On this page you can find descriptions of each Shaking the Foundations panel and workshop. A list of panelists and speakers is coming soon.

First Block of Panels (11:45 am - 1:00 pm)

Stuck in the ‘70s: Demographics of California Prosecutors
Recent events have renewed longstanding concerns about the treatment of racial minorities by the criminal justice system in California and throughout the United States. Part of that attention has focused on prosecutors, the gatekeepers to the criminal justice system and, in many ways, the system’s most powerful officials. Recent reports have highlighted the lack of diversity among elected District Attorneys, but there has been virtually no publicly available information about the prosecutors they supervise:  the line attorneys, mid-level supervisors, and unelected office managers who carry out the day-to-day work of prosecution and typically are vested with enormous discretion. This panel will focus will focus on how staff diversity affects decision-making and operations of justice in California prosecutors’ offices.

Housing Activism in the Bay Area: Tactics and Strategies for Addressing Gentrification and Demanding Affordable Housing
This workshop will address the current housing problems in the Bay Area, and the work that lawyers and activists are doing to effect change at the local level. During the workshop, we hope that participants will learn about and discuss how gentrification is reshaping San Francisco, Silicon Valley and the broader Bay Area, strategies that activists and community members are using to maintain and expand affordable housing options around the Bay Area, and the roles that lawyers can play to participate in and support Bay Area communities coping with increased housing prices and rapidly changing neighborhoods.

Translating Native Values into Legal Terms: Working with and through NAGPRA 
This panel brings together advocates and legal practitioners to discuss the difficulty of translating Native values into legal terms, specifically focusing on repatriation and sacred sites. The panel will provide a general background on the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) and the difficulty Natives have faced in using it as a tool to assert their rights and cultural identity. Each panelist’s work is at a different stage in the process, facing different conflicts and tension. The panel will also speak more generally to the work Native communities have done to reframe histories and experiences through Native eyes.


Second Block of Panels (2:30 pm -3:45 pm)

Black Lives Matter Workshop
The Black Lives Matter movement has inspired the nation with its organized, sustained, and creative responses to police brutality and the criminal court’s system failure to hold accountable those who enact violence on Black and brown bodies.  This workshop will bring together organizers of the movement for a workshop on creative, direct action-based responses and facilitate a discussion about how attorneys can most helpfully and ethically engage in the movement.

Tackling Student Debt and For-Profit College Abuses: A Discussion with Legal Practitioners
According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, over 40 million Americans are working to repay more than $1.2 trillion in outstanding student loan debt. This panel will focus on two interrelated and critical consumer protection issues: the student debt crisis and lawsuits against for-profit colleges for predatory practices that targeted vulnerable individuals. In addition to providing a legal context for the news surrounding Corinthian Colleges, the panel will bring together lawyers working in a wide variety of areas - including government, direct legal services, advocacy, and academia - to explore the important and varied work being done to address these issues.  

The California Drought: Addressing Environmental Injustice
This panel will focus on how the drought is impacting low income and minority communities in California. We hope attendees will come away empowered to get involved with environmental justice issues in California and with a greater understanding of the drought. The panel will shed light on the many different venues through which practicing and aspiring lawyers can get involved – from public policy and education to NGO work and private practice.


Third Block of Panels (4:00 pm - 5:15 pm)

Disrupting the School-to-Prison Pipeline: Innovative Approaches to Reducing Juvenile Delinquency and Recidivism
This panel will address creative approaches to dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline. It features a group of practitioners working at various stages in the pipeline--from combating harsh discipline policies in schools, to providing educational services to children who are currently confined in the juvenile system, to reducing recidivism among juveniles who have been released. Representatives from Fresh Lifelines for Youth, Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth, and The Reset Foundation will share innovative models from their respective organizations. This panel will be moderated by Professor Joan Petersilia, a national expert on juvenile justice, and we hope it will be an informative and thought-provoking conversation. 

Immigration and Asylum Advocacy
This workshop will focus on two significant populations of asylum seekers in the Bay Area, individuals fleeing violence stemming from the drug war in Mexico, and individuals fleeing gang violence in Central America. The workshop will feature both social scientists and practicing asylum attorneys. It will discuss the conditions that have led to such high levels of migration from these regions, as well as challenges and successes in advocating for these populations in immigration court. In the case of Mexico, the workshop will focus on asylum claims related to the increasingly blurred line between the State and organized crime. Regarding Central America, it will emphasize the conditions of gang impunity and gender violence that cause so many to flee their home countries.

Current Legal Issues Affecting Low Wage Workers
Description forthcoming.


Fourth Block of Panels (5:30 pm - 6:45 pm)

Protecting LGBTQ Prisoners’ Rights
LGBTQ inmates face unique problems in prison, and the carceral system has a shameful record of failing to protect this vulnerable population's rights.  This panel brings together advocates and legal practitioners to discuss legal and policy strategies for addressing three challenges: sexual assault against LGBTQ inmates, segregation of LGBTQ inmates from the general prison population, and access to healthcare for trans* inmates.

Access to Justice
Over the last eight years, the largest source of funding for legal services has declined by thirty percent, while the number of low-income people in need of those services continues to grow. By some estimates, approximately eighty percent of low-income civil legal needs go unmet. The civil justice gap is marked by insufficient funding for legal aid programs, restrictions on services that these programs provide, and the paucity of attorneys in rural areas. This panel will explore creative approaches to closing the justice gap in California. Panelists will share their experiences utilizing innovative funding streams and partnerships to expand and improve their services.

Storytelling and the Law Workshop
This interactive workshop will teach participants how to use storytelling techniques to better communicate for progressive causes. Participants will be taught several exercises, tools, and principles for good storytelling by the speaker as they craft individualized presentations about issues they care about.