100R Warren Street

Roxbury, MA  02119

Tel: 617-299-2604

© 2019 CREATED BY THE NATIONAL COUNCIL

The National Council Principles

We are committed to our movement.

We are unapologetically committed to the leadership of people of color with in the law, primarily black lawyers, legal workers, law students, jailhouse lawyers, clients and community members. Whether they have been deeply involved in supporting this movement or are just finding their way here, there is a need and a space for them at this convening and in this movement.

We believe in using law for the people and that legal tools should be used to build the power of movements. We are working to build a stronger, more cohesive legal arm for the movement for Black Lives.

We believe in creating a space that is affirming, healing, transparent, and respectful and a space that doesn’t replicate the kinds of oppression, harm and trauma that we are working against. We will strive to have patience with and forgiveness for one another as we build together.

We seek solutions to social problems (poverty, addiction, etc.) and interpersonal conflicts which are positive and uplifting.

We are political. We understand that this moment requires political lawyering and explicit partnership with movement activists/organizers, thinking creatively and collectively about how the law can be used to support movements, and respecting activists’ and organizers’ political choices. We provide legal resources at the direction of community leaders and community-led, base building organizations.

We will end the incarceration of women and girls by reimagining our communities as places defined by mutual support, economic equality, and transformative justice.

We believe collaboration and cross-institutional/non-institutional infrastructure is needed to support this growing movement. We believe in the importance of building shared legal infrastructure where the contributions of many people of conscience can be leveraged to support this movement.

We are not afraid to lose. We will fight for what we believe in  even if our goals are dismissed as unrealistic. Temporary defeats give us the knowledge we need to succeed in the future.

We are committed to the liberation and self-determination of all Black people -- including Black women and LGBT/queer folks -- and we are committed to implementing an intersectional, anti-racist practice throughout our work.

We are led by formerly incarcerated women of color and will always implement the vision of women who have been harmed by the criminal legal system.

We believe in democratizing access to the law and legal strategies/tactics. That means actively combating the elitism, hierarchies and lawyer-centric tendencies within the legal world. This also means taking direction and feedback from community partners and clients.

We believe in an internationalist approach that draws connections between the struggle for human rights and dignity in black communities in the United States and across the world.