Appleseed is mourning the loss of Mark Joelson, one of our founding members, who passed away last week.
Mark’s life embodied the pursuit of justice that lies at the heart of Appleseed’s mission. A Jewish refugee who escaped to America at the age of seven, shortly before the Nazis occupied his hometown, Mark built a distinguished legal career that earned him the Order of the British Empire from Queen Elizabeth II in 2001.
Appleseed Centers celebrate new judicial rulings affirming the importance of an inclusive and complete census count
An inclusive and complete census is essential for the communities Appleseed serves, and today we are celebrating two recent judicial decisions.
Last week, Appleseed Centers in Texas, Nebraska, and New Jersey submitted a joint comment letter to the US Comptroller of the Currency to speak out against a recently proposed rule. As the letter documents, the proposed rule would allow predatory lenders to escape rate cap laws, as well as liability for violations of federal and state consumer protection laws, by participating in “rent-a-bank” schemes. Borrowers can get trapped in these predatory loans, often paying extremely high interest rates and taking on more and more loans to extend the interest payments.
Appleseed Justice Centers Release New Report: Protecting Girls of Color from the School-to-Prison Pipeline
Report Finds Black Girls are Subject to Discriminatory School Disciplinary Action in Kansas, Massachusetts, and Alabama
WASHINGTON, DC, September 2, 2020 – Three members of the Appleseed Network, a non-profit network of independent organizations in the United States and Mexico working towards social and legal justice, today announced the release of their comprehensive report, “Protecting Girls of Color from the School-to-Prison Pipeline,” the final product of a year-long research project examining disparities in school disciplinary treatment for Black girls in Massachusetts, Alabama, and Kansas. Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP, an international law firm, served as pro bono partner throughout the project.
On behalf of the Appleseed Foundation Board of Directors, we are thrilled to announce the appointment of Benet Magnuson as Interim Executive Director for the Appleseed Foundation.
The Appleseed Network celebrates the Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling on Thursday morning, June 18th, in favor of blocking the termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The Court found that the Trump administration’s September 2017 move to terminate the program was “arbitrary and capricious,” and that the impact of the program’s termination on DACA recipients – at least 650,000 young immigrants brought to the US as children – was not properly taken into account.
Appleseed Network Response to the Murder of George Floyd and the Ongoing Fight Against Systemic Racial Injustice
America is hurting. The unjust murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless others have sparked a national movement to hold our leaders accountable for the insidious racial inequality that penetrates both consciously and unconsciously throughout American society. People across the nation are fighting to overcome generations of pain caused by white supremacy, racial injustice, police brutality, and a broken criminal justice system that penalizes Black citizens at disproportionate rates. This is increasingly obvious as we are suffering through a global pandemic that is impacting communities of color at far higher rates than white communities due to the inequities these communities are forced to endure. We continue to see the over-policing of Black communities and the unjust use of force against Black citizens. Segregated schools and segregated educational opportunities reproduce inequality and racial disparities. These societal issues entrench racial injustice in our schools, neighborhoods, and jobs, which ultimately lead to the violence perpetrated against innocent people such as George Floyd.
On Wednesday, February 5, Appleseed hosted its fifth “Seeds of Learning” event at The Mansion on O Street. We were excited to welcome Ed Chung, the Vice President for Criminal Justice Reform at American Progress, an independent, nonpartisan policy institute that develops new policy ideas to improve the lives of all Americans and future generations. Mr. Chung joined us to share his experience and plans to change the way Americans approach imprisonment and criminal justice reform.
On January 21, 2020, the Appleseed Foundation, and multiple Appleseed Centers (Chicago Appleseed, Hawaii Appleseed Center for Law and Economic Justice, Kansas Appleseed, Louisiana Appleseed, Nebraska Appleseed, New Jersey Appleseed Public Interest Law Center, South Carolina Appleseed Legal Justice Center, and Texas Appleseed) submitted a Comment Letter to the CFPB on Remittance Transfers Under the Electronic Fund Transfer Act. You can read our full comment here.
Please join us on Wednesday, February 5, for a conversation on reducing the footprint of the criminal justice system while making it fairer, more equitable, and more effective. We will be joined by Ed Chung, Vice President for Criminal Justice Reform at American Progress. Mr. Chung will share his thoughts on policies and legislation around comprehensive public safety strategies, sentencing and prison reform, opportunities for those who are justice-involved, and more.
Rupa Shenoy, a reporter for PRI's The World, recently published a story titled "Fearing detention, undocumented immigrants seek ways to appoint guardians for their children". Appleseed is humbled to have contributed to this important story about a very pressing family issue.
From the story: "Many undocumented immigrants in the US have been living with the threat of deportation for years — and those who are parents have an additional fear: What will happen to their children if they’re detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement?"
Save the Date! Our next Seeds of Learning event will take place on Wednesday, February 5, 2020 at 6pm. Please stay tuned for more info about our speaker and location in the New Year.
As we come to a close on Appleseed’s 25th anniversary year, we look back at achievements and accomplishments from around the Network. In this issue of our newsletter, you can find updates about our 25th Anniversary celebration, our Seeds of Learning event in September 2019, a spotlight on the work of Alabama Appleseed, and much more.
On Tuesday, September 17, Appleseed hosted the fourth installment in our “Seeds of Learning” event series at Teddy & the Bully Bar in downtown DC. We were excited to welcome Meg Wiehe, Deputy Director of the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) to discuss the organization’s recent report, “The Illusion of Race-Neutral Tax Policy.” The report highlights how tax policy is both a symptom and an instrument of systemic racism.
We are proud to congratulate Carla Crowder, Executive Director of Alabama Appleseed, for her role in the recent release of Alvin Kennard from prison in Alabama where he had been serving a life sentence without parole for robbing a bakery of $50 thirty-six years ago.
Last month, Carla stood with Alvin as the judge righted this wrong and resentenced this 58-year-old man to time served. The courtroom erupted with joy from the crowd gathered to support a man who previously had been condemned to die in prison.