FINAL CRS LOGO.jpg
 
CRT in Realtime: Breakout Workshop Sessions
 
Friday, March 8, 10:30 a.m. – 12pm
 
 
Location of Workshops:       Poverty – room #1327
                                                                        Incarceration – room #2357
                                                                        Juvenile Justice/Youth Issues – room #2467
                                                                        Immigration – room #2448
                                                                        Global/Arab Spring – room #3473
 
 
These interactive breakout workshops will be opportunities to dive more deeply into specific substance areas, providing examples of how CRT directly intervenes in contemporary, pressing issues of racial justice. The purpose of these sessions is threefold: first, to learn from alums and practitioners  about their current on the ground advocacy work; second, to highlight both successful interventions advocates have employed in their work as well as the tensions and challenges they face; and finally, to articulate and reflect on how CRT plays a role in their day-to-day advocacy.
 
We will collectively discuss the effectiveness of a CRT framework in five distinct areas:  poverty, incarceration, juvenile justice/youth issues, immigration, global perspectives/Arab Spring.  These workshops are concurrent.
 
Attendees will be invited to participate in the conversation that we hope will educate and inspire us all!
 

Poverty and Colorblindness in a Post-New Deal Era | Room #1327

 
This workshop will examine America’s social safety net, along with economic justice and current anti-poverty movements. From the Great Society’s New Deal programs to current government fiscal policy choices, a number of racial compromises have further entrenched racialized poverty. Contemporary  discourses about poverty have reinforced these inequalities through unrealizable demands for fiscal solvency and government austerity measures, without adequate attention to structural critiques of racial inequality.   The workshop will engage current practitioners as they discuss the vital work that they do, share innovative strategies, unique challenges, and reflect on the role of Critical Race Theory. Other topics of discussion include current policy and budget debates, the framework of “deserving” vs. “undeserving” poor, colorblindness in poverty discourses, the state of legal services, and the lack of a domestic jobs policy. This workshop will follow a roundtable discussion format with ample opportunity to engage the audience.
 
 
Facilitator:  Jenny Chung Mejia, Attorney and Program Manager, Insight Center for Community Economic Development; UCLA Law ‘07  
 
Discussants:
Gary L. Blasi, Professor of Law, UCLA School of Law
Elizabeth Kugler, Staff Attorney, Inner City Law Center; UCLA Law ‘10
Katherine Ojeda Stewart, Staff Attorney, Harriet Buhai Center; UCLA Law ‘10
Jason Wu, Attorney, Legal Aid Society of New York; UCLA Law ‘10
Victor Narro, Project Director, UCLA Labor Center
Mona Tawatao, Senior Litigator, Western Center on Law and Poverty
 

Incarceration | Room #2357

 
This workshop will explore the theoretical framework of Critical Race Theory and its overlap with prison abolition. The prison abolition movement is centered around the idea that the prison system was built to contain and control groups of people, particularly people of color; thus the movement believes the solution is to eliminate society's reliance on prisons and seek community-informed alternatives. Panelists will speak to the lenses of CRT and prison abolition and how CRT intersects with the principles of prison abolition. Can a CRT analysis of the racist underpinnings of the prison system lend itself to furthering the prison abolition movement? What are the fundamental differences between a reformist approach and one of transformation? And how are both CRT and prison abolition applied in practice when advocating and organizing against the criminal injustice system?
 
