The Action Lab, the Law and Political Economy (LPE) Project and the Initiative for Community Power will hold the first ever Summer Academy on Law, Organizing, and Power Building this August at The Action Lab’s upstate retreat center.
Amid the escalating and interlocking crises that define our current moment, the work of progressive lawyers must be imaginative, far-reaching, and grounded in a critique of the political, economic, and legal structures that undergird and reproduce neoliberal capitalism. It is equally essential that we connect this work to ongoing efforts to build the power of poor and marginalized people. Unfortunately, organizing efforts, in turn, are often stuck in “triage mode,” separated from a broader strategy of political economy. To meet the urgency of the moment, lawyers and organizers, working collaboratively, must move beyond a focus on short-term gains and defensive struggles to an engagement with transformative politics.
In this spirit, the Summer Academy will introduce a cohort of law students to critical law and political economy organizing frameworks, focusing on housing justice and decarceration. A mix of LPE academics will lead Summer Academy sessions, including Marika Dias, Amy Kapczynski, Marbre Stahly-Butts, Andrew Friedman, and John Whitlow; and movement leaders from New York-based organizations Make the Road New York and VOCAL-NY.