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Lark Mulligan

2017, Equal Justice Works Fellowships, Lark Mulligan

Lark Mulligan

Name of Host Organization: Cabrini Green Legal
City, State: Aid, Illinois
Issue area: Gay/Lesbian Rights
Sponsors: Greenberg Traurig, LLP

The Project

Advocate for poor, criminalized transgender people in Chicago, Illinois through a holistic, collaborative model that includes legal representation, community education, and policy reform.

The Inspiration

Need Addressed By Project
Low- and no-income transgender people in Chicago are disproportionately criminalized and are drastically underserved. If a trans person is incarcerated following an arrest or conviction, correctional staff and other prisoners relentlessly punish gender nonconformity with threats, violence, and sexual assault. Many trans criminal defendants understand these risks, and they are often forced to accept plea deals, even if they are factually innocent, simply to minimize the risks of incarceration.
The Right Person For This Project
Lark Mulligan is the right person for the project because:
• She is a transgender woman with six years of experience working as an advocate and activist in Chicago trans communities.
• She is deeply committed to securing justice for transgender people on an individual and systemic level, and plans to work in this field for the rest of her career.
Plans For First Six Months of Fellowship
In the first six months, Lark Mulligan will:
• Establish referral systems with partner agencies and begin accepting cases.
• File FOIA Requests with Cook County Jail and Chicago Police Department regarding trans arrest and detention data.
• Identify and meet with partner agencies where she will host regular clinics, “Know Your Rights” trainings, and staff trainings, and collaborate with them to tailor the clinics and trainings to the specific needs of their clients and staff.
• Create materials and a schedule for regular trainings and clinics, and begin hosting them at each agency.
• Develop work plan and meet with CGLA supervisor to track progress.