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Shriver Center Names Gavin Kearney as First Director of the Legal Impact Network

National Network Advances Effective State Policies That Fight Poverty

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Michelle Nicolet, Marketing Director
312.368.2675, mnicolet@povertylaw.org

John Bouman, President of the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law (Shriver Center), has announced that Gavin Kearney will join the organization as the first director of the Legal Impact Network, a national network of legal organizations from 30 states and Washington, D.C., working collaboratively to advance justice and opportunity for people living in poverty. This new position is funded through the generous support of The Kresge Foundation and The JPB Foundation.

Kearney is a seasoned attorney with experience in leadership, impact litigation, legislative advocacy, and community organizing. During the past 11 years Kearney has practiced environmental justice law at New York Lawyers for the Public Interest (NYLPI), including five years as director of NYLPI’s Environmental Justice Program. Prior to his work at NYLPI, Kearney led groundbreaking strategic research on structural racism and inequality of opportunity at the Institute on Race and Poverty. Kearney holds a law degree from University of Minnesota Law School and a B.A. from Lawrence University.

In his new role with the Shriver Center, Kearney will coordinate the activities of the Legal Impact Network and assist in the design and implementation of multi-state campaigns to disseminate best practices and improve systems and policies affecting low-income people and communities. One of the first projects to be coordinated by Kearney will involve engaging members of the Legal Impact Network with the Center for Community Change (CCC) to help with the efforts of CCC’s grassroots network to create jobs and improve job quality.

“Gavin brings exceptional knowledge and leadership skills to the Shriver Center,” said President John Bouman. “His experience, coupled with his passion for racial justice, will be invaluable as the Legal Impact Network develops and moves forward with coordinated efforts to advance justice and opportunity.”

The Legal Impact Network’s multi-state strategy is critical to the Shriver Center’s efforts to provide national leadership in advancing laws, policies, and best practices that can improve the lives and opportunities of people living in poverty. In implementing federal initiatives, states make dozens of choices involving funding, program design, staffing, and evaluation. Moreover, many important issues affecting people living in poverty, like criminal justice, jobs and workplace issues, domestic or community violence, and most aspects of public education are decided at the state level. Through the Legal Impact Network, legal aid attorneys, community organizers, and other champions for justice will share promising practices and information, identify the best state policy choices, engage in litigation where necessary, educate allies and the general public, and drive important systems change.

“The Shriver Center is nationally recognized for its efforts to advance justice at the systemic and policy level,” said Kearney. “I am excited to lead the Legal Impact Network’s efforts to improve the quality of life and opportunities for upward mobility of people living in poverty across the nation.”

Kearney will be based at the Shriver Center’s headquarters in Chicago, Illinois.


The Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law provides national leadership in advancing laws and policies that secure justice to improve the lives and opportunities of people living in poverty. We specialize in practical solutions. We advocate for and serve clients directly, while also building the capacity of the nation’s legal aid providers to advance justice and opportunity for their clients. www.povertylaw.org


The Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law provides national leadership in advancing laws and policies that secure justice to improve the lives and opportunities of people living in poverty. We specialize in practical solutions. We advocate for and serve clients directly, while also building the capacity of the nation’s legal aid providers to advance justice and opportunity for their clients. www.povertylaw.org

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