Legal and Judicial Activism

brendien at court


As freedom fighters committed to lasting, meaningful change, we know that, while legal change cannot be the sole path to liberation, it is certainly a tool for agents of social justice seeking to reduce the harm of repressive legislation and winning long-withheld constitutional rights. As we mobilize for a demographically and professionally diverse federal bench, we’re cognizant that we face a conservative legal opposition committed to limiting our access to and ability to shape the law. From suppressing the vote, expanding the role of money in politics, reinforcing patriarchal and heteronormative policies, to justifying white supremacist policing practices, conservatives manipulate the courts to send a clear message that our voices, our experiences, and our dreams for the future don’t matter. As we continue the Courts Matter Initiative within the People for the American Way Foundation, YP4 is intentionally engaging a diverse cohort of young leaders to support transformative organizing, learn the ways in which courts operate, and build a movement for a fair and just courts system that includes the voices and experiences of young people engaged in liberation movements.


YP4 encourages its Fellows to work on issues related to Courts and Judicial Reform through their Blueprint projects and programs such as the Courts Matter collaborative campaign. Our Fellows and alumni are currently working within the judicial system to ensure the rights of all Americans are protected regardless of their identities and experiences.


Many thanks to Poy Winichakul ’10 and People For the American Way Foundation staff for their help in the shaping of this issue area. Photo of Brendien Mitchell ’13 speaking at a protest in front of the Supreme Court regarding its Citizens United v. FEC decision.


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