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April 24th | Right to Resist: Fighting the Criminalization of Migrant Activism

  • 105 Jerome Greene Hall 435 West 116th Street New York United States (map)

Wednesday, April 24th, 6:45 - 8:15 p.m
Columbia Law School, 105 Jerome Greene Hall
435 West 116th Street, New York, NY 10027

This event is free and open to the public. Register below.

In the era of the Trump presidency, there is perhaps no issue more hotly contested than immigration. With many voicing discontent against America’s harsh migrant policies, immigrant rights defenders and activists have been increasingly targeted, prosecuted and convicted by federal authorities. This INCITEment Series program hosts a discussion panel between New York immigration activist Ravi Ragbir and Columbia Law Professor Katherine Franke, a leading voice on the rights of migrants, as well as racial, gender, and sexual justice. The conversation will be moderated by Lindsay Van Dyke, award-winning filmmaker and producer of Vice on HBO. Panelists will discuss the evolving role of activism in response to the threat of government retaliation, and the ways in which legal professionals can help shield community leaders from unjust legal persecution. Volunteer tables at the event will allow guests to learn more about ways they can get involved.

Katherine Franke is a Professor of Law at the Columbia Law School and a leading scholar on racial justice, immigration justice and sexuality. She has a long history of developing legal protections for humanitarian organizations, and has recently co-authored a brief detailing a legal framework in which humanitarian aid offered to migrants by religious groups should be considered under our constitutional right to religious freedom.

Ravi Ragbir heads the New-York based immigrant-advocacy group New Sanctuary Coalition. In 1991, Ravi came to the United States from Trinidad on a visitor’s visa, becoming a lawful green card holder for over 15 years. In 2006, he was detained by ICE during a routine check-up after 10 years of community immigrant-activism. Under pressure from immigration activist organizations and community backlash, courts ruled in favor of his release. To this day, he fights for the right of migrants, including himself, to remain with their community and families.

Lindsay Van Dyke is a filmmaker based in Brooklyn, NY. Currently, she produces feature stories for VICE's Emmy and Peabody award-winning nightly news show, VICE News Tonight on HBO. She is also an International Women's Media Foundation grantee, and in 2018, Van Dyke won a Front Page Award for her work on a 28-minute documentary about family separations under the Trump administration's zero tolerance immigration policy. Previously, she worked as a co-producer and associate producer on the Izzy Award-winning series America Divided, a docu-series examining inequality in the U.S. She is also a Fulbright Scholar and speaks Spanish.

This event is part of the INCITEment series, created and hosted by the Interdisciplinary Center for Innovative Theory and Empirics (INCITE). The event is co-sponsored by the Law, Rights and Religion Project at Columbia Law School.

For more information, please email Gabriel Varela at