CU Law Student Symposium:


April 17, 2017
CU Law | Boulder, Colorado

RSVP here

Explore technology issues from a social justice perspective at the Social Justice and Technology Symposium on April 17. Prominent activists and professionals in the field will address access to the Internet, surveillance, freedom of expression, and how to build the Internet. Each panel will discuss how technology and telecommunications issues are tied to social justice issues, from the lack of broadband development in rural and native communities to disproportionate surveillance of minority groups. Keynote speaker Ifrah Ahmed, founder of the online Somali diaspora magazine Araweelo Abroad, will open the symposium. Through panels and events we will inform the CU community of the challenges that we face and approach workable solutions to them.


9:00 AM KEYNOTE: Ifrah F. Ahmed, Co-Founder Araweelo Abroad

Araweelo Abroad is a pioneering Somali culture publication that was founded in 2014 by Ifrah F. Ahmed and Sagal Abdulle. It is named after the ancient feminist Somali queen, Araweelo. Araweelo Abroad is a platform for young Somalis from around the globe to showcase their art and creative talents while also sharing their experiences of what it means to be Somali in the diaspora. The magazine is unapologetically feminist, inclusive of all Somalis, and was created to celebrate and showcase Somali womanhood in all of its forms. Most recently, Araweelo Abroad was profiled in Teen Vogue in a piece chronicling their rise as the pioneers of Somali digital/zine culture.

9:45 – 10: 45 AM PANEL 1: Access to the Internet

The Internet is essential to modern daily life. It allows people to apply for jobs, complete homework, bank, buy goods, watch television, track their health, run a business, and stay in touch with loved ones. Panelists will discuss access to the Internet in Native, rural, and poor communities, and for individuals in prison.

Dee Davis, President, Center for Rural Strategies

Harold Feld, Senior Vice President, Public Knowledge

Anthony Neal-Graves, Executive Director, Colorado’s Broadband Office

Francella Ochillo, Director of Government & Legal Affairs, National Hispanic Media Coalition

• Moderator: Mustafa Naseem, Instructor, ATLAS Institute at CU-Boulder

11:00 – 12:00 PM PANEL 2: Freedom of Expression Online & Net Neutrality

The Internet is a global platform where anyone can share their ideas and connect with others. This neutral platform is critical to voices that are not often heard in mainstream media, such as activists. Panelists will discuss the importance of ensuring the Internet remains a platform where marginalized voices are heard.

Gaurav Laroia, Policy Counsel, Free Press

Brandi Collins, Senior Campaign Director, Color of Change

• Andrea Quijada, activist and scholar, University of New Mexico

Juan Gallegos, Director of Civic Engagement and Legal Services, Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition

• Moderator: Helen Norton, CU Law

1:00 – 2:00 PM PANEL 3: Surveillance of Vulnerable Communities

Police departments monitor social media to identify potential criminal activity and the Department of Homeland Security proposed to monitor immigrants on social media. Panelists will discuss government use of technology to surveil communities considered to be dangerous, and how activists protect their work.

Laura Moy, Deputy Director of the Center on Privacy & Technology, Georgetown Law

Ken Montenegro, Director of Information Technology, Asian Americans Advancing Justice

• Steven Renderos, Center for Media Justice

• Parul Desai, Law for Black Lives-DC Chapter

• Moderator: Scott Skinner-Thompson, CU Law

2:15 – 3:15 PM PANEL 4: Alternative Models to Deploy Internet Service

What happens to the millions of Americans that live in places where there are no Internet providers? Can a town build its own network? Panelists will discuss alternatives and projects to extend Internet infrastructure to areas that are typically seen as unprofitable.

Chris Mitchell, Director of Community Broadband Networks Initiative, Institute for Local Self Reliance

Clarissa Ramon, Community Impact Manager, Google Fiber in San Antonio, Texas

Brian Howard, Research and Policy Analyst, American Indian Policy Institute, Arizona State University

• Moderator: Blake Reid, CU Law

5:00 – 7:00 PM — Thank You Reception (Boettcher Hall, next to Wittemyer Courtroom)


The following organizations are supporting and co-sponsoring the symposium:

LLSA – Latino Law Students Association
APALSA – Asian Pacific American Law Student Association
BTLA – Business & Tax Law Association
SFSG – Silicon Flatirons Student Group
BLSA – Black Law Students Association
OUTLaw – Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer Law Student Association
NALSA – Native American Law Student Association
ELS – Environmental Law Society

Thank you to our sponsors!

CU Law Student Fee Committee, Colorado Asian Pacific American Bar Foundation, Colorado Hispanic Bar Association, CU Student Organization Allocation Committee, CU Council of Colleges and Schools, Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, Office of Diversity, Equity and Community Management, and CU Law Office of the Dean.

For additional information, please contact June Torres at