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Jonathan Kaufman J.D. ’06 – Advocates for Community Alternatives – Accra, Ghana

Advocates for Community Alternatives (ACA) in Accra, Ghana is supporting West African communities facing an extractive model of development that threatens their lives, lands, and livelihoods.

ACA helps its partner communities to defend themselves legally and build resilience through community mobilization and development support.  In its first three years, ACA has begun working in seven communities in three countries, successfully fending off threats from corrupt traditional leaders and oil companies and facilitating development projects that reflect the communities’ own vision of the future.  The organization also leads a network of public interest lawyers across West Africa that has engineered the filing of landmark cases in six jurisdictions, supported young lawyers with public interest Fellowships in three West African countries, and is helping to launch one of the first ever university legal clinics in Francophone Africa.

Alice Cherry J.D. ’16 and Kelsey Skaggs J.D. ’16 – Climate Defense Project

CDP is a legal nonprofit that provides advice and support to the climate movement in the United States and internationally. CDP has been active in promoting the necessity defense, a legal argument that climate protesters and civil disobedients are increasingly using to defend themselves against criminal prosecution. In 2017, CDP helped secure the first two written rulings recognizing a protest defendant’s right to present the climate necessity defense at a jury trial.

Climate Defense Project fills a gap in the legal landscape by representing front-line activists, developing legal strategies, and connecting attorneys with communities and campaigns. Climate Defense Project operates across the United States and in Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia.