Equitable Climate Disaster Recovery
Disaster Legal Services
Disaster & Human Rights Legal Clinics - GCCLP provides disaster legal services through community legal clinics in partnership with local public-interest legal service providers and social justice organizations. In addition to receiving free or low-cost legal services, Gulf South residents receive political education around the root causes of the specific disaster they are experiencing. Legal services include limited legal representation to advance:
Land Use/ Water Rights/Mineral Rights
Disaster migration is not a new reality in the Gulf Coast. In the aftermath of Katrina, thousands of families were forced to flee to cities and cross state lines. The Katrina diaspora extended to all 50 states of the US. These people were called "refugees," which is an incorrect use of specific legal terminology. They were not refugees, but rather climate migrants. They were entitled to the international protections of "internally displaced people (IDPs). They had the right to access the justice systems set up to help them recover.
Access to justice is at the core of GCCLP's work in the Gulf Coast. In partnership with community-based organizations, private law practices, and legal services organizations, GCCLP provided BP Claim Assistance, advocacy with Road Home and FEMA Recoupment issues, FEMA Claims Assistance, and more through community clinics in the aftermath of climate disaster across the five Gulf South states.
Community Justice Clinics
Central to GCCLP's theory of change is service. Our Community Justice Clinics provide free or low-cost legal services to our partners around the region. Starting with service allows GCCLP to build real relationships within communities, and better inform, connect, and engage local leaders moving forward.
Examples of past community justice clinics include:
Oil Disaster Clinics: support for BP Claimants (LA only).
Expungement Clinics: support for US Citizens seeking to re-enter the workforce (LA only)
Asylum, TPS and U-visa Clinics: benefits screening for those migrating from danger.
SIJS, DAPA and DACA Clinics: support for immigrant youth. You can read more about immigrants from Honduras to New Orleans here.
GCCLP provides targeted leadership development through fellowship and internship programming specifically tailored for leaders working in the unique landscape of the Gulf South. Leadership development programming is intended to identify and cultivate local leadership rooted in community and bound by the ultimate level of community accountability. GCCLP tailors fellowship & internship programs (by cohort and through staffing) to develop and politicize a pool of local experts who advance a broader vision of ecological equity and climate justice. GCCLP strengthens movement infrastructure through fellowship programs that develop local leadership.
GCCLP offers internships and Climate Law Fellowship for Law/Graduate/Ph.D. students). Internship opportunities include seasonal Internships- Spring, Summer & Fall OR Week-Long Externships December (i.e. Spring Break). Law and graduate students enrolled in US or non-US law or graduate programs are invited to volunteer with GCCLP as Interns or Externs. This means that interns are assigned to a regular schedule to be fulfilled in the Louisiana office. Interns will be assigned to support on-going GCCLP programming on one of the following:
Equitable Disaster Planning & Recovery
Interns must have access to a laptop, smartphone and be fluent in English. These internships are offered as six-week terms (consecutive) or week-long externships and can be located remotely or in either Mississippi or Louisiana. To volunteer send your letter of inquiry, resume, writing sample, and the names and contact information of three references to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bringing Lawyers to Movement
GCCLP is proud to work across the region with lawyers and law students. We create intentional spaces for safe, challenging, and honest conversations about the role of lawyers in creating a more equitable and just society.
2016 "Race & Whiskey" series with Loyola University of New Orleans Law students
Disaster Law Network
GCCLP supports a trained network of local lawyers from across the Gulf to support advocacy opportunities toward a vision of climate justice and ecological equity. This network specifically supports efforts advancing Federal Recognition for native coastal tribes, accountability around over-policing in the aftermath of climate disaster, voting rights protections and democracy in the aftermath of climate disaster, and reforming Federal Disaster Policy. Volunteer lawyers and law students are trained in federal disaster law areas and response. Volunteers become members of a national network that can be quickly accessed and mobilized by community in times of climate disaster.
Black Decade Climate Network
GCCLP has launched a four-year learning exchange to highlight the United Nations declared Decade for People of African Descent (2015-2024) and the global Climate Justice movement, with specific attention to the impacts on Black people in the US and Global South. This project engages emerging leaders of African descent (20-50) in the development of a communications campaign and learning exchange focused on the impacts of climate change with African diasporic communities in Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, Belize, Martinique/Guadeloupe. Each exchange will develop new media and communications products aimed at the next generation of Black human rights defenders and climate advocates. By 2021, annual mini-reports from each exchange will be combined into a comprehensive report on the impacts of climate on people of African descent.
HR & Disaster Continuing Legal Education (Legal Training)
GCCLP uses license compliance regulations to educate private sector attorneys to better understand inequities in the law and legal procedures as well as the opportunities to use the law to advance equity in our society. CLE’s focus on the following:
Justice vs.Disaster Response: Federal Disaster Response 101
Policy & Practices around Disaster Claims
Protecting Constitutional Rights of Human Rights Defenders in disaster
Ecological Equity/ Climate Justice Training Curriculum
By using community participatory research, collectivized local experiences, equity-based data, and new media, GCCLP has become a regional leader of equity training and presentations. GCCLP has developed a base-curriculum, Understanding Race, Power & Privilege in a new Climate Reality, and tailors it for community, elected officials, funders, and national allies working in the South. Training and presentations include:
Achieving Ecological Equity: Understanding Race, Power and Privilege in the US South.
Race, Power & Citizenship
Climate Justice 101
Climate Impact Series: (Health, Housing, Im/Migration, Democracy)