Happy Juneteenth from LS4BL!
June 19, 2021
Please watch as our Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director Alyssa Gordon answers the question of “What does Juneteenth mean to you?” Today is a day of joy, celebration, and unprecedented power. Happy Juneteenth!
A Million Prisms, One School (Pt. 7)
February 22, 2021
What does it mean to be an ally in the fight for racial justice? 2Ls Michelle Juma and Jacqueline Morales have some ideas. Solidarity, they stress, is both personal and social. Educate yourself. Challenge racial bias at home, at school, and in the workplace. Commit to racial justice for the long haul, not just when it’s trendy. And follow the lead of the Black community. They know the destination — allies can quicken the arrival. #amillionprisms
Unrig the Courts Campaign
October 14, 2020
Today is the last day of Senate hearings for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett. If she is confirmed to the Supreme Court, that means Donald Trump will have singlehandedly appointed 1/3 members of the ENTIRE Supreme Court—1/3 justices who share his cruel and backward values. With such an ultra-conservative makeup of the Court, much is at stake. If you care about access to healthcare, reproductive rights, Obamacare, the environment, policies of affirmative action, and so much more, take back #OurCourts by sharing this video and demanding that we #StopBarrett and #UnrigTheCourts!
A Million Prisms, One School (Pt. 6)
August 24, 2020
As another election season nears, change is in the air. Amidst calls for a reset — in criminal justice, education, and more — elected officials and candidates are reaching into the public square for a fresh slate of ideas. But contact between candidates and the public is no silver bullet. Our leaders must tread carefully, locking arms with ideas that meet the moment and dodging those that promise only cosmetic fixes. In this week’s edition of “A Million Prisms, One School,” 2Ls Chasmine Williams and Midushi Pandey offer thoughts on which ideas deserve political oxygen — and which ones might only deepen the pain for communities of color.
A Million Prisms, One School (Pt. 5)
August 10, 2020
UT Austin has seen a whirlpool of activism over the last few months. Though much of that activism channels the university’s vast resources to cure racial injustice, much more targets the school itself. UT, after all, is two-faced: both a treasure trove for bold solutions and an institution soaked in the racial mistakes of its past and present. Today, less than 5 percent of UT’s student body is black, a reality that has, among other things, led students to call for a sweeping makeover of the university’s darker visage. In this week’s edition of “A Million Prisms, One School,” rising 2Ls Lauren Thomas and Abigail Emery consider how UT policies, from faculty recruitment to curricular decisions, feed an environment of racial apathy that is in dire need of repair.
A Million Prisms, One School (Pt. 4)
July 24, 2020
Today’s groundswell of social activism has deep roots in our nation’s history — and reflects a continued desire to transform musty political promises into firm, actionable commitments. Along the way, countermovements invariably burst forth, sometimes drowning out speckles of light and sometimes succumbing to the tides of justice. Rising 2Ls Anthony Collier and Katy Yu recall their first encounters with social movements and offer thoughts on how they relate to the current moment.
LS4BL's Call to Action
July 16, 2020
Law Students for Black Lives' Call to Action in Response to State Bar of Texas President Larry McDougal's Comments Concerning Black Lives Matter.
Describe your image
African American Lawyers Section's Call to Action
July 12, 2020
African American Lawyers of the State Bar of Texas' Call to Action in Response to State Bar of Texas President Larry McDougal's Comments Concerning Black Lives Matter. African American Lawyers of the State Bar of Texas' Call to Action in Response to State Bar of Texas President Larry McDougal's Comments Concerning Black Lives Matter.
Describe your image
A Million Prisms, One School (Pt. 3)
July 9, 2020
As the nation looks to turn the corner in the fight for racial justice, law schools face a formidable task: training a generation of lawyers sensitive to the racial overtones of legal systems and ready to craft something better. And yet, law school curriculums continue to miss the mark. Introductory classes routinely sideline issues of racial and economic justice and soft-pedal the ways in which history has shaped modern legal practice. Professors often compound the problem, tip-toeing around glaring racial disparities and leaving students with a muddied picture of reality. In this week’s edition of “A Million Prisms, One School,” LS4BL co-founders Ayo Adaranijo and Sheela Ranganathan document shortcomings in their legal educations and consider what a better approach might look like.
In light of these shortcomings, LS4BL is petitioning UT Law to provide a comprehensive legal education that gives issues of racial justice their full due.
A Million Prisms, One School (Pt. 2)
July 2, 2020
The Black Lives Matter movement is not just about the criminal justice system. But that system is perhaps ground zero for the naked injustice that permeates legal structures far and wide. The culprits are sometimes imperceptible, as with facially neutral laws that breed staggering inequalities, and sometimes overt, as with a knee to a neck. In either case, however, today’s machines of justice are used as a cudgel against communities of color, unraveling promises of fair treatment and equal protection. In the second feature of our new video series — A Million Prisms, One School — 3L Kohl Vincent Anderson and 2L Kallen Dimitroff respond to the following questions: What does the criminal justice system do well? What does it do poorly?
A Million Prisms, One School (Pt. 1)
June 25, 2020
As civil unrest sweeps the nation, the Black Lives Matter movement has been put under a microscope. At its best, that microscope has revealed the movement’s promise and ambition — and sparked meaningful action in cities across the country. At its worst, it has invited critics to bungle BLM’s purpose, stoke controversy, and distort what Black Lives Matter stands for. Law students are uniquely positioned to offer clarifying thoughts.
In the first feature of our new video series “A Million Prisms, One School,” Alyssa Gordon and Channing Ruff address misconceptions about the BLM movement. Not only does this series seek to center Black voices, but it functions to poignantly highlight the stark contrast between the Black experience in America and the ally’s. Same school, different worlds. Stay tuned for more!
Missing Information in Ambler's Incident Report
June 10, 2020
These words do not appear in the death-in-custody incident report. Javier Ambler’s final pleas were ignored by Williamson County Sheriff’s deputies that night fifteen months ago. We will not ignore them now. Enough is enough.
#JavierAmbler was killed on 3/28/19 after being chased for twenty minutes for failing to dim his headlights. As WilCo deputies shouted at him to get on the floor, they tased him three times.
In between the stuns, he pleaded for his life: “I have congestive heart failure”, “I can’t”, “I’m not resisting”, “I can’t breathe”, “please”, “save me”.
That night was filmed for the A&E reality show Live PD. Deputy “JJ” Johnson, who pursued Javier, narrated his thought process throughout the chase. A&E, however, claims their footage was “destroyed” after the internal investigation concluded.
The internal report declared no deputy wrongdoing and the deputies have faced no disciplinary action. Investigations by prosecutors and the press were reportedly blocked due to a lack of cooperation and transparency from Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody’s office. Where are the tapes? Join us in demanding accountability.