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Victory! Governor Baker Signs Criminal Justice Reform Bill Into Law!

A Letter from the Executive Director

Dear Friends,

You did it!

After so many months of tireless advocacy, you did it. On Friday, Governor Baker signed the omnibus criminal justice reform bill into law. The bill is now Chapter 69 of the Acts of 2018. And with that, you’ve brought us one step closer to dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline.

This is huge.

Thanks to you, we can now stop kids in Massachusetts schools from being arrested for the vague crime of “disturbing school assembly.” We can keep school resource officers from involving themselves in routine disciplinary situations they are not trained for. And we can start collecting important data on school arrests in the state.

For every phone call you made to your senators and representatives, for every email you sent in support of our provisions, for your time and energy – thank you. 

This was no easy journey, and there were moments when it looked like our provisions to keep kids in class might not make it to the finish line. But you raised your voice time and time again and because you did, we won!

Find your legislators here and thank them for leading the charge to make this bill a reality.

The fight to dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline is by no means over. But together, we just took a huge step forward.

Thank you for your continued involvement and support.

Warmly,

Deborah Silva
Executive Director

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Massachusetts Appleseed Presents 11th Annual “Good Apple” Award

2018 Good Apple recipient Senator William "Mo" Cowan

2018 Good Apple recipient Senator William “Mo” Cowan

For Immediate Release

Honoring Senator William “Mo” Cowan, Vice President of Litigation and Legal Policy of GE

Boston, MA – On March 29, 2018, the Massachusetts Appleseed Center for Law and Justice (“MA Appleseed”) honored former Senator William “Mo” Cowan with its 11th annual Good Apple Award. The event began with a reception, which began at 6:00 pm, in the Wharf Room at the Boston Harbor Hotel. Every year, MA Appleseed presents a “Good Apple” award to someone in the Massachusetts legal community who demonstrates the principles of social justice and equal opportunity that MA Appleseed was itself founded on. The event, which serves as Massachusetts Appleseed’s annual fundraiser, raises money to support the organization’s program and outreach efforts.

“We are thrilled and proud to present Senator Cowan with this year’s Good Apple Award,” said Martha Mazzone, chair of the Board of Directors of MA Appleseed. “Mo’s commitment to inclusion, justice and civic engagement – don’t turn your back on the system, work to improve it – mirrors the Appleseed mission perfectly. Add in his dedication to the Boston legal community, his huge circle of friends and family and colleagues and mentees, and he’s the perfect Good Apple recipient. Everyone wants a chance to say thank you to Mo.”

Featured speaker at the event, Attorney General Maura Healey remarked, “I am grateful to be able to recognize Massachusetts Appleseed for their critical work in developing and advocating for systemic solutions to social justice issues while celebrating this year’s Good Apple, my dear friend Mo Cowan. Mo is a champion for social justice whose life and legacy represents the best our community has to offer.”

Senator Cowan is a graduate of Duke University and Northeastern University School of Law. In 2013, he represented Massachusetts as interim U.S. Senator, filling the vacancy left by John F. Kerry when he was appointed Secretary of State. Senator Cowan served as Chief Legal Counsel, Chief of Staff, and Senior Advisor to the Governor in the administration of former Governor Deval L. Patrick and, in the Fall of 2013, Senator Cowan was a Fellow at the Harvard University Institute of Politics. In 2017 Sen. Cowan assumed the position of VP of Global Litigation and Legal Policy at GE, after having served Of Counsel to Mintz Levin and as President and CEO of ML Strategies.

“I am humbled to receive this great honor from the Appleseed Center,” Senator Cowan said. “I deeply appreciate the recognition and cherish the opportunity to be associated forever with an organization committed every day to social justice and the rule of law, and to follow in the footsteps of the distinguished past honorees. Thank you for helping me make my family proud!”

Senator Cowan is on the Board of Directors for Eastern Bank Corporation, Partners Healthcare, and is Co-Chair of the Greater Boston YMCA Board of Overseers. He further serves our community as a Trustee of Northeastern University, the Massachusetts General Hospital, and is a member of the Boston Club Corporate Advisory Board, Duke University Trinity Board of Visitors, Cambridge College President’s Council, and U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress.

Senator Cowan is an active civic leader committed to the same principles of inclusion and justice that is at the foundation of all of MA Appleseed’s work. When appointing Cowan to serve as interim U.S. Senator, former MA governor Deval Patrick described him as having “brought preparation, perspective, wisdom, sound judgment, and clarity of purpose” every step of the way, with the needs of Massachusetts’ residents always on the forefront of his mind.

“Mo’s evenhanded approach to difficult issues and his persistence in pursuing a better, fairer world is an inspiration to many. We are proud to present him with this year’s Good Apple Award,” said Deborah Silva, Executive Director of MA Appleseed.

