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Legal Services of Eastern Missouri has three Advocates selected as 2021 National Race Equity Fellows for Racial Justice Institute
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Legal Services of Eastern Missouri has three Advocates selected as 2021 National Race Equity Fellows for Racial Justice Institute

Racial Justice Institute 2021

Legal Services of Eastern Missouri has provided free civil legal help for low-income families for 65 years. In 2020, more than 30,000 people in 21 counties of eastern Missouri received services from four regional offices. For more information, please visit www.lsem.org.

 

 

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The Shriver Center on Poverty Law fights for economic and racial justice. Over our 50-year history, we have secured hundreds of victories with and for people living in poverty in Illinois and across the country. Today, we litigate, shape policy, and train and convene multi-state networks of lawyers, community leaders, and activists nationwide. Together, we are building a future where all people have equal dignity, respect, and power under the law. Join the fight at povertylaw.org

ST. LOUIS, MO- The Shriver Center on Poverty Law recently announced 47 Fellows, including Legal Services of Eastern Missouri’s staff members Earlene Bolton, Katherine Holley and Amanda Schneider, have been selected to take part in its 2021 Racial Justice Institute (RJI), a leadership program that equips and coordinates anti-poverty advocates to affirmatively advance racial equity.

“The past year has laid bare systemic inequities that many members of our community face daily,” said Dan Glazier, Legal Services Executive Director and General Counsel.  “We are gratified that Earlene, Katherine and Amanda have all been selected for this incredible opportunity to bolster our advocacy with the core principles of race equity.”

This year’s RJI Fellows include a diverse group of public interest lawyers, legal aid attorneys, community advocates, executive leaders, and even a judge. They come from 16 organizations advancing justice in 10 states, including 11 organizations new to the RJI.

“The COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis, combined with the racial reckoning during the past year, have exposed racial disparities experienced daily in the communities that anti-poverty advocates serve,” said Kimberly Merchant, Director of the Racial Justice Institute and Network. “The Racial Justice Institute equips these advocates to take a strategic, direct approach to eliminating racial disparities, dismantling barriers to opportunity, and strengthening communities of color.”

The 2021 Fellows come to the Racial Justice Institute with experience in a wide range of advocacy areas, including criminal justice reform, healthcare, second chance opportunities, economic justice, disability justice, immigrants’ rights, and affordable housing. Under the intensive seven-month RJI program that begins in May, the 2021 Fellows will be exposed to a core set of racial equity concepts that they can apply to the advocacy in which they are currently engaging.

“This year’s Fellows are working with communities facing many systemic challenges, including individuals experiencing discrimination in the criminal justice system, people with disabilities facing intersectional issues and discrimination, and families of color harmed by the child welfare system,” said Janerick Holmes, Associate Director of the Racial Justice Institute and Network. “RJI will offer these Fellows a framework to contextualize structural racism, systems thinking, social cognition, and implicit bias that they can use to confront and impact racial disparities in the communities they serve.”

Earlene Bolton is the outreach coordinator for Legal Services’ Connecting Kids to Coverage program, and has expertise in Medicaid outreach and enrollment.  A staff attorney in Legal Services’ public benefits program, Katherine Holley has developed important community partnerships while conducting food stamp outreach to able-bodied adults.  Amanda Schneider manages Legal Services’ Health Justice Initiative/Education Justice Project, which works to address the root causes of inequities in health and education, and doing community outreach with a racial equity lens. 

Together, Earlene, Kate and Amanda, with the support of the RJI program, hope to advance health equity in Missouri by increasing the enrollment of Black men—a group with historically low rates of health coverage—in Missouri’s Medicaid program.

 

Entering its eighth year, the Shriver Center’s Racial Justice Institute has cultivated nearly 300 advocates, representing over 90 organizations in 31 states and the District of Columbia. Fellows emerge from the program ready to help shape policies that support a more racially just society and continue to work in concert as part of the Shriver Center’s Racial Justice Institute Network.

The full list of the 2021 Fellows:

Afrasan Adams, Bay Area Legal Services

Alisa L. Anderson, Bet Tzedek Legal Services

Johanna Baumann, Bet Tzekdek Legal Services

Virginia Benzan, Massachusetts Law Reform Institute

Earlene Bolton, Legal Services of Eastern Missouri

Lisa Brody, Bay Area Legal Services

Calli Burnett, Bay Area Legal Services

Amanda Caldwell, Community Legal Services of Arizona

Daniela Cimo, Legal Services of Greater Miami

Iris Coloma-Gaines, Massachusetts Law Reform Institute

Deborah Concepcion, Lone Star Legal Aid

Krisofer Cook, Legal Aid of North Carolina

Richard Crews, Human Services Campus

Prachi Dave, Public Defender Association

Sha’Tarria Davis, Legal Services of Greater Miami

Richard Diaz, Disability Rights California

Britni Eseller, Disability Rights California

Lili Graham, Disability Rights California

Eric Harris, Disability Rights California

Alicia Hill, Bay Area Legal Services

Katherine Holley, Legal Services of Eastern Missouri

Yalonda Houston, Community Legal Services of Philadelphia

Parsa Ijadi-Maghsoodi, Disability Rights California

Ashea Jones, Lone Star Legal Aid

Georgia Katsoulomitis, Massachusetts Law Reform Institute

David Keenan, King County Superior Court

Saadiqa Kumanyika, Community Legal Services of Philadelphia

Elizabeth Larin, Community Legal Services of Philadelphia

April Lee, Community Legal Services of Philadelphia

Lauren Lystrup, Disability Rights California

Jenna Miara, Bet Tzekek Legal Services

Lucia Mirande, Disability Rights California

Alexandra Narvaez, Legal Counsel for Youth and Children

Guerby Noel, Legal Services of Greater Miami

Tatiana Perez, Bet Tzedek Legal Services

Brian Reichart, Massachusetts Law Reform Institute

Jeremy Rosen, Shriver Center on Poverty Law

Archie Roundtree Jr., Bet Tzedek Legal Services

Marcus Samuel, Shriver Center on Poverty Law

Amanda Schneider, Legal Services of Eastern Missouri

Amy Schwabenlender, Human Services Campus

Eric Sirota, Shriver Center on Poverty Law

Jen Story, Legal Aid of North Carolina

Stephan Thomas, Consultant

NaTonia Trammell, Legal Aid of North Carolina

Korin Waltersdorf, Community Legal Services of Arizona

Audra Wilson, Shriver Center on Poverty Law

 

 

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Legal Services of Eastern Missouri has provided free civil legal help for low-income families for 65 years. In 2020, more than 30,000 people in 21 counties of eastern Missouri received services from four regional offices. For more information, please visit www.lsem.org.

 

 

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The Shriver Center on Poverty Law fights for economic and racial justice. Over our 50-year history, we have secured hundreds of victories with and for people living in poverty in Illinois and across the country. Today, we litigate, shape policy, and train and convene multi-state networks of lawyers, community leaders, and activists nationwide. Together, we are building a future where all people have equal dignity, respect, and power under the law. Join the fight at povertylaw.org

 

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