February 2024 Newsletter

Feburary 2024 newsletter

Doesn’t it feel so energizing to move furniture around, put a new coat of paint on the walls, or even remodel an entire room in your house? In the process, you get a chance to appreciate what you have and shift stagnant energy. And perhaps the ritual helps bring clarity to how you want to live your life! That’s how we feel every year after we refresh our Project Gallery

2024 Project Gallery

Our Project Gallery is our virtual space where we share our programmatic work, proudest achievements of the past year, and cherished collective memories. When we go through it we inevitably start asking bigger questions of ourselves: What’s the strategy here? How do we stay accountable to our clients and community?  Do we want to keep doing this work?  

Our most recent Project Gallery revamp kicked off a deeper review of our work. If the Law Center was a house, now is a good time to start considering what upgrades or repairs we might want to make to not just our projects, but also our org structure because in December the Law Center will be turning 15 years old 🎉 A self-delegated team of staff members has created a Strategy Pod who will guide the organization through this restructuring. We’re excited to share more about the process throughout the year, and how our 7 new core strategies  (slide 6) will ground the process.

Welcome Nicole Wires!

Nicole Wires staff page

You may know of Nicole from her work as Network Director of the Nonprofit Democracy Network (NPDN). Now Nicole will come in-house to the Law Center and we couldn’t be more excited! Learn more about Nicole by checking out her Law Center staff bio page.

Countering Donor-Dominated Philanthropy

Donor Dominated Philanthropy Blog

The Law Center submitted a public comment to the IRS last week about new federal regulations being proposed about Donor Advised Funds or DAFs. We intervened with the hopes that our perspective as a movement support organization would be a helpful counterbalance to the numerous comments from the wealth defense industry—including foundation interest groups and fund managers. Our overall message was: these funds belong to the community, not to donors. We see this intervention as harm reduction in a current context of unlimited donor control in the nonprofit sector. While our suggested changes alone would not transform philanthropy into grassroots-driven funding flows oriented towards movement solidarity, not charity, we would see it as a step in the right direction—curbing the commercial DAF industry.

Read our recommendations to the IRS in Mohit Mookim’s blog post.

Law Center Staff Visit Black Panther Party Museum

Left photo, L to R: Tobias Damm-Luhr, Mohit Mookim, Alejandra Cruz Olveda, Dorian Payán, Christine Hernandez, Sofia Hernandez, Yimeng Wang; Right photo: Law Center staff tour the exhibit.

A new museum highlighting the radical legacy of the Black Panther Party and its Community School opened up in downtown Oakland near our office, so we had to plan a field trip! Law Center staff, interns, and family members were excited to learn more about the revolutionary organization that continues to shape our understanding of Black self-determination, mutual aid, and community education. We highly recommend you make a visit — details on the museum can be found here. As the Panthers say, All Power to the People!

Tiny homes with giant restrictions are not a solution to homelessness

When it comes to issues around housing justice, the Law Center looks to POOR Magazine and Homefulness for leadership on how to create just and homeful solutions to homelessness. Recently, Tiny from POOR Magazine, wrote a piece in 48 Hills sharing how restrictive and inhumane tiny house villages have been as a strategy to house people.  

“These projects and solutions [tiny home villages, navigation centers, scarce and temporary shelter beds and jail-transformed motel rooms] aren’t guided by spirit, love, healing, elders or poverty scholarship like Homefulness. Instead they are rooted in numbers, budgets and scarcity models without any regard for our mental or spiritual health but simply working on a quota and numbers system about how many houseless people they can ‘serve’ rather than listen to what we actually need. They breed calculated, institutional words and codes like ‘service resistant’ and ‘non-compliant’ which are code for those of us who can’t abide by carceral non-solutions like these.” 

Learn more about how Homefulness — a Poor & Indigenous people–led solution to homelessness — is rooted in Poverty Scholarship, LandBack and Black Land Return frameworks.

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  • Mwende Hinojosa
    published this page in Blog 2024-03-13 07:10:37 -0700

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