NH Institute for Civics Educationin partnership with theWarren B. Rudman Center at UNH Franklin Pierce School of Law
Present a William W. Treat Lecture
Michael A. Rebell is the Executive Director of the Center for Educational Equity at Columbia University’s Teachers College, where he also is professor of Law and Educational Practice. A graduate of Harvard University and Yale Law School, he has authored many books and articles, including Flunking Democracy: Schools, Courts and Civic Participation in 2018. His areas of interest and expertise include Educational Equity, Civic Education, and the role of courts in reform. On behalf of several Rhode Island youth and their parents, Professor Rebell is suing the state of Rhode Island in federal court (Cook v. Raimondo) stating failure to provide civics education deprives students of a fundamental constitutional right. Professor Rebell and his plaintiffs were featured on Trevor Noah’s The Daily Show in 2019.
Jennifer Wood is the Executive Director of the R.I. Center for Justice. She has over 30 years of public interest law experience in civil legal aid organizations, civil rights firms, state government, and legislative roles. Prior to joining the Center for Justice, she was the Deputy Secretary/General Counsel at the RI Executive Office of Health and Human Services and the General Counsel/Chief of Staff in the Office of the Lt. Governor. She also spent nine years as the Chief of Staff and Chief Legal Counsel at the RI Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Attorney Wood has represented incarcerated juveniles in their class action challenging their conditions of confinement and lack of access to education and has represented a wide array of students seeking to vindicate their right to an adequate and equitable education. In her role at the Center for Justice, she and her colleagues are members of the Our Schools PVD coalition, pressing for student rights in the context of the state takeover of the Providence public schools. Several of the student activists and Center for Justice community partners are also plaintiffs in the Cook v. Raimondo civics lawsuit in which Jennifer serves as local plaintiffs' counsel. Jennifer is a graduate of Brown University and the Northeastern University School of Law.
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