News

Equal Justice Works Hosts Disaster Resilience Symposium with Community Partners

/ Press Release

Equal Justice Works, American Bar Association, American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division Disaster Legal Services, and Stetson University College of Law bring together disaster law experts and advocates for two-day Disaster Resilience Symposium in March 2023

Washington, D.C., January 19, 2023—Equal Justice Works, the nation’s largest facilitator of opportunities in public interest law, announced today that it will host the Disaster Resilience Symposium: Building Community Resilience through Advocacy and Systemic Change on March 15-16, 2023, in collaboration with the American Bar Association, American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division Disaster Legal Services, and Stetson University College of Law.

“This conference brings together leading advocates and thinkers to share best practices and resources for increasing and improving community response and resilience to all types of disasters,” said Equal Justice Works CEO Verna Williams, “Lawyers play a critical role in disaster preparedness and recovery, and to build disaster resilience in communities, we know having a sustained presence of lawyers on the ground is crucial. We’re thrilled to work in partnership with groups that are on the frontlines of this important issue.”

This conference brings together leading advocates and thinkers to share best practices and resources for increasing and improving community response and resilience to all types of disasters.

Verna Williams /
Equal Justice Works CEO

Stetson University College of Law will be the site of the Disaster Resilience Symposium, convening legal, academic, and community voices instrumental in disaster law and the resilience movement for keynote presentations on current and emerging issues in disaster response and preparedness.

This symposium hopes to provide a space to think about how to bolster preparedness for all including the most vulnerable in order to create equality in disaster response.

Christine E. Cerniglia /
Stetson University College of Law Associate Professor of Law

“We are excited to host the symposium this year and bring together so many practitioners working in the trench who respond to disasters,” said Christine E. Cerniglia, associate professor of law and director of clinical and experiential education at Stetson University College of Law. “As we see on the news, disasters are occurring at an alarming rate across the globe. How communities prepare to become more resilient will define our future; Most importantly, how communities respond to ensure ALL members in the community are resilient will further define us. This symposium hopes to provide a space to think about how to bolster preparedness for all including the most vulnerable in order to create equality in disaster response.”

Participants will explore the latest developments in disaster law, systemic issues, and the future of disaster response and preparedness, highlighting tools and resources that can be used by advocates to build resiliency in the communities they serve. Additionally, Fellows in the Equal Justice Works Disaster Resilience Program will lead sessions where they will share their expertise and delivery strategies for advocating on behalf of people who need help recovering from the legal effects of disasters. Substantive sessions include perspectives on climate and environmental justice, community organizing, meaningful access and inclusive disaster planning, the impact of disasters on immigrants, and how to build a career in disaster law. Participants will also be immersed in interactive disaster and poverty workshop exercises addressing the role of legal services, pro bono, courts, and public services in low-income communities after a disaster.

This symposium is a valuable networking and collaboration opportunity for local community stakeholders as well as national players to help advance the field of disaster law.

Linda Anderson Stanley /
Equal Justice Works Senior Manager of Disaster Programming

“This symposium is a valuable networking and collaboration opportunity for local community stakeholders as well as national players to help advance the field of disaster law,” said Linda Anderson Stanley, chair of the ABA Standing Committee on Disaster Response and Preparedness and senior manager of disaster programming at Equal Justice Works. “We’re excited to bring together these organizations and other thought partners in the disaster resilience movement.”

To register for the Disaster Resilience Symposium, visit here.

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About Equal Justice Works

Equal Justice Works is the nation’s largest facilitator of opportunities in public interest law. We bring together an extensive network of law students, lawyers, legal services organizations, and supporters to promote a lifelong commitment to public service and equal justice. Following their Fellowships, more than 85% of our Fellows remain in public service positions, continuing to pursue equal justice for underserved communities across the country.

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