Pride Law Fund resolutely condemns the fascist and racist mob in Charlottesville, VA this weekend that tragically and predictably resulted in violence and murder. As LGBTQ people, refugees, immigrants, Jews, and people of color, we know that we are all under attack from emboldened Nazis and their sympathizers. We join in the mourning for Heather Heyer and demand that the President unequivocally denounce white supremacists.
Please save the date for the Pride Law Fund 2018 Annual Bay Cruise, which will be on the second Saturday of June, 6/9/2018. Enjoy wine, hors d'oeuvres, and fantastic views aboard FDR’s presidential yacht, the U.S.S. Potomac--also known as the “Floating White House.”
All proceeds benefit Pride Law Fund’s year-long and summer fellowships for new lawyers and law students focusing on LGBT civil rights advocacy.
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Pride Law Fund is proud to announce that it has selected Jessie Workman as the 2017-2018 recipient of the Tom Steel Fellowship. Jessie is sponsored by Youth Represent in New York. If you're interested in meeting her in person, she'll be at our Annual Cruise.
Jessie Workman started at Youth Represent as a legal intern, and Kyle Jewell fellow, in the summer of 2015 and joined the organization as a Staff Attorney in 2016. The Tom Steel Fellowship will support Jessie in the Pathways Project which will address the disproportionate criminalization of LGBTQ and gender nonconforming youth in New York City by providing criminal representation and re-entry legal services, engaging in policy advocacy, and conducting youth-led research about their understudied re-entry needs. Pathways will employ several strategies to increase access to legal services for LGBT/GNC youth, including LGBT/GNC-specific "know your rights" education, one-on-one legal needs assessments, and legal counsel on reentry matters, such as being denied a job because of a criminal history or being evicted because of an arrest.
Though Pathways Jessie will represent youth on a variety of criminal and re-entry matters, there are two areas of unique need that the Pathways Project will address. First, Pathways will focus on reducing the collateral consequences related to sex work by sealing prostitution-related offenses through the use of CPL 440.10 motions, an under utilized provision of the criminal procedure law, and one of the very limited ways a criminal conviction can be sealed in New York. Second, while increasing legal services exist for LGBTQ people who are survivors of violence, few resources exist for LGBTQ youth who are incorrectly targeted as aggressors in situations involving family and intimate partner violence.
Jessie recently picked up a case representing a 16-year-old LGBTQ identified gender nonconforming high school student charged with the misdemeanor of "forcible touching" stemming from a situation in which she was being bullied by a group of young men as she was leaving science class. The group accused her of touching a female student which lead to this misdemeanor charge. The charge of forcible touching carries extreme stigma and is an offense that requires registration as a sexual offender in New York State. Though New York has recently passed Raise the Age legislation, the changes will not be enacted in full for several years, and in the meantime 16-year-olds are still charged in adult criminal court. This youth has no prior involvement with the criminal justice system, and has been experiencing homophobic bullying for years.
Lisa Cisneros directs California Rural Legal Assistance’s LGBT Program, dedicated to legal advocacy on behalf of rural, low-income lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities in California. Lisa helped launch the program in 2007 with support from Pride Law Fund's Tom Steel Fellowship. CRLA and the National Center for Lesbian Rights both co-sponsored the fellowship to provide direct legal assistance to low-income LGBT people in rural California. Over time the program expanded to train legal services providers nationwide, and work in collaboration with rural community groups, as well as state and national organizations to improve conditions for LGBT people outside of major metropolitan areas. Lisa directed the program from 2007 to 2010, and returned to the program in late 2014. Her work has been covered by National Public Radio and NBCout, and featured at a recent White House convening on rural LGBT issues. Lisa’s professional experience also includes a federal judicial clerkship and complex civil litigation at a nationally recognized plaintiffs’ firm. Currently her advocacy focuses on employment discrimination, school climate reform and immigration relief for LGBT individuals and their families, as well as leadership development. In 2015 and 2016 Lisa was selected to Super Lawyers’ Rising Stars list. She currently serves as the Co-Chair of the Board of Directors for the National Center for Lesbian Rights.
Current Pride Law Fund Tom Steel Fellow Ghirlandi Guidetti is fighting to improve conditions for LGBTQ foster youth in Illinois. Recently, Windy City Times published a story on Ghirlandi's work with the ACLU of Illinois. http://www.windycitymediagroup.com/m/APPredirect.php?AID=58633. You can read more about the specifics of his advocacy on the ACLU website. http://www.aclu-il.org/aclu-working-to-ensure-lgbtq-youth-in-dcfs-custody-receive-affirming-care/
Pride Law Fund is proud to announce that it has selected Ghirlandi Guidetti as the 2016-2017 recipient of the Tom Steel Fellowship. Ghirlandi is sponsored by the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois.
Ghirlandi will represent and advocate for LGBTQ children in the custody of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). His project will provide advocacy on behalf of the LGBTQ youth who are overrepresented in the child welfare system. Ghirlandi is well-poised to do this work because ACLU of Illinois has a long-standing consent decree with DCFS to provide civil rights protections for youth in foster care. We are thrilled to support Ghirlandi's ground-breaking work.
The 2017 Tom Steel Fellowship application is now open! Deadline to apply: January 13, 2017.
The 2016 PLF Summer Fellowship Application cycle is now open!
As has become a yearly tradition, Pride Law Fund volunteers will be staffing the gates at San Francisco Pride. Stop by to say hi! Have a Happy Pride!
“I am very proud to receive the Trailblazer Award from Pride Law Fund,” Judge Morgan said. “PLF funds the next generation of LGBT leaders, and I am pleased to support their important work. They are carrying forth Tom Steel’s legacy in a powerful way.”
Read the full joint press release at: http://transgenderlawcenter.org/archives/11070
Pride Law Fund volunteers will be staffing the gates at San Francisco Pride to help ensure a safe, fun day at the annual San Francisco Pride Parade! Come say hi!