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Todd Belcore

2010, Equal Justice Works Fellowships, Todd Belcore

Todd Belcore

City, State: Chicago, Illinois
Issue area: Criminal Law
Sponsors: Greenberg Traurig

The Project

The stigma and discrimination experienced by those with criminal records affect more than just the prospects of the person with the record. This phenomenon has collateral consequences that affect: the prospects of that individual's family and their children; public safety; our budget, and; the growth of our economy. Consequently, my goal is to organize, educate, litigate and craft legislation to combat the stigma and discrimination felt by individuals with criminal records and increases their access to occupational licenses and gainful employment.

Biography

Hometown:

Chicago, Illinois

Law school:

Making the connection:

I made the connection between social justice and law school as I grew older and recognized that the blueprint for social justice has been etched in our nation's history. Social justice requires selflessness, vigilance, steadfastness, critical thinking, educating, organizing, litigation and legislating. Law school offers the opportunity to develop all of those skills.

Surviving law school:

To the extent possible, I live and breathe the experiences of the communities I wish to serve. I take the bus and the train. I go to churches, community centers, schools and people's homes. I volunteer for service projects and legal aid providers. Each of these steps keeps the concerns of those in need on my heart. This, in turn, fuels my passion for public interest law.

Recommended books:

Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin not only brings a crucial period in American history to life, she thoroughly illustrates the critical role that opposition plays in decision making. The Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B. Dubois: Dubois' poetic offering reminds me of the importance of introspection, consciousness and the sacrifices made by our ancestors in the name of freedom and equality.