24th Annual Rebellious Lawyering Conference

Keynote Speakers

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Kimberlé Crenshaw
Kimberlé Crenshaw, Professor of Law at UCLA and Columbia Law School and Centennial Professor at the London School of Economics 2016-2018, Is a leading authority in the area of Civil Rights, Black feminist legal theory, and race, racism and the law. Her articles have appeared in the Harvard Law Review, National Black Law Journal, Stanford Law Review, and Southern California Law Review. She is the founding coordinator of the Critical Race Theory Workshop, and the co-editor of the volume, Critical Race Theory: Key Documents That Shaped the Movement. Crenshaw has lectured widely on race matters, addressing audiences across the country as well as in Europe, India, Africa and South America.

Crenshaw has worked extensively on a variety of issues pertaining to gender and race in the domestic arena including violence against women, structural racial inequality, and affirmative action. A specialist on race and gender equality, she has facilitated workshops for human rights activists in Brazil and in India, and for constitutional court judges in South Africa. Her groundbreaking work on “Intersectionality” has traveled globally and was influential in the drafting of the equality clause in the South African Constitution.

In 1996, Crenshaw co-founded the African American Policy Forum, a gender and racial justice legal think tank, which houses a variety of projects designed to deliver research-based strategies to better advance social inclusion. In 2011, Crenshaw founded the Center for Intersectionality & Social Policy Studies at Columbia Law School, which aims to foster critical examination of how social structures and related identity categories such as gender, race, and class interact on multiple levels, resulting in social inequality. She is a leading voice in calling for a gender-inclusive approach to racial justice interventions, having spearheaded the Why We Can’t Wait Campaign and co-authored Black Girls Matter: Pushed Out, Overpoliced and Underprotected, and Say Her Name: Resisting Police Brutality Against Black Women.
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sujatha baliga
sujatha baliga’s work is characterized by an equal dedication to victims and persons accused of crimes. She speaks publicly and inside prisons about her own experiences as a survivor of child sexual abuse and her path to forgiveness. A former victim advocate and public defender in New York and New Mexico, baliga was awarded a Soros Justice Fellowship in 2008 which she used to launch a pre-charge restorative juvenile diversion program in Alameda County. Through the Restorative Justice Project, sujatha helps communities implement restorative justice alternatives to juvenile detention and zero-tolerance school discipline policies. She is also dedicated to using this approach to end child sexual abuse and intimate partner violence. sujatha is a frequent guest lecturer at universities and conferences; she’s been a guest on NPR and the Today Show; and The New York Times Magazine and The Atlantic have profiled her work.

sujatha earned her A.B. from Harvard and Radcliffe Colleges, her J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, has held federal district court clerkships with the Hon. William K. Sessions III and the Hon. Martha Vazquez. sujatha has taught a seminar on restorative justice at Berkeley Law School; her personal and research interests include the forgiveness of seemingly unforgivable acts, restorative justice’s potential impact on racial disparities in our justice system, and Buddhist notions of conflict transformation.

sujatha’s faith journey undergirds her justice work. A long-time Buddhist practitioner, she is a lay member of the Gyuto Foundation, a Tibetan Buddhist Monastery in Richmond, CA, where she teaches meditation on Monday nights. She makes her home in Berkeley, CA, with her partner of 20 years, Jason, and their 11-year-old son, Sathya.
Chinyere Ezie
Chinyere Ezie (Cheen-Yer-Ray Ay-Zee-Ay) is a nationally recognized civil rights lawyer and social justice activist who specializes in constitutional litigation and anti-discrimination work. ​In 2016, Chinyere was named one of the country's Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40.

As a Staff Attorney at the Southern Poverty Law Center (“SPLC”) LGBT Rights Project, Chinyere served as lead counsel for Ashley Diamond, a transgender woman who sued Georgia for its refusal to provide transgender inmates medical care or protect them from sexual assault. As a result of Chinyere's sustained advocacy, the U.S Department of Justice affirmed that transgender prisoners have a constitutional right to gender dysphoria treatment and commenced an investigation into the treatment of LGBT prisoners across the state; Georgia revised its policies on transgender healthcare and safety and committed to retraining its staff; and Georgia released Ms. Diamond from custody eight years early and paid out a significant monetary settlement.

Chinyere has considerable expertise with respect to constitutional litigation and federal civil rights advocacy, including in the areas of education and employment. She has advocated against bills and ordinances that would subject LGBT persons to disparate treatment; served as counsel for LGBT persons discriminated against in the workplace, including Tristan Broussard, a Louisiana man whose wrongful termination lawsuit attracted the support of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and Jessi Dye, a transgender woman from Alabama who obtained a favorable settlement after being terminated from her nursing home job; and assisted with same-sex marriage litigation.

Chinyere clerked on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and worked as an associate at Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen, and Hamilton LLP in New York City.

Chinyere is a William J. Fulbright Scholar and a graduate of Yale University and Columbia Law School, where she served as President of Columbia Outlaws and Editor in Chief of the Columbia Journal of Gender and Law.

In her free time, Chinyere enjoys photography, graphic design, and spending time with her wife and puppy.
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Ashley Diamond
Ashley Diamond is a singer, song writer, and world-renowned civil rights activist.

In 2015, Ashley successfully brought suit against the Georgia Department of Corrections ("GDOC") regarding its failure to provide transgender inmates constitutionally adequate medical care or protection from sexual assault. GDOC implemented significant policy changes and agreed to a historic settlement.

Ashley's lawsuit also attracted the support of the U.S. Department of Justice, which issued a statement affirming the constitutional rights of transgender persons to access gender dysphoria treatment in prison and commenced an investigation into the treatment of LGBTQ inmates across the state of Georgia.

Ashley's tireless advocacy for the transgender community has been covered by newspapers and media outlets from across the globe, including the New York Times, Washington Post, NPR, MSNBC, and The Guardian.

Ashley remains committed to advancing the rights of LGBTQ persons in the United States and abroad.