Alumni Short

Law School Faculty Awarded Grants from Engaged CornellIthaca, NEW YORK, September 18, 2020

By: Georgina Selenica

Two research projects from the Law School faculty recently received Engaged Curriculum Grants from Cornell’s Office of Engagement Initiatives. The projects, titled “Learning through Advocacy” and “International Human Rights and the Death Penalty,” call for creating a new course exploring the causes and consequences of unemployment and creating a new human rights minor at Cornell University, respectively.

“Learning through Advocacy,” a project proposed by a team of faculty from both the Law School and the School of Industrial and Labor Relations (ILR), received $40,000. The team includes Michaela Azemi, director of pro bono services and externships at the Law School, and Stewart Schwab, professor of law, along with Ian Greer and Paul Davis from ILR.

In the project, ILR students will collaborate with law students, legal services, and pro bono attorneys to assist unemployed members of the community. The team proposes a new course titled “Unemployment: Experiences, Causes, and Responses” and a partnership between the Law School and Legal Assistance of Western New York, Inc. (LawNY) that will mobilize students to combat the consequences of unemployment. Students will also observe court appearances concerning unemployment insurance benefits, housing, and/or public assistance.

Another grant in the amount of $10,000 was awarded to Sandra Babcock, John Blume, Joe Margulies, Delphine Lourtau, Laura Dougas, and Zohra Ahmed for their project titled “International Human Rights and the Death Penalty.”

This team proposed the creation of an undergraduate minor in human rights along with a seminar on human rights and the death penalty. The minor curriculum will teach background and skills useful for human rights work while also taking students through ethical and practical decisions of how to work within global solidarity movements. The seminar will connect students with community partners in Africa through the Cornell Center on the Death Penalty Worldwide and students will work with these partners to develop community-engaged learning opportunities.

Sandra Babcock, clinical professor of law, directs the Cornell Center for the Death Penalty Worldwide, in which Delphine Lourtau is executive director, Laura Douglas is associate director of research and training, and Zohra Ahmed is a clinical teaching fellow. John Blume is the Samuel F. Leibowitz Professor of Trial Techniques and director of the Cornell Death Penalty Project. Joe Margulies is professor of law and government.

The Office of Engagement Initiatives supports a variety of community-engaged faculty and staff initiatives through awards, grants, and supplemental funding. Engaged Curriculum Grants create, expand, and strengthen research and teaching fields by funding teams that are integrating community-engaged learning into curriculum exploration, development, and improvement.