Episode 17: Leave the Campsite Cleaner

This is an interview with Rev. Craig B. Mousin, an Adjunct Faculty member of the DePaul University College of Law and the Grace School of Applied Diplomacy.  The podcast celebrates the decision by Dynegy Midwest Generation to enter into a settlement agreement with the State of Illinois to remove 3.3 million cubic yards of coal ash from its current location adjacent to the Middle Fork of the Vermillion River.  Illinois’s only National Scenic River, the Middle Fork, offers one of the most diverse habitats for animals and plants in Illinois, but remains threatened by erosion of the river bank near the coal ash pits.  The coal ash will now be removed, in part, through successful collaboration from environmental groups and citizen advocacy, including:

Eco-Justice Collaborative, (https://ecojusticecollaborative.org/),

PrairieRiversNetworks (https://prairierivers.org/dynegy-vermilion-middle-fork/)

EarthJustice’s coal ash program (https://earthjustice.org/about/offices/coal).

You may also find photos of the river and its exposed river bank on those websites.  You may also help ensure implementation of the settlement agreement.  You can find action steps and options on their respective websites.

The United Nations has established the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to assess the science related to climate change.  On August 6, 2021, it issued its most recent report including the findings mentioned in the beginning of the podcast.  You can find this report at:  https://www.ipcc.ch/report/sixth-assessment-report-working-group-i/

For an example of a current lawful assembly engaged in protecting water against an oil pipeline, all are invited to join the Treaty People Walk for Water.  Starting on August 7, water protectors are walking from the headwaters of the Mississippi River to the Minnesota State Capitol Building by August 25.  For more information, see:  https://docs.google.com/document/d/16nD-olTOZndvdIi8KIRAW0i-tYAXWUcRfa9nSHir0fI/edit or you may find more information about the Indigenous Environmental Network at:     https://www.ienearth.org/?fbclid=IwAR1nr1jQM0dBW82GY8UvXSp8Gnmr9pfKmFIvA9PjGy5dL7MXiXgIzfzpqyk

Lawful Assembly Episode 16: Posterity

This is an interview with Rev. Craig B. Mousin, an Adjunct Faculty member of the DePaul University College of Law and the Grace School of Applied Diplomacy.  This podcast argues that the Preamble to the Constitution invites you to add your voice to protecting and expanding voting rights to ensure the nation’s promise of equality for all.  Since the Civil War, our nation has amended the United States Constitution at least once every fifty years to expand voting rights to persons previously excluded.  The summer of 2021 marks fifty years since the 26th Amendment lowered the voting age to 18.  Today, however, we face, renewed efforts to restrict voting rights through reluctance in Congress or state legislation making it more difficult to register and vote.  It is time to assemble with others to protect and expand voting rights through local and national action.

You can read the Constitution at: https://constitution.congress.gov/constitution/

Citations to Professor Akhil Amar are from his book, America’s Constitution, A Biography, (Random House, NY, 2005), (states waiving restrictions, thus expanding the number of persons eligible to participate in the state ratification process of the Constitution: 7) (no amendment has restricted voting rights: 19) (union not a league or confederacy: 33) (immigrant signers of the Declaration of Independence and members of the First Congress and First Supreme Court: 164).  Information on the efforts to repeal state anti-black laws in the 19th Century can be found in Kate Masur, Until Justice Be Done, America’s First Civil Rights Movement, From the Revolution to Reconstruction, (W.W. Norton & Company, N.Y., 2021) (black laws defined: 16-19) (William Lloyd Garrison and Frederick Douglass, 237-238).  For more information on Group Action for Peace, see: Robert Armbruster, “‘Working Within the System’ Youths Press for Registration,” (The Record, August 24, 1970).

To find additional information on the Helen C. Peirce School for International Studies, see:  http://peirce.cps.edu

For information on one historical assembly to protect the rights of freed black Chicagoans prior to the Civil War, see Craig B. Mousin, “A Clear View from the Prairie: Harold Washington and the People of Illinois Respond to Federal Encroachment of Human Rights,” 29 S. Ill. L. J. 285 (Fall, 2004/Winter, 2005), 209-304.  https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2997657

For a current example of urging Congress to provide the DACA students with a path to citizenship, over 500 college and university Presidents and Chancellors recently called upon Congress to legislate a “permanent roadmap to citizenship for undocumented youth and students.” see: https://www.presidentsalliance.org/press/statement-hanen-daca-decision-2021/

