Blog Archives for July 2014

Doug Smith (’13) Helps Low-Income Residents and Entrepreneurs Access Opportunities in a Changing Urban Landscape

July 25, 2014

Doug Smith is a 2013 Equal Justice Works Fellow sponsored by The Ottinger Family Foundation.  Equal Justice Works recently caught up with Doug to learn more about his accomplishments at Public Counsel in Los Angeles, California.

With congested freeways and never-ending sprawl, Los Angeles was once described as “72 suburbs in search of a city.” Today, all of that is changing.  The region has largely embraced a new paradigm of urban growth driven by catalytic investments in public transportation and “smart growth” initiatives encouraging density and vibrant pedestrian-oriented streetscapes.  But much of this transformation is occurring squarely within the city’s low-income neighborhoods – often the very same communities that were marginalized and segregated by previous urban renewal initiatives.

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Jason Langberg (’10) Dismantles School-to-Prison Pipeline for Students from Low-Income Families

July 18, 2014

Jason Langberg is an alumnus of the 2010 Equal Justice Works Fellowship class. Equal Justice Works caught up with Jason to learn more about his accomplishments at the Advocates for Children’s Services in Wake County, North Carolina.

What inspired you to work in education and with children?

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been interested in public education and children’s rights. I didn’t experience one defining moment; instead, my passion has snowballed over the last 15 years of volunteering and working as a tutor, teacher, mentor, guardian ad litem, and advocate. In the process, I’ve been continuously inspired and sustained by young people who are full of life and resilience in the face of tremendous obstacles.

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Kathryn Kliff (’12) Protects Homeless Families’ Rights to Shelters

July 11, 2014

Below is a guest blog post from 2012 Equal Justice Works Fellow, Kathryn Kliff.  Her fellowship at The Legal Aid Society in New York is sponsored by KPMG and Sidley Austin LLP.  Read how Kathryn has secured immediate shelter and defended rights for many homeless families and individuals throughout New York City.


Shortly before Christmas of last year, I met the Johnson family while conducting outreach at the New York City intake facility for homeless families (known as the Prevention Assistance and Temporary Housing (PATH)).  The family included Ms. Johnson, her husband, and their three children (10-year-old Jessica, five-year-old Dwayne, and two-year-old James).  I discovered that for the previous 10 nights, the family had been riding the New York City subway trains after being denied shelter by PATH.  Tears streamed down Jessica’s face as her mother shared their story with me.

Right: 2012 Equal Justice Works Fellow Kathryn Kliff discusses access to shelter with a client at PATH, a New York City intake facility for homeless families.

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