2013 Trina Grillo Social Justice Retreat
Hosted by the University of Washington School of Law in Seattle, WA, March 22-23.
2012 Trina Grillo Social Justice Retreat
Hosted by Golden Gate University School of Law Saturday-Sunday, March 24-25, 2012. The theme was "Fighting Poverty & Inequality: Putting Critical Theory Into Practice.
2011 Trina Grillo Social Justice Retreat
March 25-26, 2011: The Trina Grillo Social Justice Retreat was hosted this year by University of San Francisco School of Law, with Erin E. Dolly, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs, guiding a cadre of students along with other faculty from the consortium of West Coast law schools. That retreat’s theme was “Human Rights Here and Abroad” and featured ret. Commander Beth Coye (US Navy), giving the keynote address. Commander Coye was one of the brave veterans who left the military after 21 years of service and then spoke out about the cruel and discriminatory impact of the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy on the lives of men and women who valiantly served their country in the military. Commander Coye helped organize “We Are Family, Too,” the stories of over forty servicemembers which was privately distributed to members of Congress to inform them as to the real impact of DADT. Here is a link to that extraordinary publication which is now available to the public.
Dean Jeffrey Brand gave a moving introduction beginning the Saturday morning session, remembering Professor Trina Grillo and inspiring all 180 registrants--law school students, professors, activists, and friends--to continue to fight for justice and fairness. Read Dean Brand's "invocation" on SALTLAW's blog.
March 2010 Update: Students, faculty, administrators, and activist lawyers attended the 2010 Trina Grillo Social Justice Retreat, with law students traveling from consortium schools such as Seattle University, UNLV, USF, and Santa Clara, as well as from other locations such as Michigan State.
Opening this year's retreat was one of Time Magazine's 2009 "Heroes of the Environment," Rizwana Hasan, the director of the Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association. She remarked on the uniqueness of the Grillo Retreat: Have you ever heard of a corporate retreat where people are brought from Bangladesh to motivate the attendees?"
March 2009 Update: Over 150 law students, academics, lawyers, and activists attended the 11th Annual Trina Grillo Public Interest and Social Justice Retreat at Stanford Law School on February 20th and 21st. The Retreat featured a series of workshops, trainings, and panels through which participants explored new initiatives to apply human rights frameworks to domestic legal issues and learned about cross-border, collaborative social justice advocacy models. Many panelists discussed the innately global and interdisciplinary nature of progressive lawyering, emphasizing the importance of a transnational context in achieving economic and social justice.
The Retreat began with a panel on international human rights careers that featured Barbara Olshansky, Leah Kaplan Visiting Professor of Human Rights at Stanford Law School; Viviana Krsticevic, Executive Director of the Center for Justice and International Law; Dolores Donovan, Professor of Law at University of San Francisco Law School; Maran Turner, Executive Director, Freedom Now; and Laura Cosovanu, Affiliate of Stanford Law School’s Levin Center and Freeman Spogli Institute's Program on Global Justice.
Following the opening panel, Stephanie Wildman, Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Social Justice and Public Service at Santa Clara Law School, reflected on the legacy of Trina Grillo, whose compassion and vision inspired a generation of lawyers and law professors. Kyong-Whan Ahn, Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission of Korea, delivered the keynote address to a crowd of over 100 students.
The following day featured a series of panels that focused on the intersection of international human rights law and criminal justice, environmental law, and reproductive rights. Speakers included Jennifer Martinez, Professor of Law at Stanford Law School; Ronald Slye, Associate Professor of Law and Director of International and Comparative Law Programs at Seattle University School of Law; Raven Lidman, Clinical Professor Law at Seattle University of Law; Constance de la Vega, Professor of Law and Academic Director of International Law at University of San Francisco School of Law; Martha Davis, Professor of Law at Northeastern Law School; Jill Adams, of Law Students for Reproductive Justice; Tim Harstad, Rural Development Institute; and Svitlana Kravencko, Professor of Law at University of Oregon School of Law.
In addition to panels, the Retreat featured a pro bono training workshop as well as a break-out session for faculty.
Freedom Now’s founder, Jared Genser, and executive director, Maran Turner, offered an interactive training on “Freeing Political Prisoners.” Over 50 students from eight law schools learned the basics of international human rights law, various approaches to applying political pressure on offending governments, and the most effective ways of publicizing cases. Neta Ziv, Professor of Law at Tel Aviv University, and Raquel Aldana, Professor of Law at William S. Boyd School of Law, also lead a workshop for faculty that explored the unique institutional and pedagogical challenges of teaching international human rights law.
Feedback from participants has been overwhelmingly positive. “Inspirational, informative, and meaningful,” one participant commented. “Amazing and refreshing…probably keeping a lot of first-year students from dropping out of law school,” another said.
Conference planners Diana Singleton and Susan Feathers look forward to passing on the torch to next year’s planning committee. Preparations are already underfoot for the 12th Trina Grillo Consortium, which will tentatively focus on economic rights.