More than 10 million people have fled their homes in Ukraine because of the Russian invasion. Yet we are still awaiting the designation of Ukraine for Temporary Protected Status to take effect upon the publication of a forthcoming Federal Register, and relevant U.S. agencies have not yet produced the
Hunger and poverty have been key areas of focus in our corporate social responsibility efforts since I joined the Firm nearly eight years ago. We established partnerships with soup kitchens, pantries, veteran organizations and non-profits across the country and in London to help people in need.
According to the U.N.…
With the ongoing pandemic exacerbating pervading health disparity and economic inequality issues in the United States, we brought together three experts to discuss their work and the impact of COVID-19 on these important topics.
Our discussion was led by Emmy award-winning broadcast journalist and senior medical correspondent for WCBS-TV, Dr. Max Gomez. Our panelists included Rita Gilles, Dr. Kishor Malavade, and Otto Starzman. Rita Gilles is an Equal Justice Works Fellow, sponsored by Bloomberg and Proskauer at the Mount Sinai Medical Legal Partnership in collaboration with the LegalHealth division of New York Legal Assistance Group. She works to provide legal aid to low-income families of children and adolescent patients at Mount Sinai Hospital in East Harlem, addressing the social and legal determinants of poor health. Dr. Kishor Malavade is the Vice-Chair of Psychiatry and Deputy Medical Director of the Department of Population Health at Maimonides Medical Center. He leads efforts to increase access to healthcare and help individuals through community-based initiatives. Otto Starzman is the Chief Production Officer and Treasurer of the River Fund, the largest free food outlet in New York City. He works on the frontlines to serve our city’s most vulnerable populations in our poorest zip codes.
In the past year, I’ve had the privilege of working on pro bono matters ranging from criminal justice to voting rights to veterans’ benefits. To help address legal challenges and needs amplified by the pandemic, Proskauer has developed a number of new pro bono partnerships and has called upon its lawyers to take on more matters and expand the program’s reach. Late last month, I took advantage of one such opportunity as I consulted with an entrepreneur who is in the initial stages of starting a business.
On March 15, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the city’s public schools would close in response to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic. Overnight, more than 1,700 schools and over one million students and their families shifted to remote-learning curriculums. Since then, all NYC public schools have closed for the remainder of the academic year. For some families, the shift has been manageable, but for many others, it’s impractical. Without the technology needed for remote-learning, thousands of students remain isolated from their teachers and classmates. Recent reporting states that roughly 16% of NYC students lack daily communication with their schools. The Department of Education has committed to providing internet-connected tablets to families in need, a number that by late-April surpassed more than 70,000 students.
To support families in these difficult times, many local non-profit organizations have refocused their efforts to track students’ needs and provide the necessary resources. Read Ahead, one of Proskauer’s longtime non-profit partners, is one such organization. For nearly 30 years, Read Ahead (formerly Everyone Wins! New York) has connected adult reading mentors with children in public elementary schools once per week during their lunch hours. As a member of their Junior Board, I am pleased to share a few of their updates.
COVID-19 has presented us with unprecedented challenges around the globe. We wish everyone good health.
Our Firm remains committed to the many students we work with on a regular basis through our CSR programs. Although the virus has made it impossible to continue our face-to-face mentoring, we are connecting through webinars, phone and online meetings.
Most recently, we were able to virtually host a class with John Jay College students on the topic of law and social justice. Our pro bono partner, Bill Silverman, led the videoconference, and we had wonderful attendance and participation as we discussed the need for criminal justice reform during the COVID crisis. Students shared thoughts about measures we need to take to ensure safety in our prisons; our strong consensus was that prisoners with medical conditions who do not pose a threat to public safety should be released.