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Celebrating MLK Day

MLK Youth Peace Initiative 2015

In the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, the Mayor's Commission for a Safer Chicago and Mikva Challenge invited 100 Chicago youth ages 13-21 to come together and discuss the issue of youth violence in Chicago. Chicago Lawyers' Committee Educational Equity Project staff Candace Moore and Jessica Schneider were invited to attend the event, hosted by Kirkland and Ellis.

Those in attendance heard from City leaders, community leaders and other young leaders about the role youth can play in addressing violence. Our staff had many productive and inspiring conversations with young people about violence prevention in Chicago and about their hope to carry Dr. King's legacy into the future. 

Supreme Court & Housing Discrimination
On January 21st, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in the important , Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project case.  This case will test our nation’s commitment to equal treatment under the law and will determine whether equal opportunity in housing continues to be one of our most cherished values.  CLC Fair Housing Project Director Betsy Shuman-Moore has been part of a national team that filed an amicus brief in the case, urging the Supreme Court to uphold an important legal theory against housing discrimination. For the full article, click here to head to our web page
Fresh Faces at CLC
CLC is excited to welcome a new group of interns and fellows, as well as several who have returned for another semester! We are excited to welcome to CLC Fellow Ryan Hatten and new interns Hannah Lazar, Militza Pagan, Juliane Johnson, David Warnock and Josiah Harris. We are also thrilled to welcome back Fellows Annabelle Harless and Cate Schuler, and returning interns Brian Geiger, Holly Pope, Aditi Singh, Karla Rabadan and Emma Olson
CLC Produces Report on Election Day Registration
CLC’s Voting Rights Project produced a report in partnership with JustVote and SAAPRI, which highlights the fact that that there is strong demand for Election Day Registration (EDR) in Illinois. During last November's Election, Illinois piloted an Election Day Registration program, which which had been advocated for by our Voting Rights Staff. 7,027 voters registered through EDR, also known as same-day registration, throughout the City of Chicago, Suburban Cook County and Lake County. The Voting Rights Project collected nearly 300 exit surveys from voters to help develop the report which recommends that the state should make the program permanent and devote more resources to making the election process smoother.  To read the report, click here
Journey To Selma
Our staff is traveling to Selma for the 50th Anniversary of the march that led to the Voting Rights Act! Follow them on twitter to follow the roadtrip and their reflections on how the history of civil rights influences their work today. @ChgoCivilRights
CLC Recruits Record Number of College Students as Student Election Leaders
CLC's Voting Rights Project will engage more than 2,000 young people in the upcoming Municipal Election, changing the landscape of who participates in elections and how. Students were recruited from 35 colleges and universities across Chicagoland to serve as election judges in the February election through the Student Leaders in Elections Program (SLE). Student Leaders in Elections is a recruitment program being run by CLC's Voting Rights Project on behalf of the Chicago Board of Elections Commissioners. This past November, the Student Leaders in Elections program was the most successful program of its kind in the country in terms of the number of youth recruited (1,600 applied, 700 served on Election Day), and we're on track to beat our record for this February. Check out the program website at and contact Devin Race ( to learn more. 
Legal Win for Chicago Homeless Population
A new Chicago policy governing the treatment of homeless people and their personal possessions is going into effect.  The policy is the successful result of legal work performed by CLC’s Co- Director of Litigation Paul Strauss, working with and for the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, and by pro bono volunteer attorneys Matt Piers and Claudia Flores from CLC member firm Hughes, Socol, Piers, Resnick & Dym, Ltd.Click here to continue reading... 
CLC to Host Civil Rights Discussion
Save the date! On February 27th Chicago Lawyers' Committee and Northwestern Law school will co-host a discussion on the current state of civil rights in Chicago and steps that can be taken towards making our city more equitable. CLE credits will be offered. For more information, click here
The Health Disparities Project:

Addressing race and poverty through community health centers

The same way that symptoms are the outward expression of a disease, health inequity is a symptom of the greater struggle for civil rights and against poverty. Social determinants of health – one’s socioeconomic status, education level, or where one lives – can make it hard to get or stay healthy, and they unequally harm minorities and the poor. These factors are often due to the unfair application of laws or systems that vulnerable people are subject to. Where adults are vulnerable, children suffer even more.
CLC’s newest initiative the Health Disparities Project (HDP) is a Medical-Legal Partnership that addresses child well-being and health equity. Staff attorney Sarah Hess serves children and families suffering the negative effects of social determinants of health: those from low-income households, non-English speaking families, communities of color, the LGBTQ community, and homeless youth. HDP reaches children and adolescents through school-based health centers to address their legal needs, and those of their family.
On October 1st, unaccompanied homeless youth gained the right to consent to their own healthcare. Sarah is hard at work training health providers on new laws. In its first four months, HDP trained 120 medical providers, health educators, navigators, and front desk staff on the new law and how it can be implemented.  
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