Coalition on Racial & Ethnic Justice Projects

Coalition on Racial & Ethnic Justice Projects

 Is Jena the Tip of the Iceberg

The Coalition on Racial & Ethnic Justice in co-sponsorship with ABA Section of Criminal Justice, ABA Council on Legal Education Opportunity, ABA Section of Dispute Resolution, ABA Section of Individual Rights & Responsibilities and State and Local Government, developed this CLE program for the 2008 ABA Midyear Meeting held in Los Angeles, CA.

A dynamic group of speakers discussed crucial cutting-edge issues that are raised by the Jena 6 case e.g. Disparities in the Juvenile Justice System, Overrepresentation of Juveniles of Color in the System, Who’s Responsible & Accountable?, What’s the Role of the Media?

SPEAKERS: Honorable Donald W. Washington, U.S. Attorney, Lafayette, LA: Vanita Banks, President, National Bar Association, Northbrook, IL; Joycelyn Crumpton, CalSWEC Project Coordinator, UCLA Department of Social Welfare, Los Angeles, CA; Dr. Joe Marshall, Omega Boys Club/Street Soldier, San Francisco, CA; Honorable David Perkins, Wayne County Circuit Court, Detroit, MI: Winston A. Peters, Assistant Public Defender, Office of Los Angeles County Public Defender, Los Angeles, CA: Honorable Allen J. Webster, Jr., Los Angeles County Superior Court, Compton, CA; Mia F. Yamamoto, Law Offices of Mia Yamamoto, Los Angeles, CA.

  Katrina Project

The Coalition brought together approximately 200 judges, lawyers and their clients, health care workers, social workers, doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists, high school, college and law students, community groups, religious organizations, public and private leaders, survivors, responders and others who had devoted time to assisting victims of Katrina.

The goal of the project was to educate, outreach and coordinate resources and services across the country to assist those survivors that had experienced disparate treatment in the midst and aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

There are three main achievements of the Katrina Project:

  • Educational Programs:
    • ABA MidYear Meeting in Chicago, 2006 titled “ Equity for Racial & Ethic Survivors of Katrina;”
    • Webcast Program “ Hurricane Relief Seminar,” March, 2006 in Chicago. This program was jointly sponsored with the National Bar Association; and
    • CLEO Katrina Symposium” June, 2006 in Detroit. Download here .
  • Third National Conference on November 3-5, 2006 in New Orleans, LA titled “ Making the Invisible Visible: A Dialogue About Lessons Learned in the Aftermath of Katrina.”
  • Report with Recommendations: “ Making the Invisible Visible: A New Approach to Disaster Planning and Response . ” The report provides valuable information dealing with issues from communications, language, resource allocation and social justice strategies in the midst and aftermath of catastrophes.

  Election Protection

The Coalition developed a partnership with the National Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights under the Law and several ABA Sections and Divisions. The goal was to remove barriers to the electoral process for thousands of citizens of color who participated in the 2004 election, and help voters of color resolve problems that could have prevented them from voting.


Through this joint collaboration, we were able to identify volunteer lawyers and students; develop education materials; plan CLE training programs for volunteers; and assist in publicizing programs.

As we are headed into the 2008 election, the Election Protection Project is a compelling opportunity for individuals that are interested in playing an important role in shaping the future of voting rights and protecting the integrity of the electoral process.

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