2018 Good Apple Award Recipient (PDF)
2018 Good Apple Invitation (PDF)

 

Recent past recipients of the Good Apple award include Jonathan Chiel, Executive Vice President and General Counsel for Fidelity Investment; Paul Dacier, former General Counsel of EMC Corporation (now Dell); Susan Alexander, Chief Legal Officer of Biogen Idec; Lon F. Povich, Former Executive Vice President and General Counsel of BJ’s Wholesale Club, Inc.; Stephanie S. Lovell, Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts; and Jeffrey N. Carp, Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer of State Street Corporation.

About the Massachusetts Appleseed Center for Law and Justice:

Massachusetts Appleseed’s mission is to promote social justice and equal rights for Massachusetts’ residents by developing and advocating for systemic solutions to issues of systemic inequality.

At Massachusetts Appleseed, we dedicate ourselves to remedying social injustices for at-risk and underserved children, youth, and adults residing within our state. Working with volunteer lawyers, community partners, and others, we identify and address gaps in services and opportunities in areas such as education, homelessness, and the accessibility of the Massachusetts court system. Through in-depth research, consensus building, and community problem solving, we develop powerful solutions for reforming the systems and structures responsible for injustice. Our work seeks to level the playing field and transform communities. Every year we honor someone in the legal professional equally committed to these principles through our “Good Apple” award.

 

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2018 Good Apple Reception Announcement

Senator William "Mo" Cowan, Good Apple Award Recipient

Senator William “Mo” Cowan, Good Apple Award Recipient

Save the Date!

March 29, 2018
6:00 pm Reception
7:00 pm Award Ceremony
Boston Harbor Hotel, Wharf Room

11th Anniversary Good Apple Award

On Thursday, March 29th 2018 Massachusetts Appleseed will host its 11th annual Good Apple reception at the Boston Harbor Hotel. We are pleased to announce that this year’s recipient of the Good Apple Award will be Senator William “Mo” Cowan, Vice President of Litigation and Legal Policy of General Electric Company.

The Good Apple Award is presented annually to one member of our Massachusetts legal community who exemplifies MA Appleseed’s commitment to public service, fairness, and social justice. Throughout his career, Mo has demonstrated his dedication to serving the public. He is a civic leader, a mentor to many, and an inspiration to all, acting with optimism and an inclusive vision at a time when inclusivity is under threat.

Senator William “Mo” Cowan is Vice President, Litigation and Legal Policy at the General Electric Company, responsible for litigation, enforcement proceedings, investigations and compliance globally. Mo joined GE after serving Of Counsel to Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo, PC (“Mintz Levin”) and as President and Chief Executive Officer of ML Strategies. In 2013, Mo represented the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as interim United States Senator, filling the vacancy created when John F. Kerry was appointed United States Secretary of State, and served as Chief Legal Counsel, Chief of Staff, and Senior Advisor to the Governor in the administration of former Governor Deval L. Patrick. Mo also served as a Fellow at the Harvard University Institute of Politics (Fall 2013). Mo is a graduate of Northeastern University School of Law and Duke University.

Active in numerous civic, educational and charitable pursuits, Mo is a Director of Eastern Bank Corporation, Partners Healthcare, and Co-Chair of the Greater Boston YMCA Board of Overseers. He serves as a Trustee of Northeastern University and the Massachusetts General Hospital, and is a member of the Boston Club Corporate Advisory Board, Cambridge College President’s Council, Duke University Trinity Board of Visitors, and U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress. Mo is a “Good Apple” in the truest sense.

For sponsorship opportunities or tickets, please contact Madeline Poage at madeline@massappleseed.org.

2018 Good Apple-Save the Date
Save the Date (PDF)
2018 Good Apple Award Recipient (PDF)
2018 Good Apple Invitation (PDF)

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2017 Access to Justice Conference

Access to Justice through Innovation and Collaboration

New Directions and Emerging Opportunities: Exploring Cutting-Edge Developments Moving Us Closer to Our Goal of Justice for All

The legal needs of our communities far exceed the legal resources currently available — especially for those unable to afford to hire a private attorney. Many exciting efforts are underway to address this problem in Massachusetts and across the country. One thing is clear: we will need creative approaches and consistent collaboration to make a real and lasting impact on the systemic inequities that render legal help inaccessible for so many. Join us as we step back to assess this panorama, look to the horizon, and then work together to brainstorm solutions.

Our expert panelists will use their unique perspectives and experiences to take on questions related to:

  • Bringing a whole person approach to the user experience in court
  • Fostering better and broader collaboration within and beyond the courts
  • Harnessing technology to better serve clients and communities
  • Using research, evaluation, and data to assess impact and improve processes
  • Exploring New Models for Representation and Advocacy
  • Preliminary findings and Recommendations from the Justice for All Grant

In addition to a wide range of participants including private attorneys, legal service providers, court personnel, thought leaders, social services organizations, and community groups, we are proud to be welcoming Katherine Alteneder of the Self-Represented Litigation Network, Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph Gants, and Judge Dina Fein, First Justice, Housing Court Department, Western Division and Special Advisor to the Trial Court for Access to Justice Initiatives, as featured speakers.

