EVENT: Rikers: An American Jail (Tuesday, February 20, 2018)


The A2J Initiative at Fordham Law School is sponsoring an event focused on the future of the Rikers Island Prison Complex and its effect on New York City’s criminal justice system.

The event will feature a screening of excerpts from the documentary “Rikers: An American Jail,” with an introduction from journalist Bill Moyers and a panel discussion moderated by Scott Pelley of 60 Minutes.  Two of the panelists, Michael Jacobson, Executive Director of the CUNY Institute for State and Local Governance, and Jonathan Lippman, Former Chief Judge of New York and Chair of the Independent Commission on NYC Criminal Justice and Incarceration Reform, appear in the Urban Law Journal.

Event Details:

Tuesday, February 20, 2018
6 – 6:30 p.m., reception | 6:30 – 8 p.m., program
Fordham Law School
150 West 62nd Street
New York NY 10023

Scott Pelley
Journalist; Correspondent on 60 Minutes, CBS

Bill Moyers
Journalist; Executive Editor of “Rikers: An American Jail”

Elizabeth Crowley
Former New York City Council Member for the 30th District

Eric Gonzelez
District Attorney for Kings County, New York

Michael Jacobson
Executive Director of the CUNY Institute for State and Local Governance

Jonathan Lippman
Former Chief Judge of New York; Chair of the Independent Commission on NYC Criminal Justice and Incarceration Reform

Tracey L. Meares
Walton Hale Professor of Law and Founding Director of The Justice Collaboratory at Yale Law School; Visiting Professor of Law at Fordham Law School (Spring 2018)

Co-sponsored by the National Center for Access to Justice at Fordham Law.

EVENT: Fighting Discrimination in Healthcare in 2018 (January 30, 2018)

McGregor Smyth













The Feerick Center for Social Justice is hosting McGregor Smyth, Executive Director of New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, as part of its Social Justice Luncheon Speaker Series.  The topic will be Fighting Discrimination in Healthcare in 2018.  The Urban Law Journal is a co-sponsor of the event.

Event Details:

Tuesday, January 30, 2018
12:30 p.m.

Fordham Law School

150 West 62nd Street

Room 4-01 

Pizza will be served.

For more information please email 

Advocates for Sexual Health & Rights
Asian Pacific Law Student Association
Black Law Students Association
Catholic Law Students
Consumer Law Advocates
Domestic Violence Action Center 
Environmental Law Advocates
Fordham Consumer Law Advocates 
Fordham Law Review
Fordham Law Women 
Fordham OUTLaws  
Fordham Urban Law Journal
Immigration Advocacy Project
Irish Law Students Association
Latin American Law Students Association 
Lawyering for Reproductive Justice

THE 2017 COOPER-WALSH COLLOQUIUM: Taking a Bite out of the Big Apple: A Conversation about Urban Food Policy – Friday, October 20, 2017

CooperWalsh2017 Post Image 2

Friday, October 20, 2017
9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Fordham Law School
Hill Faculty Conference Room (7-119) | 7th floor
150 West 62nd Street
New York, NY 10023


Registration: 9:15 – 9:45 a.m.

Welcome and Introduction

9:45 – 10:00 am

Dean Matthew Diller from Fordham University School of Law

Ten Years of Food Policy Governance in New York City: Lessons for the Next Decade by Dr. Nicholas Freudenberg

10:00 – 10:45 a.m.

In the last decade, New York City has created dozens of new food policies and programs to improve nutritional well-being, promote food security, create food systems that support community and economic development and achieve other important goals.  These initiatives built on the city’s prior efforts to create healthier food environments and used existing and new governance mechanisms to consider, enact and implement changes in how New York City produces, distributes and consumes the food that sustains its residents.  This report will consider these changes in food policy governance in New York City since 2008 and seeks to answer questions about how food policy governance functions in New York City, changes in the last decade, and what strategies can be used to achieve developing food policy goals in the future.

Foraging Food Justice through Cooperatives in New York City by Surbhi Sarang and Professor Natalie Bump Vena

10:45 – 11:30 a.m.

The paper argues that co-operatives are a means of furthering food justice in New York City, because they can simultaneously promote economic development in low-income communities of color and increase access to affordable and desirable foods in those neighborhoods. Food co-operatives have a long history in the United States and New York City, and people of color have used them as tools for self-determination since the 1930s. Besides advancing economic justice and food access, co-operatives have other benefits, such as: attractive work cultures, conscientious environmental stewardship, and the capacity to act as local food hubs.

In order for co-operatives play their role in transforming the urban food ecosystem, city policies must be developed to address numerous challenges. In particular, low-income entrepreneurs interested in starting new co-operatives face many obstacles. Common barriers include difficulty securing financing; lack of technical, legal, and business knowledge; and the inability to acquire affordable storefront and kitchen space. The paper concludes by proposing policy solutions, in part derived from legislation in other jurisdictions, including Minnesota and Quebec. To better ensure the success of these enterprises in forging food justice, the paper recommends increased technical assistance, public funding, and private investment in new food co-ops.

Professor Jonathan Brown will respond.

Want to Increase Food Access? Ban It from Your Vocabulary by Professor Nathan Rosenberg

11:45 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

In recent years, policymakers, nongovernmental organizations, and activists have increasingly sought to address disparities within the food system by increasing access to healthy foods in low-income communities. The Obama administration, in its Healthy Food Financing Initiative, provided millions of dollars to supermarkets and other retailers to build in so-called “food deserts,” a model copied by many states and localities. Recent research, however, suggests that efforts to increase food access have failed to improve the diets, health, and economic status of the poor—and may even amplify inequalities. This article examines the implications of this research for debates on food justice, redistribution, and effective public policy. It concludes by suggesting alternative strategies for reducing economic and health disparities within food systems.