 
Facilitator:  Priscilla Ocen, Associate Professor of Law, Loyola Law School; UCLA Law ‘07
 
Discussants:
Sora Han, Assistant Professor of Criminology, Law and Society, University of California, Irvine; UCLA Law ‘04
Joshua Kim, Staff Attorney, A New Way of Life Reentry Project; UCLA Law ‘08
Andrea Ritchie, Police Misconduct Attorney; Coordinator, Streetwise and Safe
 

Juvenile Justice/Youth Issues: Neglect, Abandonment, and Exploitation:

Youth of Color in a Legal Age of Colorblindness | Room #2467

 
This workshop will discuss the current state of the juvenile justice and children welfare systems and our nation’s failure to address the needs of children, youth, their families and their guardians.  Most contemporary discussions about abuse, neglect and juvenile crime fail to address the historical entrenchment of racialized poverty and the cycle of neglect and abuse from a structural deficit perspective.  In this "colorblind" era, race continues to serve as a form of social control.  The workshop will  engage current practitioners as they discuss the vital work that they do, share innovative strategies about what they see working, identify unique challenges they face, and reflect on the role of Critical Race Theory.  Other topics of discussion include current policy and budget debates about “deserving” vs. “undeserving” youth, youth empowerment models, the role of education, restorative justice, crime prevention and reduction efforts, work on Native lands to create a juvenile justice system and the lack of a coherent domestic policy agenda that includes the needs of youth.  This workshop will follow a roundtable discussion format with engagement from the audience.  
 
 
Facilitator:  Jyoti Nanda, CRS Faculty Co-Director & Lecturer in Law, UCLA School of Law
 
Discussants:
Devon Rios, Equal Justice Works Fellow and Attorney, Learning Rights Law Center; UCLA Law ‘09
Francis Guzman, Soros Justice Fellow, National Center for Youth Law; UCLA ‘12
Addie C. Rolnick, Associate Professor, William S. Boyd School of Law, University of Nevada, Las Vegas; UCLA Law ‘05
Parissh Knox, Public Law Attorney, Board Member, California Youth Connection & Lecturer, UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs; UCLA Law ‘06
  
 

Immigration | Room #2448

 
A central focus of Critical Race Theory has been to analyze the potential and limitations of law, legal institutions and rights discourse for social justice and emancipatory movements. This workshop will look into what the theoretical insights of CRT have to offer our understanding of some of the central questions for the immigrants’ rights movement. These include issues concerning the intersection of the criminal justice and immigration systems, the efficacy of formal legal protections for immigrant workers, difficulties and benefits of impact litigation to address attacks on immigrant communities, and the socio-political conditions necessary to enable progressive legal change.
 
 
Facilitator:  Nicolás Espíritu, National Staff Attorney, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund; UCLA Law ‘04
 
Discussants:
Julia Vázquez, Supervising Attorney and Adjunct Associate Professor, Southwestern Law School’s Immigration Law Clinic; UCLA Law ‘10
Neidi Dominguez, Strategic Campaign Coordinator, CLEAN Carwash Campaign
Stephen Lee, Assistant Professor, UCI School of Law
 
 

Arab Spring | Room #3473

 
The Arab Uprisings marked an unprecedented sweep of indigenous movements that commenced in Tunisia in 2010 and continue today in a host of nations in the Arab World.  The Uprisings continued into Egypt, Libya, Bahrain, Yemen and Syria, and although not a monolith, symbolized a collective spirit in the Arab World that called for a break from entrenched autocratic governance and self-determination.    The Uprisings' impact reverberated beyond the borders of individual states and the Arab World at large.  The Uprisings galvanized Arab-American activism and involvement and influenced modes of domestic identity and identification.  Second, the Uprisings countered the popular representations, in media and politics, that Arabs and Muslims were culturally tied to autocracy.  Third, the Uprisings impacted US foreign policy and immigration law.  
This workshop will frame how the Uprisings impacted and continue to impact Arab and Arab-American identity.  The objectives are to engage the Uprisings from a domestic prism, and bring together alumni, students, and area specialists to interrogate how the regional phenomena emanating from the Uprisings conflict and converge with Arab-American interests, and shape and reshape conceptions of Arab-American identity.
 
 
Facilitator: Khaled Beydoun, CRS Law Teaching Fellow, UCLA School of Law; UCLA Law '04
 
Discussants:                                 
Abed A. Ayoub, Director, Legal and Policy Affairs, American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee
Al-Rumaihi, Ahmed, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of the State of Qatar