Blake Strode Defines ArchCity Defenders’ Holistic Approach to Legal Advocacy

Blake Strode (’15), Executive Director of ArchCity Defenders, published an essay for the Brennan Center for Justice describing his organization’s multifaceted and holistic approach to legal advocacy, detailing how they support clients facing intersecting challenges by engaging at both the individual and systems level, undertaking affirmative civil rights litigation while building organized community to achieve transformation (“A Holistic Approach to Legal Advocacy,” Sep. 7). “[I]f we are committed to faithfully serving our clients and pursuing our mission, we must shed the tired fallacies of ‘neutrality’ and ‘objectivity’ and be fully in the fight for our collective liberation. That means supporting the work of organizing campaigns, building coalitions, and shifting power to those we serve. . . . [P]oor, Black and brown, hyper-criminalized, and underserved communities across the country understand the immensity of the challenges stacked against them. The only way for us to be of any use as lawyers and advocates is to understand the same, and to marshal every tool at our disposal at every turn. Those we serve deserve nothing less.”