Racial Justice Speakers

  • Elise C. Boddie

    Fordham Law School

  • Marianne Engelman Lado

    New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, Inc.

    Marianne is General Counsel to New York Lawyers for the Public Interest (NYLPI), where she oversees the litigation and advocacy program, including impact litigation, administrative advocacy, direct representation, community organizing and outreach, and intake. The docket encompasses cases and advocacy on issues of disability rights, environmental justice, and access to health care.

    Marianne has also played a role in the development of the National Campaign to Restore Civil Rights, a nationwide effort to address the rollback of civil rights by the courts.

    Marianne was previously a staff attorney at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF), where she worked on litigation and advocacy within LDF’s Poverty & Justice Program, representing clients attempting to break barriers of access to health care and quality education. In this capacity Marianne was responsible for developing a health care docket aimed at addressing the scarcity of health resources in medically underserved communities; discriminatory practices by the health care industry, including nursing homes, and also managed care organizations; lack of access to reproductive health services; and related issues of environmental justice. She also organized the legal effort in the late 1990s to save the public hospitals in New York City. The education docket included case development, trial, and appellate work at the state and federal level to guarantee equal educational opportunity across racial and class lines.

    Marianne has taught graduate and undergraduate level courses in public administration, health policy, and education law at Baruch College. She holds a B.A. in government from Cornell University, a J.D. from the University of California at Berkeley, and an M.A. in Politics from Princeton University. Her publications include “Unfinished Agenda: The Need for Civil Rights Litigation to Address Continuing Patterns of Race Discrimination and Inequalities in Access to Health Care,” “Breaking the Barriers of Access to Health Care: A Discussion of the Role of Civil Rights Litigation and the Relationship Between Burdens of Proof and the Experience of Denial,” “Evaluating Systems for Delivering Legal Services to the Poor: Conceptual and Methodological Considerations” (co-authored with Gregg G. Van Ryzin) and “A Question of Justice: African-American Legal Perspectives on the 1883 Civil Rights Cases.”

  • Chester Hartman

    Poverty & Race Research Action Council

  • Alma Lowry

    Syracuse University

  • Barbara Olshansky

    Center for Constitutional Rights

  • Jane Perkins

    National Health Law Program

  • Sarah Somers

    National Health Law Program

    Sarah Somers has been a Staff Attorney in NHeLP’s Chapel Hill office since 2001. She specializes in litigation and litigation support and has a particular expertise in Medicaid and disability issues. Before coming to NHeLP, she worked for DNA – People’s Legal Services and the Native American Protection and Advocacy Project on the Navajo Nation, where she represented children in special education and Medicaid cases. She received her J.D. from Michigan Law School in 1992 and her B.A. from Wellesley College in 1988.

  • Janette Wipper

    Associate, Sanford, Wittels & Heisler