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Nicholas Joseph Webber

2011, Equal Justice Works Fellowships, Nicholas Joseph Webber

Nicholas Joseph Webber

Name of Host Organization: Watsonville Law Center
City, State: Watsonville, California
Issue area: Workers' Rights, Farmworkers
Sponsors: The Morrison & Foerster Foundation

The Project

This project will put a stop to this injustice and stand as a model for future workers' workplace protection. The Watsonville Law Center will protect low-wage workers' earnings by enforcing existing workplace laws. Situated in the heart of the agricultural Pajaro Valley and serving both Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties, we will provide direct legal services, education and outreach to the predominately Spanish-speaking, low-wage workers.

Biography

Hometown:

Littleton, Colorado

Law school:

Making the connection:

Law school was a means to an end working in public interest. So many examples in history reveal how the poorest communities suffer the greatest injustices. Having already traveled through Central and South America as well as worked at a homeless shelter in the U.S., I have seen firsthand the results of poverty. I consider knowing and doing nothing to be the greatest injustice.

Surviving law school:

I found compassionate friends who cared deeply about the poor. I sought exposure to critical human rights issues through immersion studies in Costa Rica, Strasbourg and El Salvador. I found professors who saw the world through a similar lens and asked hard questions. I joined student groups like La Raza, ACLU and the Journal of International Law to stay focused. And finally, I found activities outside school such as volunteering, snowboarding and surfing to stay grounded.

Recommended books:

The Brother's Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky - captures the human struggle for truth and genuine self-confidence
The Skeleton in the Closet by Clarence Darrow - describes the internal struggles every human faces
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote - reminds me that "justice for all" means everyone tells their story

Favorite website(s):

Human Rights Watch Abound with the intricacies of human suffering & captures hopeful solutions.
School of Americas Watch Regularly reminds me of the continuing struggle in Central & South America for true democracy.
Craigslist "Free" A diversion & an excellent stomping ground for both good comedy & rare treasures

Words to live by:

"I have always resented the smug statement about how in 'America' if you work hard, you would become rich. The meaning of that was that if you were poor it was because you hadn't worked hard enough. I knew this was a lie." - Howard Zinn

"We are quite naturally impatient in everything, to reach the end without delay. And yet, it is the law of all progress, that it is made by passing through states if instability" - Pierre Teilhard de Chardin