She has handled a significant of SSI/SSDI benefit cases for children. She has offered trainings on a variety of substantive legal issues (SSI/SSDI and education) as well as conducted trainings for public interest managers.
Tanya has spent a significant amount of her legal career focused on diversity and cultural competency matters for legal services/legal aid programs. She is the first chair of the Legal Services NYC’s Diversity Committee. The Committee has focused on recruitment and retention issues, drafted an exit interview policy and offered trainings on cultural competency.
Tanya is currently a member of Legal Services NYC’s Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) committee. DEI committee has finalized the first DEI strategic plan for the entire Legal Services NYC staff. This plan includes DEI trainings for staff, DEI lenses for substantive work and recognizes the importance of self-care.
Tanya is the co-facilitator of the New York State Legal Services/Legal Aid Diversity Coalition whose mission is to increase diversity in the legal services/legal aid and increase cultural competency of legal services/legal aid staff. The coalition has offered trainings on cultural competency, diversity, language access issues at local and national conferences as well as provided professional development opportunities.
She was a member of the design team for Management Information Exchange (MIE). As a MIE trainer, Tanya has done trainings for managers on such topics as culturally competency and supervision across racial and gender differences, basic management tools, etc.
elizabeth nicolas, EsQ.
Elizabeth (Liz) Nicolas, Esq. (she/her/hers) is a black, Haitian-American, workers’ rights advocate. Liz’s 15+ years of professional experience navigating and challenging power structures within corporate and non-profit spaces has informed her commitment to collective, radical liberation. She has spent her career empowering individuals who identify as people of color, immigrants, LGBTQ, women, disabled and low-income. Liz helped to develop the Rochester Worker Center and has provided legal support to local community groups. In Liz’s work with organizations, she has boldly spoken out against white supremacy and hetero-patriarchy while advocating for the leadership of people of color, women and LGBTQ individuals. Liz has worked with the management and staff of multiple organizations to identify worker rights’ abuses and to improve working conditions.
She is currently a Worker Justice Staff Attorney at the Center for Popular Democracy. At CPD, Liz develops and implements policy initiatives focused on wage theft and forced arbitration with community-based organizations. She regularly presents at national convenings on worker justice issues and innovative economic policy solutions. Before joining CPD, Liz litigated wage theft, discrimination and harassment cases on behalf of low-wage workers at Empire Justice Center. Liz previously worked on complex commercial litigation in Philadelphia. She is admitted to the Western District of New York and the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
Liz is recently became a yoga instructor to expand her tools for addressing the psycho-somatic, social and historical impacts of institutional trauma suffered by historically marginalized people. Liz is a graduate of the Drexel University School of Law and the University of Pennsylvania. She is also a board member of the NYCLU and Seventh Judicial District Attorney Grievance Committee.
Milo Primeaux, EsQ.
Milo is a queer transgender person (he/him/his) and long-time LGBTQ+ rights advocate. In addition to running a solo civil rights practice in New York State focusing on LGBTQ+ discrimination, Milo is the founder and CEO of Just Roots Consulting, LLC, which helps organizations nationwide become industry leaders in equity and inclusion. Milo brings 15+ years of professional experience educating people about their legal rights, developing new leadership, and fostering critical awareness rooted in anti-oppression principles and cultural humility.
Previously, Milo led the LGBT Rights Project at Empire Justice Center in Rochester, NY, and served as an Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Legal Fellow at Whitman-Walker Health in Washington, DC. He has provided direct legal services to hundreds of low-income LGBTQ+ people, focusing especially on transgender name changes and LGBTQ-based discrimination in employment, education, healthcare, and public accommodations. He’s trained thousands of attorneys and judges to respectfully and competently serve LGBTQ+ people and has equipped LGBTQ+ communities nationwide to exercise their legal rights under state and federal law. He works closely with state administrative agencies, legislators, and policymakers to ensure that the law works for all LGBTQ+ New Yorkers.
Milo and his partner raise Icelandic sheep and chickens on their farm in Livingston County, NY, proudly utilize sustainable farming practices, and are passionate about helping people feel more connected to one another and with the earth on which we all tread. Milo currently serves by appointment on the Richard C. Failla LGBTQ Judicial Commission of the New York Courts and the New York State Bar Association’s LGBT Committee and chairs the Monroe County Bar Association’s LGBT Committee in Rochester. He is a graduate of the Ohio State University and the City University of New York (CUNY) School of Law.
Want to learn more and go deeper into what anti-racism looks like? Check these out.
History of Racism + Civil Rights in America
Stamped From the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, by Ibram X. Kendi (2016)
"Securing Equal Justice for All: A Brief History of Civil Legal Assistance in the United States," Houseman & Perle (2018) (PDF, 65 pages)
How to Be an Anti-Racist, by Ibram X. Kendi (2019)
"Racial Identity Caucusing: A Strategy for Building Anti-Racist Collectives" by Crossroads (PDF, 7 pages)
White Privilege + Fragility
"Flipping the Script: White Privilege and Community Building," Racial Equity Tools (PDF, 156 pages)
Seeing White Fragility (Video, 6.5 mins)
Anti-Oppression & Anti-Racism Resources for White Allies, the Pollination Project
Robin DiAngelo Discusses Excerpts from White Fragility (Video, 1.25 hr)
Developing a Positive White Identity - Racial Equity Tools (PDF, 9 pages)
"For Other White People Trying to be Allies to People of Color" by Kat Kline [listing dozens of amazing resources]
Equity + Inclusion in the Legal Profession
Contemplative / Mindful Lawyering
Leonard L. Riskin, “The Contemplative Lawyer: On the Potential Contributions of Mindfulness Meditation to Law Students, Lawyers, and Their Clients,” 7 Harv. Negotiation L. Rev. 1 (2002).
Thalia González, “Root to Rise: Mindful Lawyering for Social Justice,” 41 NYU Rev. L. & Soc. Change 91 (2017).