Adrien Weibgen

Staff Attorney
Community Development Project at the Urban Justice Center
Adrien A. Weibgen is an attorney at the Community Development Project, a legal services provider that works with grassroots groups in New York City organizing to dismantle racial, economic and social oppression. As part of CDP’s Equitable Neighborhoods team, Adrien partners with CDP’s clients to help ensure that people of color, immigrants, and other low-income residents who have built our city are not pushed out in the name of “progress.” A graduate of Yale Law School, Adrien previously worked at the Racial Justice Program of the American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Social Inclusion (now Race Forward).

Presentations from Facing Race 2018

Walk Like We Talk: Transforming Legal Services to Champion Racial Justice

Many organizations profess a commitment to racial justice, but struggle to enact that commitment in concrete, practical ways. Internal conversations about race can be uncomfortable - even in social justice nonprofits that primarily work with clients of color. How can groups that are not yet “racial justice organizations” gain momentum to transform their internal practices, partnerships, and cultures to better support staff of color and people of color-led movements for justice? In this workshop, attorneys from the Community Development Project, a nonprofit legal services provider in New York City, will describe their struggles to shift CDP from a majority-white social justice nonprofit to a majority-people of color entity with racial justice at the core of its mission. We will discuss the core areas of our recent organizational transformation, share concrete strategies, and work with participants to develop action plans to begin to dismantle racial hierarchy within their own organizations. Moving beyond principle to everyday practice, we will acknowledge the sacrifice and struggle that such transformations require, sharing honestly what worked and what didn’t in a frank conversation about our triumphs and pitfalls.

Participants will be invited to reflect on their organization’s internal practices related to hiring and leadership; external practices, including substance of the work, clients and partners; and the culture that defines each organization. We’ll share practical tools and ideas to begin the process of transformation in each of these areas, arming participants with concrete strategies that are needed to advance a vision for racial justice day to day.

Speakers: Adrien Weibgen, Addrana Montgomergy