PILF & ANTI-RACISM
The Public Interest Law Foundation affirms that Black Lives Matter and asserts our commitment to anti-racist work. Our goal is for PILF to be an anti-racist organization. Pronouncements and words alone will not operationalize this commitment. As students, we seek to understand the structural inequities and disadvantages that the United States legal system imposes on people of color. As legal practitioners, we seek to help reconfigure them. Commitment to addressing social justice issues is a foundational element of public interest work, especially understanding how racial and economic oppression play roles in all forms of injustice.
In addition to encouraging our own board members to engage in anti-racist learning, advocacy, and allyship on an individual level, the Public Interest Law Foundation commits to the following:
Establishing 10 Racial Justice PILF Stipends, which will provide an additional $1,000 to 10 PILF summer stipend recipients who are employed by a legal organization or working on projects that explicitly promote racial justice;
Designating a substantial portion of our organization budget to co-sponsoring events put on by LAHANAS groups and other campus events that center racial justice;
Supporting – both financially and logistically – LSA’s Diversity & Inclusion Book Club and other institutional initiatives related to DEI and anti-racism;
Incorporating racial justice and anti-racist volunteer and educational opportunities into our existing programming;
Spearheading these efforts through the PILF DEI Working Group with membership and meetings open to all BC Law students. Please see this link for more information.
Prioritize information-sharing within the organization and with our members about petitions, protests, pro bono opportunities, impending state and federal legislation, and other community movements related to anti-racism efforts, as well as promote voting.
Supporting the Black Law Students Association in holding the administration accountable to all five elements of the Call to Action published by the organization in August 2020. The school’s commitment to drastic institutional change is both urgent and essential.
Committing to the process of transitioning our summer stipends application to one that prioritizes financial need.
We recognize that this list of action steps is insufficient to address the systemic racism that is deeply ingrained at BC Law and supports our current legal system in profound and serious ways. Furthermore, the public interest field has historically been dominated by white practitioners, and continues to be a career path that is not financially possible for all students. However, we hope to have on-going dialogue with the BC Law community on how PILF can address these issues.
It is important to also acknowledge that there are numerous pressing issues in our society – many of which are intersectional – and yet this particular time calls us to specifically address anti-Black racism and white supremacy.
We are grateful for key campus partners who have shared feedback on these initial steps, and seek more perspective as we deepen our work in this arena. We welcome all to share comments, concerns, and ideas with us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
In solidarity and action,
The Public Interest Law Foundation
PILF DEI Working Group: Cameron Casey, Ryan Kenney, Tori Kulwicki, Alyssa Rao (co-chair) Hannah Reisinger, Abby Rosenfeld, Olivia Sedita, Molly Jane Thoms (co-chair)