"Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed unless it is faced."
– James A. Baldwin
Join 30 justice advocates and creative change-makers
for an exploration of love and power at the second annual
Law and Social Change Jam
May 29 to June 2, 2016
Farm of Peace
“Hurt people hurt people,” as the old adage goes. Nowhere is that more evident than in our legal system. But we also believe that “healed people heal people.” More legal professionals than ever are becoming catalysts for change and healing in their legal practices and broader communities. How can we continue to transform ourselves, and the legal profession as a whole, into peacemakers, healers, and agents of change? Join a growing community of legal practitioners as we explore ways to sow seeds for a more thoughtful, loving, inclusive, healing, and just legal system at the second annual Law and Social Change Jam.
Our Jam will bring together emerging and established leaders from across the legal profession for five days of personal inquiry, movement-building, and skill-sharing. Together, we’ll build bridges across our respective movements, explore how to care for ourselves and each other as part of a profession with such high rates of burnout, stress, and anxiety, and reconnect with the roots of our personal passions for justice and healing.
Jam? What flavor of Jam?
A creative, live gathering of talented musicians who spontaneously create a new sound is called a jam. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. This Jam will be a place where visionaries and leaders make music with their passion, vision, openness, and courage. We’ll gather for five days of dreaming, connecting, growing, and learning together, within and throughout the law and social change movements. To date, more than 90 different kinds of Jams have been held on six continents, bringing together intergenerational leaders from more than 85 nations.
So…what are we going to do?
We will aim to address three interconnected levels of transformation: the internal, the interpersonal, and the systems level. This is not a conference, seminar or a typical meeting. The Jam offers multiple opportunities for deep, holistic exploration, in which each person has something to offer and something to receive. We will spend time in circle, sharing stories, making art, playing games, moving, co-facilitating conversation, being outside, and we’ll have lots of free time for spontaneity.
Through activities, exchanges and just plain hanging out together, we’ll get a chance to take stock of what’s important in our lives and work, see things from new perspectives, align our vision and values, face our fears, and overcome our blocks. We’ll work to heal ourselves so that we can help to heal the relationships and systems around us. And we’ll find new friends and partners in our journey.
Yeah! The Law and Social Change Jam will bring together 30 passionate, dynamic change-makers from diverse regions and backgrounds. The Jam will include lawyers, professors, community organizers, advocates, and restorative justice practitioners from a spectrum of identities and worldviews (class, ethnicity, race, religion, sexuality, age, etc.). If you are looking to make justice more just and accessible, if you are open to learning from people different from you, if you are willing to push the edges of your comfort zone, then this gathering is for you.
Sweet! Now What?
Priority application deadline = February 15, 2016
Final application deadline = May 1, 2016
To keep the Jam intimate and participatory, we have a limited number of places available.
Tuition to participate in the Jam is $900, of which $500 covers your food and lodging costs at the Farm of Peace, and $400 covers program costs, which includes organizing time, honorarium for facilitators, supplies and materials. Note: this tuition does not include travel to Farm of Peace, but we can help with rides to and from the local airports.
Money should never be a reason to not apply: partial scholarships are available on a limited and first-come, first-serve basis. We also invite work trades and monthly payment plans. We aim to figure out with each applicant the right combo of tuition, work trade and scholarship that can work for them. However, nothing happens without an application first. Remember, the sooner you apply, the better your chances of receiving a partial scholarship if you need one.
"No real social change has ever been brought about without a revolution… revolution is but thought carried into action."
– Emma Goldman
Who Is The “We” Behind the Invitation?
We are a diverse group of independent legal professionals and facilitators, called to come together around the theme of law and social change. Each of us is engaged in our own projects outside this Jam, with particular interests in: mindful lawyering, restorative justice, solidarity economies law, racial justice and social equity, collaborative law, criminal defence, collaborative law, movement/community lawyering, among many more.
The organizers and facilitators of the Law and Social Change Jam are:
Chris Tittle is passionate about cultivating more democratic and place-based models for building community resilience. As a deep ecologist, barefoot lawyer-in-training, and economic justice advocate, he currently serves as the Director of Organizational Resilience with the Sustainable Economies Law Center, an Oakland-based legal organization creating a new legal landscape that supports grassroots economic empowerment. At SELC, his work focuses on rethinking housing and land ownership, food justice, and democratic governance practices. As an advocate of self-directed (and debt-free) education, he is also training to become a lawyer through the California Law Office Study program, a practice-based alternative to law school, and co-founder of the (forming) Association of Legal Apprentices. Chris completed an MA in Economics for Transition at Schumacher College (UK), where his dissertation explored permaculture and a Rights of Nature framework as more culturally-appropriate and transformative responses to climate change adaptation in the Global South. He has worked with youth in the South Bronx, taught English in Japan, and explored mystical Islam in Senegal. Once, on a whim, he traversed 3/4 of the globe without stepping foot on a plane.
