Dear RebLaw Community,
Welcome! We are honored to serve as co-directors of this year’s Rebellious Lawyering Conference. For 30 years, RebLaw has served as a meeting place for a broad community of practitioners, students, and activists dedicated to challenging systemic oppression and breaking down hierarchies that exist within legal practices, organizing spaces, and academia.
RebLaw has a long and storied history of bringing together hundreds of people from across the country (and the world!) in one place, creating lasting connections and a legacy of incredible advocates. While the pandemic temporarily impeded this tradition and caused ruptures in institutional knowledge, we are proud to be part of a new generation of students bringing this conference back to life. It has been incredibly meaningful and energizing to dedicate our time to this undertaking.
After much consideration (and with the help of our wonderful planning committee), we settled on dis·place·ment as the theme for RebLaw 2024. This theme reflects both our apprehension about and our hopes for the future.
On the one hand, we are bearing witness to some of the largest forced displacements in human history. Imperialism, corporate greed, and mass incarceration continue to forcibly separate billions of people from their homes, their livelihoods, their communities, and—in many cases—from their very own identities. Climate change drives this mass displacement and foments even more precarity among already-vulnerable communities. All the while, the forces of apathy and despair tempt many to look away.
On the other hand, dis·place·ment as a framework offers a clue as to how we can overcome these challenges. Through planting roots, building movements, and finding our place in a world hellbent on severing our bonds with each other and our planet, we can not only survive the current moment but also build toward a more just world. Our hope is that the conversations that happen at RebLaw 2024—among both our groundbreaking speakers and amidst conference attendees—will provide inspiration for us all to continue resisting the forces of displacement by building community and solidarity.
We’d be remiss not to acknowledge the community we have built throughout the process of planning this conference. We deeply appreciate the support of our many co-sponsoring organizations, who provided us with the resources to execute a conference aligned with both our values and our vision. Thank you to Rachelle Byron, Dean Mike Thompson, Yale A/V, and all of the other administrative actors who have aided us (and responded to many, many emails) over the past several months. And, of course, we have to thank all of our incredible speakers for agreeing to be a part of RebLaw 2024. We cannot wait to learn from and with all of you.
Finally, we are so grateful to every member of our conference planning committee. Thank you for contributing your time, energy, and love to RebLaw—the conference would not have been possible without you.
We are very excited to welcome everyone to New Haven for RebLaw 2024. We hope that you leave the conference feeling nourished and energized for all the work we have ahead.
In love and solidarity,
The RebLaw 2024 Co-Directors