Date: Monday, November 20, 2017
Time: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Location: MCLE, 10 Winter Place, Boston, MA 02108

Conference Materials:

Conference Agenda

Keynote Address:
Kathrine Alteneder, Self-Represented Litigation Network
How Design Thinking Can Optimize Pro Bono Engagement in the 100% Access to Justice Ecosystem
SRLN brief — Design Thinking

Bringing a Holistic Approach to the Court User Experience:

Exploring New Models for Advocacy and Representation:

Improving Outcomes Through Evidence-Based Research:

Better and Broader Collaboration Within and Beyond the Courts:

Family Resource Center Materials:

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Fall Harvest Friendraiser

2017 Fall Harvest Friendraiser

Join us on October 11th to learn about our recent projects to expand Access to Justice and the status of our Keep Kids in Class project.

Fall-Friendraiser-invite

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Massachusetts Appleseed Joins Letter Against Charter School Dress Code

Massachusetts Appleseed joins over three dozen civil rights and education groups on letter condemning Mystic Valley Regional Charter School dress code policy

Massachusetts Appleseed joined the American Civil Liberties Union, the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice and other civil rights and education groups on a letter to the Mystic Valley Regional Charter School demanding it permanently rescinded its dress code policy that bans hair extensions and hair that is more than 2 inches in height to ensure that African American students receive equal treatment. The letter also calls for the school to remove all detentions and suspensions imposed on students for violating these rules from the students records.

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School Discipline Know Your Rights Fact Sheets

Our friends at the Greater Boston Legal Services School to Prison Pipeline Intervention Project have created these helpful fact sheets to guide students and parents of students who have been subjected to school discipline. Please note that these are for information purposes only and do not constitute legal advice or establish an attorney client relationship between Massachusetts Appleseed and any visitor to our website. Note also that there are two “know your rights” fact sheets below – one that applies only to Boston Public Schools students and the other that applies to students at all other public school districts. Additionally, the statewide know your rights fact sheets apply to district schools and charter schools, but they do NOT apply to parochial or other private schools. Finally, a student who is accused of possessing drugs, possessing weapons, or assaulting educational staff, will be subject to rules that are slightly different than presented on these sheets. If a student is accused of any of those offenses or charged with a felony, they should seek legal help.

Fact Sheets

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2017 Good Apple Reception Announcement

Jonathan Chiel Executive Vice President and General Counsel for Fidelity Investments

Jonathan Chiel
Good Apple Award Recipient

Save the Date!

March 23, 2017
6:00 pm Reception
7:00 pm Award Ceremony
Boston Harbor Hotel, The Atlantic Room

10th Anniversary Good Apple Award

On Thursday, March 23rd 2017 Massachusetts Appleseed will host its 10th annual Good Apple reception at the Boston Harbor Hotel. We are pleased to announce that this year’s recipient of the Good Apple Award will be Jonathan Chiel, Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Fidelity Investments.

The Good Apple Award is presented annually to a person in the legal community who exemplifies the true spirit of Massachusetts Appleseed’s mission; promoting equal rights and opportunities for Massachusetts residents by developing and advocating for systemic solutions to social justice issues. Throughout his career, Mr. Chiel has demonstrated his dedication to excellence in the law, public service and social justice and the reception will highlight his many accomplishments and commitment to caring for others.

As Executive Vice President and General Counsel for Fidelity Investments, Mr. Chiel also has responsibility for Fidelity’s Public Affairs and Policy Group. Prior to joining Fidelity he was General Counsel at John Hancock Financial Services, the US division of Manulife Financial and was a member of the Manulife Management Committee. Before joining Hancock, Mr. Chiel was a partner with Choate, Hall and Stewart in Boston, serving as chair of the firm’s Government Enforcement Practice Group. Earlier in his career, he was an assistant U.S. Attorney in the Boston office for 10 years, serving as Chief of the Criminal Division from 1993 to 1995. Mr. Chiel received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Brown University and a Juris Doctorate Degree from Harvard Law School.

Active in numerous civic, educational and charitable pursuits, Mr. Chiel currently serves as a director on the boards of the Boston Bar Foundation and the Maimonides School. Unwavering in his commitment to fairness and social justice, Mr. Chiel represents the very best in our legal community and is a “Good Apple” in the truest sense.

For sponsorship opportunities or tickets, please contact Stephanie Adler at stephanie@massappleseed.org.

Invitation (PDF)
Sponsor Pledge Form (PDF)
2017 Good Apple Award Recipient (PDF)