Thursday, November 21

Special Events Archive

GlobeDocs Presents: The Legal Lens



The Boston Globe, The Kindling Group, and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation invite you to ‘Legal Lens.’ Five Short films by Harvard Law School students, followed by a Q&A with filmmakers.

Registrations will be accepted in the order they are received and based on availability.
Seating will be first come first served and is not guaranteed.


Development for Whom

Topic: Gentrification

There is a housing crisis in East Boston. Long a gateway community for immigrants, East Boston is increasingly home to monied millennials seduced by scenic views of the Boston skyline, granite countertops, and gastronomical experiences. The average monthly rent in “Eastie” is approaching $3,000 a month, and once plentiful two and three-decker homes are rapidly being replaced by buildings that house dozens of luxury condominiums. The neighborhoods Latino community has been hit hard by the effects of development.

Development for Whom explores how urban development, under the guise of progress and championed by city leaders, unions, and investors has resulted in a housing crisis for a vulnerable immigrant community. Evictions are on the rise in the state. According to The New England Center for Investigative Reporting, there were “roughly 15,708 forced removals in Massachusetts — an average of nearly 43 a day.” Pedro Morales, an immigrant from Mexico and a student at the Harvard Divinity School, is a leader in Stand Up For Democracy, a church-led effort to stem gentrification. The group waged a successful fight against the construction of a casino in East Boston and is now focused on development plans they see as favoring business interests. Morales and the group are in search of a legal remedy to the crisis but are coming up short. In East Boston, as in so many other communities around the country, the issue is not that developers violate the law, the issue is the lack of regulations to protect vulnerable communities.

The Cost of Motherhood

Topic: Pregnancy Discrimination in the Workplace

“We have societal ideas about who a good mommy is and who a good worker is. They’re not compatible” says Rebecca Pontikes a lawyer active in women’s issues. No case more clearly illustrates that contradiction than Lisa Newman’s. The Cost of Motherhood tells the story of how Newman, an IT engineer at Smith College, faced “brutal, abusive and traumatic” harassment from her boss while she was pregnant.

Rebecca Pontikes legal work and Newman’s courage to speak out helped secure passage of the landmark 2018 Massachusetts Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, an amendment to Massachusetts law that prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions. The law still lags behind society. Some employers ignore the law and companies with less than six employees are exempt. But Lisa’s story demonstrates the legal avenues available to women who suffer from discrimination and the power of individuals to advocate for themselves and each other.

Temporary American

Topic: Temporary Protected Status

Doris LaVerde, like hundreds of thousands of others in the United States, is a temporary American. An immigrant from El Salvador, Doris lives legally in the US under Temporary Protected Status, established as part of the Immigration Act of 1990. Like so many immigrants, Doris does work that native-born Americans often will not: cleaning the halls and bathrooms of Harvard University. Doris has the right to earn a living, pay taxes, and buy a home. Like thousands of others, she believed TPS would continue uninterrupted. Her life—and that of 300,000 others—was upended when the Trump administration called for an end to TPS for El Salvador and several other countries. After almost twenty years in the US Doris faces a loss of her protected status and possible deportation. “My daughters were born here and grew up as Americans. This is the only country they know.”

Temporary Protected Status for refugees from El Salvador ends on September 9,
2019. Doris is one of 12,000 TPS recipients in Boston.

Disaster Waiting

Topic: Fence Line Communities

The ExxonMobil storage and transfer facility in Everett, on the banks of the Mystic River, is described by climate scientists as a disaster waiting to happen. Runoff and spillage already pollute the waters around the facility. Given the rise in sea level, a category four storm like Hurricane Sandy would inundate surrounding communities with toxic flood waters.

In 2018 a group of community activists, including Damali Vidot of Chelsea, demanded that ExxonMobil reveal its plans to address the danger. They were turned away at the facility’s gate. Damali and others turned to science and the law to force ExxonMobil to address the issue. Ironically, the risk to the Everett facility is heightened by rising sea levels, to which ExxonMobil itself has contributed. As a federal lawsuit winds its way through the courts, the communities of Everett, Chelsea, and Somerville hope that a solution comes before it is too late.

ExxonMobil operates more than 300 similar plants across the country.

Time Served

Topic: Incarceration

Bill Aylward survived the Vietnam war but came home a changed man. A proud Marine Bill never sought help for the demons that he wrestled with for years. After a decade of alcohol dependency and abuse, Bill landed at the Middlesex County Jail.

Bill is one of the thousands of incarcerated veterans in Massachusetts jails and prisons. Most facilities incarcerate veterans with the general population, but at Middlesex, veterans have the option of serving their sentences in the Housing Unit for Military Veterans, specifically designed for individuals who have served in the military. At HUMV emphasis is on treatment for successful reentry.

Time Served examines the intent of incarceration. Is the purpose of imprisonment to separate, to punish, or to rehabilitate?

Ticket Information:

Click showtime to RSVP:

Thursday 11/21
at 6:00 PM

No Brattle passes. SPACE IS LIMITED. YOU CAN REGISTER 2 PEOPLE FOR THIS EVENT. Registrations will be accepted in the order they are received and based on availability. Seating will be first come first served and is not guaranteed.