Dr. Nevin Cohen will respond.

12:35 – 1:35 p.m. Lunch Break

Litigating Obesity: The Consequences of Taking “Big Food” to Court by Dr. Sara Abiola

1:45 – 2:25 p.m.

A growing body of work has focused on social rights litigation- the legal enforcement of economic, social, and cultural rights.  While normative studies evaluate the appropriate role of courts in a democratic society and their theoretical capacity to effectively address social issues, empirical studies are concerned with the functional ability of courts to resolve disputes involving these rights and actually produce significant change.  Over the past quarter-century private citizens in the United States have brought lawsuits against food and beverage manufacturers that assign varying degrees of responsibility for health-related harms to these entities.  In this paper I review the trajectory of these cases and their impact on efforts to create healthier communities and environments. The universe of litigation includes cases that: a) make claims based upon the actions of private actors that have contributed to obesity; b) concern access to products or goods produced by “Big Food”; or c) concern the underlying conditions that contribute to obesity.  I identify the factors facilitate or limit the ability of courts to make decisions that have an effect on the ongoing obesity epidemic.

Dr. Diana Silver will respond.

Food Law Gone Wild: The Law of Foraging by Professor Baylen Linnekin

2:30 – 3:15 p.m.

Foraging is the act of searching for and harvesting wild food and other provisions. The practice of gathering vegetables, fruits, fungi, herbs, nuts, seaweed, and other edibles where they appear naturally in the wild is separate and distinct from pursuits for necessaries such as hunting, fishing, farming, shopping, or trading. Foraging is as old as—and has been essential to—human life itself.

For most of this history, foraging raised few red flags. Today—as Linnekin describes in my book Biting the Hands That Feed Us: How Fewer, Smarter Laws Would Make Our Food System More Sustainable (Island Press 2016)—laws increasingly target foraging on America’s public and private lands. In some cases, these restrictions are smart policy. For example, regulators banned foraging in New York City’s Central Park amid concerns the ecosystem couldn’t withstand the practice. But many foraging rules go too far. An elderly Illinois man was fined for picking dandelion greens in a park; a Maryland forager was fined for picking berries in a park; and a California chef/activist who educates the public about sustainable foraging—the Sierra Club calls him an “eco-friendly… gourmet”—has faced fines for his work. Meanwhile, in Maine, lawmakers may restrict the state’s longstanding practice of allowing foragers to roam private lands.

Despite the growing number of regulatory issues pertaining to foraging, legal scholarship on this issue is virtually nonexistent. This fact is particularly problematic because federal, state, and local foraging rules vary wildly, and often conflict.

This article discusses the historical and legal context of foraging; distinguish between foraging on private and public lands; define and identify examples of sustainable and unsustainable foraging; describe problems presented both by unencumbered foraging and by restrictions on foraging; and propose a framework for maximizing the human and ecological benefits of foraging and minimizing its environmental impacts.

Professor Joshua Galperin will respond.

Big Food and Soda vs. Public Health: Industry Litigation Against Local Government Regulatory Interventions to Promote Healthy Diets by Dr. Charles Platkin and Professor Sarah Roach

3:30 – 4:15 p.m.

Closing Remarks

4:15 – 4:30 p.m.

Professor Susan Block-Lieb from Fordham Law School

Getting There From Here: A Conversation About Regional Transportation

Fordham Urban Law Journal’s Cooper-Walsh Colloquium, “Getting There From Here: A Conversation About Regional Transportation,” will take place on Friday, October 21, 2016, at Fordham Law School. The annual Colloquium is organized in conjunction with Professor Susan Block-Lieb, the Cooper Family Chair of Urban Legal Studies, and Professor Sheila Foster, the Albert A. Walsh Chair of Real Estate, Land Use, and Property Law.  The event is co-sponsored by the Urban Law Center at Fordham Law School. The 2016 Cooper-Walsh Colloquium is dedicated to exploring regional transportation as a source of economic growth, social inclusion, and sustainable development. The Colloquium will examine how federal, state, and local governments shape metropolitan and regional transportation, and identify and assess potential reforms. It will feature roundtable discussions of articles and essays that the Fordham Urban Law Journal will publish in its Spring 2017 Cooper-Walsh Issue.

Read more

Law, Urban Space, and the Future of Artistic Expression: 2015 Urban Law Journal Symposium

On Thursday, February 26, 2015, the Urban Law Journal at Fordham University School of Law in New York City will hold an all-day Symposium examining the regulation of artistic expression within urban landscapes. The symposium will examine certain legal issues surrounding street art, such as intellectual property and private and public spaces. The symposium will also look at a range of different perspectives of artistic urban expression, covering topics such as larger scale metropolitan art, the role of street art in shaping and changing communities, and the role of performance art generally. Read more

Financing and Fairness: Implementation and Equity in the Urban Charter School

Date & Time: Friday, October 24, 2014 from 10AM to 4PM

Location: Fordham Law School, 150 West 62nd Street

The Cooper-Walsh Colloquium is a gathering of the top thinkers in various disciplines who bring creative analyses and solutions to bear on the most pressing issues that affect urban areas. The Colloquium is organized in conjunction with Professor Susan Block-Lieb, the Cooper Family Chair in Urban Legal Issues, and Professor Sheila Foster, the Albert A. Walsh Chair of Real Estate, Land Use, and Property Law. The Colloquium consists of four paper presentations and four accompanying responses that serve as a workshop for the main papers and facilitate open discussion among the panel and colloquium attendees. Articles and responses developed at this year’s Colloquium will be published in the Cooper-Walsh Issue of the Journal in March 2015. Read more

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