Shilpa Jain is currently rooting herself in Oakland/Berkeley, CA, where she serves as the Executive Director of YES!. YES! works with social changemakers at the meeting point of internal, interpersonal and systemic change, and aims to co-create a thriving, just and balanced world for all. Prior to taking on this role, Shilpa spent two years as the Education and Outreach Coordinator of Other Worlds and ten years as a learning activist with Shikshantar: The Peoples Institute for Rethinking Education and Development, based in Udaipur, India, where she served as coordinator of the Swapathgami (Walkouts-Walkons) Network. She has researched and written numerous books and articles and facilitated dozens of transformative leadership gatherings with hundreds of young leaders from over 50 countries. She is passionate about dance and music, organic and natural farming, upcycling and zero waste living, asking appreciative questions and being in community.
Judi Cohen practiced law from 1984 to 2014 and has been teaching law since 2000. In 1993, Judi took an intensive mindfulness course and began an inquiry into how mindfulness practice could help heal the law. Since the mid-1990’s, she has participated in mindfulness workshops and retreats as a student and as a teacher, including over 100 days of silent practice, looking into this and other inquiries around mindfulness and law. In 2009, Judi founded Warrior One and created a training called Essential Mindfulness for Lawyers (EML), bringing together the practices of mindfulness and law to help lawyers cultivate greater wisdom and compassion for themselves, their clients and the profession. She now dedicates her efforts to bringing EML trainings to lawyers, judges, law professors and law students in public courses; at law firms, district attorneys’ offices, public defenders’ offices, corporate legal departments, and bench and bar conventions; and to students at Berkeley Law and Golden Gate University School of Law.
Jeff Carolin is a criminal defence and tenant lawyer in Toronto, Canada. His practice is primarily aimed at serving those people who can't pay for a lawyer out of pocket. Before setting up his own shop, Jeff had the opportunity to work at three legal outfits that all dedicate their legal expertise to some kind of socially just outcome: Pivot Legal Society in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, a community legal clinic called Parkdale Community Legal Services in Toronto, and at the downtown Toronto public interest civil litigation firm of Klippensteins Barristers & Solicitors. When Jeff is successful at not letting casework overwhelm the rest of his life, he pitches in with a grassroots group called CLAY (Collaborative Legal Play) which supports community groups through a combination of creative facilitation (including theatre) and legal knowledge where necessary. He’s also a member of the Law Union of Ontario. Previous to entering the whole law world, Jeff was involved with solidarity projects in Bolivia and Guatemala. Jeff wants to know to how to achieve horizontal and vertical alignment as a practicing lawyer; the trickiest part so far is figuring out what that those words even mean. He’s also currently fascinated by the way that his brand new daughter is teaching him a whole new understanding of the concept of vulnerability.
Parag Rajendra Khandhar, Esq. is a principal in the Maryland/D.C. solidarity economies law firm Gilmore Khandhar, LLC and a co-founder of Baltimore Activating Solidarity Economies (BASE). Both are dedicated to building a resilient, radically inclusive economy centering upon principles of race and social equity, sustainability, and valuing people and the planet over profit. He recently finished a clinical teaching fellowship in the Community Development Clinic of the University of Baltimore School of Law where he worked with grassroots groups, community-based enterprises, and cooperatives. He has worked over the past 20 years in NYC, DC, and Baltimore with Asian/immigrant communities in direct and emergency relief services after September 11th, data advocacy, technical assistance, and as a community lawyer focused on tenants’ rights and language access. He is on the board of the Asian American Literary Review, for whom he has co-edited two bookend volumes on NYC. He is currently fascinated by non-extractive finance, the brilliant courage of young activists and organizers of color or campuses and in the streets, and good mixtapes. He’s also struggling to keep up with the wit of his 5-year old. Tweets @ParagCED.
Any questions this invite doesn't answer? Write to us at lawandsocialchangejam[at]gmail.com
We look forward to Jamming with you!
Voices of YES! Law and Social Change Jam Alumni
“I will hold this experience near and dear in the long time coming–offering us a unique place to connect deeply with ourselves, each other, and the greater purpose we are working so hard to serve. To call this a conference would be a disservice. I will return home inspired in my own truth with resources to tap into when doubt arises. It is a great honor to be in the presence of my colleagues here. To witness their stories and celebrate their excellence has brought me joy, a sense of being known, and new friends who I admire and care for. Thank you for allowing this to be real and for all the energy and creativity you have shared. This was a meaningful time spent together.”
— Kristin Scheel, 36, attorney, Austin, TX
“I truly felt both the safety and support during the Jam to explore myself in deep, spiritual ways that are certainly not covered in other “professional development” trainings or retreats but are the underpinnings of my leadership style and values. Great opportunity to go inward and step back from the move forward, action-oriented social justice work I do. Thanks for lifting up my value and identity as a human BEING vs. a human doing.”
— Helen, former Executive Director, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, Atlanta, GA
“This was a well-organized and gracefully facilitated journey of exploration — exploring personal and professional vision, values, and expansive possibilities. The experience was more than just a facilitated set of meetings — it was a harnessing of the collected and collective wisdom brought together by and from the participants as well as facilitators. Well worth the time and expense to attend.”
— L. Alvarez, attorney licensed in TX and CA, practicing 18 years
“We have spent days together existing on levels I am used to living on by myself, or at least that is how I typically feel. We have conversed about topics as diverse as our ages, ethnicities, backgrounds and interests–all in the name of self-care and JUSTICE… we have played, we have analyzed, we have offered our hearts and minds to one another and it seems have each grown. We have also grown into a community at the same time. What a gift…”