Chuck Elsesser, pictured at right, (the author of this piece), long time Florida Housing Coalition Board member, together with colleagues, Alana Greer and Meena Jagannath, opened a new public interest law firm in July, the Community Justice Project Inc. (CJP) in Miami.
Lawyers and activists from across the country are convening in Harlem from Friday for a conference aimed at strengthening the legal strategy of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Three women — Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi — founded the Black Lives Matter project in 2013 following the acquittal of George Zimmerman, who shot and killed Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teenager, in 2012. The movement began as a online campaign to raise awareness and organize responses to what it said was racial profiling and police brutality but soon grew into an influential coalition of activists, rallying around the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter. Now with Black Lives Matter chapters popping up across the nation, advocates are seeking to “build a stronger, more cohesive legal arm” of the young but growing movement.
“One of the aims is to unify efforts across the country. Usually, there’s a last minute scramble to formulate a response and identify lawyers immediately after a tragedy,” Carl Williams, a conference organizer and racial justice attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts, told Al Jazeera.
August 4, 2015
WASHINGTON (NNPA) — The United Nations Human Rights Committee has given the U.S. a series of failing grades on human rights, including failing to meet international human rights standards on gun violence; the uneven implementation of controversial Stand Your Ground laws; violating personal privacy; and doing a poor job of caring for victims of gun violence.
“The human rights community also pays attention to disparate effects of these laws,” said Meena Jagannath, who testified in Geneva and is the co-founder of the Florida-based Community Justice Project, Inc.
“In our reports, we tried to highlight that there are strong interest groups that have been behind the proliferation of these laws. We’ve also strongly emphasized that SYG laws disproportionately impact Black and Brown communities because of inherent racism in the U.S. justice system, and because they allow for people to use deadly force based on their subjective fears.”
Alana Greer and Meena Jagannath Win Coveted Echoing Green Fellowship
Community Justice Project, Inc. provides legal support for the Movement in Florida and beyond
MIAMI – Global nonprofit Echoing Green today announced that Alana Greer and Meena Jagannath have been awarded a highly competitive and coveted Fellowship to help launch Community Justice Project, Inc., a racial justice and human rights organization providing legal support to grassroots organizations. The Black Male Achievement Fellowship will provide seed funding, mentoring and leadership opportunities as the project launches on July 1. The Harvard Public Service Venture Fund is also a founding investor in the organization.
CJP Attorney Meena Jagannath at Harvard Law School Human Rights Program Panel, April 2015
Three Miami public interest lawyers received a grant from a Harvard Law School fund to open the Community Justice Project, focused on working with South Florida community organizations on racial, poverty and human rights issues.
The Community Justice Project, already in the works, will officially open its doors July 1 at space leased in downtown Miami from Florida Legal Services. Its being launched by Alana Greer, Meena Jagannath and Charles Elsesser, all currently lawyers at Florida Legal Services.
Two recent Harvard Law School graduates, Shannon Erwin ’10 and Alana Greer ’11, have been selected as recipients of grants from the Public Service Venture Fund, a unique program that awards up to $1 million each year to help graduating Harvard Law students and recent graduates obtain their ideal jobs in public service.
Former FLS attorney Purvi Shah on MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry discussing Ferguson, MO and how to turn a moment into a movement
The National Low Income Housing Coalition announced the 2014 honorees of our Annual Housing Leadership Awards. Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy will receive the Edward W. Brooke III Housing Leadership Award. Attorney Charles Elsesser of the Community Justice Project Florida Legal Services will receive the Cushing N. Dolbeare Lifetime Service Award.
Joseph Phelan of Organizing Upgrade sat down with Purvi Shah and Chuck Elsesser of the Community Justice Project based at Florida Legal Services in Miami in early April to discuss the role of lawyers in grassroots organizing, social movements, and building another world.
South Florida Jobs with Justice and Mobile Home Council presented Chuck Elsesser and Jose Rodriguez with plaques in recognition of their immense work and support of the South Florida Mobile Home Council. They were presented with the awards in December of 2009, for their work throughout the year.
The National Legal Aid and Defender Association presented the 2008 Kutak-Dodds Civil Prize to Community Justice Project attorney Charles Elsesser.