CRS Inaugural Alumni Celebration & Fundraising Dinner
As those who have helped build the home we call CRS, we hope you will join us for our first annual Alumni Celebration & Fundraising Dinner on Friday March 8th at 6pm in Covel Commons on the UCLA Campus. (To get a sense of where Covel is located in relation to the UCLA School of Law, please see the following map.)
Reconnect with former classmates, mingle with friends and colleagues, and enjoy good food, drinks, and music as we come together to celebrate ten years of the Critical Race Studies Program and the contributions of its alumni to the legal profession and beyond – all while helping us raise funds to launch the Derrick Bell Critical Race Studies Scholarship which will enable CRS to train the next generation of racial justice advocates and scholars.
At this year’s dinner we are particularly thrilled to honor two individuals who have been integral to the success of the CRS program: Alumni of the Year, Saul Sarabia, and our Community Partner, Susan Burton.
Alumni of the Year Award
Saúl Sarabia, Founder and Principal, Solidarity~Solidaridad Consulting; Program Director, Critical Race Studies 2005-2011; UCLA Law ‘96
Saúl Sarabia (’96) served as the first Administrative Director of the Critical Race Studies Program from 2005 -2011. He coordinated the program’s public symposia, launching the annual Critical Race Studies Symposium, and taught Critical Race Theory and Latinas/os and the Law. He recruited and mentored CRS students and structured learning opportunities that trained future advocates while supporting civil rights lawyers and social movements. One of his priorities was for CRS to apply its insights at the community level and to deepen the Law School’s fulfillment of its public mission. He coordinated law students’ volunteer efforts and CRS’ public programs on the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina. He partnered CRS with a community-based organization in Watts, leading to a monthly re-entry legal clinic run by CRS students and alumni. He is the founder and principal at Solidarity~Solidaridad Consulting, where he works with community leaders to shape public policy and reform the legal system. His vision and leadership has helped shape CRS into the program it is today.
Community Partner Award
A New Way of Life of Life Re-Entry Clinic
In 2006, Susan Burton, Saúl Sarabia, and students in the UCLA School of Law Critical Race Studies Program partnered to launch the first Re-Entry Legal Clinic in Southern California. This student-run clinic has trained over one hundred law students to expunge misdemeanor and felony convictions, assist in the application for certificates of rehabilitation, challenge denials of occupational licenses, and identify potential claims of employment discrimination. The clinic also endeavors to engage law students in A New Way of Life's community organizing initiatives to bring about meaningful structural change for people with conviction histories. Nationwide, very few agencies and attorneys take this approach. To date, the clinic has served nearly 1,400 clients. The clinic’s success has been remarkable, allowing over a thousand clients – and in turn their families – to have a better chance to secure employment, housing, and healthcare. In 2013, the Re-Entry Clinic is proud to be expanding geographically, assisting clients in Long Beach as well as in Watts.
Susan Burton founded A New Way of Life Re-Entry Project in 1998 after spending almost 20 years in and out of the criminal justice system. Since then, she has dedicated her life to helping other women break the cycle of incarceration, homelessness, addiction and despair.
Susan has earned numerous awards and honors and is widely recognized as a leader in the women’s re-entry movement. She is a past Soros Justice Fellow, a former Women’s Policy Institute Fellow, and former Community Fellow under the California Wellness Foundation’s Violence Prevention Initiative. She was previously a member of the state’s Little Hoover Commission and the Gender Responsive Strategies Task Force.
Susan is also a co-founder of All of Us or None (AOUON) and co-founder & national chair of the Formerly Incarcerated and Convicted People’s Movement (FICPM), both national grassroots civil rights movements comprised of formerly incarcerated individuals, their families and community allies.
For her work, she was named a CNN Top Ten Hero for 2010. She was also awarded the prestigious Citizen Activist Award from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. In recognition of her insight and leadership, she was appointed by Los Angeles County Supervisor, Mark Ridley Thomas, to be a member of the Los Angeles County Sybil Brand Commission for Institutional Inspections. In this role she is able to inspect Los Angeles County correctional facilities and advocate for the health and well-being of people housed in those facilities.
Most recently, Susan was named a 2012 recipient of the Encore Purpose Prize, a national honor given annually to five American social innovators for their contributions to society through their encore careers.
Joshua E. Kim has been a staff attorney at A New Way of Life Re-Entry Project since he graduated from the UCLA School of Law in 2008 with concentration in Critical Race Studies. He attended Deep Springs College prior to obtaining a BA in Rhetoric from the University of California, Berkeley in 2001. During his last year in law school, Joshua co-founded UCLAW-A New Way of Life Re-Entry Legal Clinic. He has also been an active member of All of Us or None, a national group organized by people with conviction history, and helped lead its multi-year efforts to "ban the box" in Los Angeles since 2007.
