At the Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice, we provide pro bono legal representation to low-income individuals and families facing discrimination. We also provide free workshops and clinics for struggling entrepreneurs working to get their small businesses off the ground. These are not small tasks, and more often than not the attorneys and staff work together to achieve our goals. I often thought our organization only served individual cases because of its small size, but I have been proven wrong. Through the partnerships with our pro bono allies, we have brought new attention to high profile cases such as 1) Doe v. Peyser 2) Racism against black and Hispanic police at Brookline PD 3) racial bias on Airbnb 4) Fisher II and more. Though some cases end in our favor, I am most proud of the discussions that have begun among all social circles. Only through talking, and sometimes debating, can we begin to understand each other’s realities.
I remember in a particular sociology class at Boston College, we were discussing the ramifications of having a large family while living in poverty. In order to reduce their financial expenditure, one student suggested that families should bear fewer kids. “Do you know how much condoms cost?” one student challenged. “They’re not that much,” the first student retorted. We discussed that the reason for this opposition was rooted in the impact of the cost of condoms on a given individual’s finances. One can assume the first student can afford to pay for condoms regularly. Similarly, I don’t believe that inequalities in America are simply ignored. Sometimes they are unobserved. Our ignorance of each other’s realities leads to misunderstanding, confusion, and disagreement. My education at BC has been crucial because I have learned that no matter our path of study, our perceptions of our world are limited to our own experiences and comprehension. We must always strive to learn things unknown to us.
Written by Tizzy Tiezazu, BC Class of 2017