with End New Jim Crow Action Network, Summer 2020
Recipient: Prof. Jeff Schneider
Proposal: The grant-funded faculty time and a summer Community Fellow position for a student to assist with the development of an intensive around the topic of court watching. Students in the intensive will collaborate on the court watch program developed by members of the Poughkeepsie-based End the New Jim Crow Action Network (ENJAN). This intensive would train students in the methodologies of community court watching, after which students would attend court sessions, record data on the cases they witness (on forms and then in our databases), and write blog posts on a website to communicate key observations. In addition, students would read scholarly articles to inform their court watch blog posts and reflect on the challenges and possibilities of this form of public activism. (Prof. Schneider offered this as an Intensive in Fall 2020)
“Eli attended regular meetings of ENJAN as well as meetings with other groups, such as the NYCLU working groups on racial justice and criminal justice. He also attended meetings with other regional and statewide groups seeking to build a larger coalition, such as Equity Future, Vocal-NY, Decarcerate the Hudson Valley, ENJAN-Kingston, Rise Up Kingston, Nobody Leaves the Mid-Hudson Valley, Newburgh LBGTQ Center, Black Lives Matter, and others. He also worked on outreach and lobbying plans with elected officials from the City of Poughkeepsie and the Dutchess County Legislature.
This grant gave our student intern a thorough immersion in the world of community organizing and local politics. It has had a significant impact on the democratic process in the City of Poughkeepsie and the well-being of many of its residents, in particular low-income communities of color who suffer from overpolicing and limited opportunities to exercise civilian oversight of law enforcement.”