Joshua has been involved in various efforts to lower re-entry barriers for people with criminal histories through civil litigation, including a class action against the Los Angeles Superior Court to stop the court’s practice of releasing sealed criminal records to the public (Doe v. Los Angeles Superior Court, Case No. BC474207 (Los Angeles Superior Court, filed Nov. 23, 2010)); an appeal to clarify the eligibility requirements of people to dismiss convictions pursuant to California Penal Code § 1203.4 (People v. Parker, App. Ct. No. B243010 (2nd App. Dist, filed Oct. 23, 2012)); a writ of mandate to change the policy and practice regarding inmate voting and registration in Riverside County jails (All of Us or None v. Sheriff Sniff, Case No. RIC1214296 (Riverside Superior Court, filed Sept. 2012)); and a number of nationwide class actions based on consumer protection statutes such as Regalado v. Ryder, CV12-5737 (C.D.CA, filed Jul. 2, 2012) and Roe v. Intellicorp, 12-CV-02288-JG (N.D.Ohio, transferred Sept. 11, 2012).
It’s unlikely that many people are radicalized by law school, but that’s the path that CT Turney followed after arriving at UCLA Law and joining the CRS program. For the first time being taught a way to voice opposition to injustices ze had long seen but could not explain, CT began volunteering at the Re-Entry Legal Clinic as a 1L and continued throughout law school. Ze completed an externship and the New Grad Opportunity Program at A New Way of Life, and officially came on staff in December 2011, being given the reins as supervising attorney of the clinic.
Beyond the clinic, CT’s work at A New Way of Life focuses on clean slate remedies, occupational licensing, and leveraging the community connection that ANWOL gains from the clinic to target particular areas of need for people with conviction histories. Ze is also becoming more involved in legislative and political efforts to reduce the burdens placed on people with conviction histories.
In addition to the Critical Race Studies program, CT graduated from UCLA Law in 2011 with a specialization in Public Interest Law & Policy. While at UCLA, ze served on the boards of the UCLA Law Review and the Journal of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Law, and published a student comment on the need for increased advocacy for LGBTQ immigrant detainees.
Prior to coming to Los Angeles, CT received hir B.A. in Communications from Rutgers University, and worked for eight years in software development in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Ze still bleeds Black and Gold.
The Dinner will also feature a comedic performance by MC, political satirist and community activist W. Kamau Bell
Socio-political comedian, community activist, and latenight TV host W. Kamau Bell is taking the comedy world by storm. His weekly half-hour FX series, Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell, premiered to critical acclaim with the New York Times calling Kamau “the most promising new talent in political comedy in many years.” Salon.com listed Kamau on their “Sexiest Men of 2012” list, calling the show “surreptitiously revolutionary in its effortless diversity and humanism,” and the San Francisco Chronicle raves, “it makes The Daily Show seem like something your dad watches…FX should consider giving Bell a nightly slot.” The show is executive produced by Chris Rock, who became a fan after seeing a performance of Kamau’s one man show, “The W. Kamau Bell Curve: Ending Racism in About An Hour,” which received rave reviews from audiences, critics, and industry insiders. Kamau is a founding member of the stand-up comedy collective “Laughter Against the Machine,” which toured some of the most politically charged states in the country in 2011 shooting a documentary that explores what role coedy plays in the revolution. In addition to visiting seven of the Occupy Wall Street encampments, they crossed the border in Arizona with immigration rights groups Culturestrike and Puente, marched with striking hotel workers in Chicago, touched the levee in the lower 9th ward in New Orleans, and hung out with street artists against oil pipelines in DC. In 2012, portions of the documentary were featured at The Netroots Nation Rally and The Take Back The American Dream Conference.
Praised by Punchline Magazine as “one of our nation’s most adept racial commentators with a blistering wit,” Kamau was voted San Francisco’s best comedian by the SF Weekly, the SF Bay Guardian and 7X7 Magazine. Robin Williams calls Kamau “ferociously funny,” and Vernon Reid of the band Living Colour offers “W. Kamau Bell is in the vanguard of a new era of American comedy for an unsettling, troubling, and strangely hopeful time. Firmly in the fearless tradition of Mort Sahl, Lenny Bruce, Richard Pryor, and Chris Rock. Comedy as common sense purged of the absurd hypocrisy that is Our America.” The SF Weekly called Kamau “smart, sytlish, and very much in the mold of politically outspoken comedians like Dave Chappelle.”
We look forward to your joining us on March 8th
For questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (310) 206-8178