Equal Justice Works Blog

Success Story: VISTA Affordable Housing Preservation Project

April 4, 2016

This guest blog post was written by 2015 Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Legal Fellow, Natalie Minev. 

Julia is elderly, disabled, and Mandarin-speaking, with very limited English proficiency.  She has lived at Van Nuys Apartments, a 299-unit project-based Section 8 building in the heart of downtown Los Angeles, for two years.  This diverse building is the home to predominantly elderly, disabled tenants who speak Korean, Chinese, and Spanish.  When Julia first moved in, she was placed in a second-floor unit that was in abysmal condition.  The apartment was located above a generator that regularly heated her apartment to over 100 degrees in the summertime, and directly outside her window was an exhaust pipe that blew toxic gas fumes into her unit all year round.  Because of the heat and toxic fumes, the walls in her apartment were blackened, her houseplants were dying, and she developed serious respiratory problems, allergies, and could not sleep.  Oftentimes, the air quality and temperature in her unit was so intolerable that she would have to sleep in the hallway with a blanket and pillow for multiple nights on end.  She attempted to complain to the property management company, writing multiple letters and reasonable accommodation requests in Chinese on a monthly basis regarding the problems.  The property management company refused to respond to her complaints and on several occasions told her that they would not accept her complaints unless they were written in English.

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Student Debt Basics: Income-Driven Repayment Plans

March 11, 2016

Income-driven repayment plans can be a safety net for student loan borrowers looking for debt relief.

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"I chose to join AmeriCorps...because I wanted to challenge myself to do something meaningful and purposeful."

March 11, 2016

This is a guest blog post from Equal Justice Works’ Public Programs Manager, Taí Merey Alex.

I was an AmeriCorps member in the East Harlem neighborhood of New York City from 2000 to 2001. The program was a successful partnership between AmeriCorps and the YMCA with the goal of providing classroom assistance to public school teachers, and to facilitate an after-school program for elementary school children. I was placed in a second grade classroom where I worked mostly with students who had learning or behavioral challenges, or who were advanced academically. I also led several workshops in the after-school program, focused primarily on dance, theater, physical education, and health.

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How has @AmeriCorps changed my life? Anna Cupito shares her story.

March 8, 2016

This is a guest blog post from Equal Justice Works’ Public Programs Specialist, Anna Cupito.

Although I didn’t know it at the time, my year as an AmeriCorps member later proved to be an important stepping stone onto the path my career is currently taking. When I graduated from college about 5 years ago, I had a B.A. in International Studies and knew I wanted to do something to make the world a better place, and keep using the Spanish I’d learned in college, but beyond that I had no idea. I found the application for a new state AmeriCorps program online, and was selected to be one of 9 of the first class of AmeriCorps members working with the immigrant community in Arlington. Our program resulted because of a unique collaboration between the county-run ESOL program, a small non-profit focused on empowering Latino families, and the Arlington County Employment Center.

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The Truth About Loan Forgiveness, Cancellation and Discharge

January 19, 2016

*This article was originally published on the Equal Justice Works Huffington Post blog.

It's not a myth!

Every student loan borrower has to repay their debt, even if they are unable to find a job after graduating or didn't graduate at all. However, some repayment options can lead to your federal student loans being forgiven, canceled, or discharged.

Aside from the good old-fashioned method of paying off your student debt completely, here are the different ways you can say goodbye to student loans:

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Now Accepting Applications for the 2016 Equal Justice Works Public Interest Awards

January 13, 2016

This year, the Equal Justice Works National Advisory Committee is presenting awards to law students at Equal Justice Works member schools in eight regions who have a demonstrated commitment to public interest law and pro bono work.

The 2016 Equal Justice Works Public Interest Awards seek to identify and honor law students who have provided extraordinary service through clinics, volunteer work, internships, extracurricular projects, and more.

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David Stern Advocates for Public Service Loan Forgiveness in Response to New York Times Editorial

November 4, 2015

Equal Justice Works has joined the debate surrounding the "Law School Debt Crisis" Op-Ed in the New York Times on October 25th. Executive Director David Stern's response to the article was published on the Times' website on Monday.

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Rosenwald: Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You

August 21, 2015

It is with great pride that I invite you to check out a recently released documentary movie about my great grandfather, Julius Rosenwald.  If I may be so immodest, it is an inspiring story about the power of bold philanthropy.  I appear in the film, but I assure you that should not be the reason you should see the film. 

The movie was inspired by Julian Bond who gave a speech about Rosenwald’s philanthropy.  Julian is prominently featured in the film, which is particularly precious given that he passed away this past weekend.  Aviva Kempner, the filmmaker, has dedicated the film to Julian. 

Below is a brief summary of the film:

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KPMG and Alaina Varvaloucas (’14) Team Up to Enable Foster Youth

August 21, 2015

This is a guest blog post from Equal Justice Works Fellow Alaina Varvaloucas, sponsored by KPMG and Sidley Austin. Alaina is a Fellow at Lawyers for Children in New York City. Her project focuses on child custody matters involving domestic violence issues.

Once an adolescent in foster care in New York reaches age 21, or “ages out,” he or she is expected to live independently. These young adults face all of the challenges of adult life— housing, healthcare, employment, education, and food stability—but frequently without targeted services to help them make that transition or the economic and social support that other teenagers might receive. Without strong educational support, vocational training, access to adult mentors, and proper permanency planning, they risk discharge to unstable living arrangements and an uncertain future of homelessness, economic instability, or even incarceration. Financial planning skills, such as how to earn, save, spend and budget are crucial.

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EQUAL JUSTICE WORKS WELCOMES TIM WIERZBICKI AS CHIEF DEVELOPMENT OFFICER

July 20, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACTS: Annie Hughes

Annie Hughes, Interim Director of Marketing and Communicatio

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