By Ariana Gibbs “The most disrespected person in America is the black woman. The most unprotected person in America is the black woman. The most neglected person in America is the black woman.” Those are the words of Malcolm X, spoken in 1962. And it is the sentiment that motivated Alana Brown to found The Safe Sisters Circle. Founded in 2018, The Safe Sisters Circle is an organization that provides support and healing to black women survivors of domestic and sexual abuse. Brown, who is originally from Washington, D.C., noticed throughout her work as a prosecutor and later, as an advocate for survivors, there often existed a cultural disconnect between legal service providers and clients. Brown noticed that many lawyers did not look like the clients they served. Moreover, “It occurred to me, despite the growing number of reports of domestic and sexual violence reported among black women, few resources existed which aimed specifically to support and help black women suffering from that violence. I decided something should be done to remedy that,” says Brown. Hence, The Safe Sisters Circle was created. “It was important to me, in founding The Safe Sisters Circle, that the organization be a space for marginalized women to feel comfortable and safe within their own community,” says Brown. The Safe Sisters Circle’s services are provided in the heart of Ward 8 in the East of the River community. Of the community that lives in Ward 7 and 8, 95% are black. Additionally, Wards 7 and 8 have the highest rates of domestic violence in the District. By being embedded in the community, Brown intends for The Safe Sisters Circle to be a known safe haven within the neighborhood. “All women, regardless of race or ethnicity, are invited. This is a safe space for all survivors to receive support, be empowered, and to connect with other survivors in their community,” says Brown. The Safe Sisters Circle provides free legal representation to survivors in Civil Protection Order hearings, family law cases, and cases related to survivors’ underlying abuse. To learn more about the organization, or to volunteer, visit www.safesisterscircle.org. or contact email@example.com. All are welcome! Ariana Gibbs is a member of the East of the River Profiles committee.
Introduced by Council member Elissa Silverman, the Wage Garnishment Fairness Amendment Act of 2018 protects from garnishment weekly wages up to 40 times the District’s minimum wage (currently $13.25 per hour, and rising in July to $14 per hour). The law’s effective date is April 11, 2019, and its protections will likely begin to apply on October 1, when the District’s new fiscal year begins.
Over the past few years, immigration has become one of the hottest pro bono and public-interest fields. At our 2019 Summer Forum, the Immigration and Human Rights panel will discuss the ways that immigrant-rights organizations are working to protect the rights of immigrants and promote access to justice both in the District and around the country. #SumFo19
Being an attorney in the District gives you a myriad of opportunities to work on civil rights and civil liberties issues. DC or federal work, litigation or policy, career or pro bono. Come to the Summer Pro Bono & Public-Interest Forum’s Civil Rights and Civil Liberties panel to learn how to defend these liberties. #SumFo19