To Create the World Anew: Movement Lawyering at the Heart of Race and Law (2020)

Dear all,

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will no longer be having our symposium on March 28, 2020. 

We are hoping to postpone the symposium to the Fall 2020 semester, contingent on world events. Please keep checking for updates.

We were truly proud to have assembled a remarkable lineup of speakers, almost all of whom were women of color. We were excited to host a conversation with you all about the important issues too often overlooked right here in our Michigan community. Regardless of what happens on a global scale—much of it amplifying the lines of inequity already in place—we hope to continue working with you all in solidarity to create a more just world in whatever ways our capacity allows. 

With warmest regards,

Jasmine Wang
Symposium Editor 

The Michigan Journal of Race & Law welcomes you to our 25th year anniversary symposium, “To Create the World Anew: Movement Lawyering at the Heart of Race & Law.”

Our symposium seeks to recognize the Journal’s contribution to civil rights scholarship for the last 25 years, while also questioning the greater role of lawyers and the law in social movements. We are examining case studies from Michigan that have required lawyers and non-lawyers to work in unison to bring greater change. Beginning with the fight for the right to water across Michigan, to the response to the family separation crisis, and the legislative and advocacy efforts to end the school to prison pipeline—we believe there are important lessons to be learned right here in our own community. We look forward to you joining us!

Saturday, March 28th, 2020

University of Michigan Law School, Jeffries Hall
701 S State St, Ann Arbor, MI 48109

***Free and open to the public.***
***Scroll down for Agenda and Registration Form.***

“Our challenge, as we enter the third millennium, is to deepen the commonalities and the bonds between these tens of millions, while at the same time continuing to address the issues within our local communities by two-sided struggles that not only say ‘No’ to the existing power structure but also empower our constituencies to embrace the power within each of us to create the world anew.”

– Grace Lee Boggs, “These Are the Times to Grow Our Souls”



Friday, March 27, 2020

11:50 – 1:00 Purvi Shah – Movement Law Lab
Lunch Talk
2:30 – 4:30 Celebrating Community and Confronting Oppression:
InterPlay & Theatre of the Oppressed
Lawyers Club Lounge – Facilitated by Kara Crutcher
5:00 – 7:00 Happy Hour (Location TBD)

Saturday, March 28, 2020

9:00 – 9:30 Breakfast & Registration 
9:30 – 9:45 Introduction & Indigenous Land Acknowledgement 
10:00 – 11:15

Panel 1: Fight for the Right to Water


  1. Nayyirah Shariff – Director, Flint Rising
  2. Whitney Gravelle – Native water rights attorney
  3. Alice Jennings – Civil rights attorney, Detroit water shut-offs litigation
  4. Moderator: Desiree Ferguson – Legal Director, Detroit Justice Center
11:30 – 12:45

Panel 2: Respond to Family Separation


  1. Rebeca Ontiveros-Chavez – Staff Attorney, Michigan Immigrant Rights Center
  2. Camila Trefftz – The Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights
  3. Grace Argo – PhD Candidate, University of Michigan
  4. Deirdre Roney
1:00 – 1:30 Lunch
1:45 – 2:45 Coffee Chat with Prof. Martha Jones: A History of Academia and Public Interest Lawyering
Moderator: Prof. Emily Prifogle 
3:00 – 4:15

Panel 3: Disrupt the School-to-Prison Pipeline


  1. Danielle Flint – Assistant Director, Student Advocacy Center 
  2. Kristin Totten – Education Attorney, ACLU of Michigan 
  3. Amanda Rosman – Co-Founder & Executive Director, The Boggs School 
  4. Dr. Camille Wilson – University of Michigan School of Education
4:30 – 5:30 

Alumni Panel: Toward a New Civil Rights Vision


  1. Prof. Daniela Tagtachian – University of Miami School of Law
  2. Prof. Emily Houh – University of Cincinnati College of Law
  3. The Honorable Linda Colfax – Superior Court of San Francisco County
  4. Prof. Priya Baskaran – American University Washington College of Law
5:45 – 6:15 Closing: Wenona Singel – Deputy Legal Counsel to the Governor of Michigan
7:00 – 9:00 Speaker/Alumni Dinner