Stanford University

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The Global Struggle for Environmental Justice

Wednesday, Oct 23, 2019 12:45 PM
Stanford Law School, room 280A
General Public
Center for Human Rights and International Justice, Environmental Law Society, International Human Rights Group, International Law Society, Stanford Human Rights Law Association


Vivek Maru, founder and CEO of Namati, will share how community paralegals around the world are equipping people directly affected by environmental destruction—smallholder farmers in Sierra Leone, fisher people on the coast of India, families in an industrial zone of Baltimore USA—to exercise their rights. He will offer lessons about law, power, and institutions that emerge from this legal empowerment work. He will tell a story about how these struggles are connected to each other, and to all of us. Moderated by Beth Van Schaack, Leah Kaplan Visiting Professor of Human Rights at Stanford Law School.

About Vivek Maru and Namati: Vivek founded Namati in 2011 to advance justice by equipping people to understand, use, and shape the laws that affect them. Namati and its partners train and deploy community paralegals to take on some of the greatest injustices of our times. These paralegals empower vulnerable communities to protect their lands, enforce environmental law, and secure basic rights to healthcare and citizenship. Together, they strive to translate the lessons from grassroots experience into positive, large-scale changes to laws and systems.
Namati convenes the Global Legal Empowerment Network, more than 2,000 groups from 160 countries who are learning from one another and collaborating on common challenges. Members are learning from one another, advocating together, and joining forces to bring justice everywhere.
Vivek is co-author of Community Paralegals and the Pursuit of Justice (Cambridge University Press, 2018) which has garnered public praise from the likes of Bryan Stevenson and Mary Robinson. His 2017 TED Talk, How to Put the Power of Law in People’s Hands, has been viewed over a million times.

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