In addition to DACA recipients, John Washington on Lationo USA reports about a proposed New York City bill that would expand the right to vote in municipal elections to non-citizen residents.  You can find his story at: https://www.latinousa.org/2021/07/30/immigrantvoters/

#Preamble #moreperfectunion #ourposterity #votingrights #USConstitution #DREAMERS #DACA

Lawful Assembly – Episode 15: Home

This is an interview with Rev. Craig B. Mousin, an Adjunct Faculty member of the DePaul University College of Law and the Grace School of Applied Diplomacy.  This podcast links the loss of homes felt by many of the freed slaves after the Civil War, including George Floyd’s great-great grandfather, with the loss of home many refugees face when forced to flee their nations due to state sanctioned violence and the consequences of the breakdown of the rule of law.  We face challenges both at our borders, but also when we contribute to the conditions that force families to flee their homes.  We need to address ways to provide the rule of law and justice for all.  The story of George Floyd’s family history and the loss of his great-great grandfather’s 500 acres comes from Toluse Olorunnipa and Griff Witte, “Born with two strikes, How systemic racism shaped Floyd’s life and hobbled his ambition,” https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2020/national/george-floyd-america/systemic-racism/

Senn High School, located in the Edgewater neighborhood of Chicago, is one of the most diverse high schools in the nation.  Its students and their families speak over 80 languages and claim over 60 nations as their birth homes.  Congratulate its graduates and learn more about our neighborhood high school at:  https://www.sennhs.org

Frederick Douglass’ call for simple justice comes from David W. Blight, Frederick Douglass Prophet of Freedom, (N.Y., 2018), 558-59.

Rev. Garrison   Frazier and the black leaders’ activism in Savannah, Georgia comes from Eric Foner, Reconstruction, America’s Unfinished Revolution 1863-1877, (N.Y., 1988), 70.


Action Steps:

Information about the Community Renewal Society’s Juneteenth film screening of “Crawford: The Man the South Forgot,” can be found at:   https://www.communityrenewalsociety.org/events/juneteenth-film-amp-discussion   You can find some of the current programs CRS sponsors to seek simple justice toda at: https://www.communityrenewalsociety.org/platform?sectionscroll=just-economy

Information on the National Immigrant Justice center and the “We Are Home” campaign,  can be found at:  https://immigrantjustice.org/press-releases/civil-rights-groups-send-letter-dhs-secretary-calling-meaningful-opportunity-return

Information of the proposed Berta Caceres Human Rights Act of 2021can be found at:




Lawful Assembly – Episode 14:

This is a podcast interview with Rev. Craig B. Mousin, an Adjunct Faculty member at DePaul University’s College of Law and The Grace School of Applied Diplomacy. President Biden recently responded to a national outcry protesting the limitation of refugee resettlement in this fiscal year to 15,000 refugees and reversed his decision, raising the goal to welcome 62,500 refugees.  This podcast encourages advocates to encourage the administration to achieve that goal and collaborate with resettlement agencies to revitalize the public-private partnership that will continue to benefit our communities.

President Biden’s announcement can be found at: https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2021/05/03/statement-by-president-joe-biden-on-refugee-admissions/

The specific numbers allocated for this fiscal year can be found at: https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/2021/05/03/memorandum-for-the-secretary-of-state-on-the-emergency-presidential-determination-on-refugee-admissions-for-fiscal-year-2021-2/

Chicago refugee resettlement programs include:

Ethiopian Community Association of Chicago: www.ecachicago.org/project/give-clean-water/

Heartland Human Care Services: www.heartlandalliance.org/program/rics

RefugeeOne: www.refugeeone.org/

The Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago Refugee Resettlement Program: https://www.catholiccharities.net/GetHelp/OurServices/RefugeeResettlementServices.aspx

World Relief Chicagoland Refugee Resettlement: https://chicagoland.worldrelief.org/resettlement/

Susan Gzesh’s article on an alternative allocations for refugee resettlement can be found at:  https://www.justsecurity.org/75799/why-must-central-american-asylum-seekers-risk-their-lives-to-reach-the-us-there-is-an-alternative/

Lawful Assembly Podcast – Episode 13: A Call to Resettle Refugees

This is a podcast interview with Rev. Craig B. Mousin, an Adjunct Faculty member at DePaul University’s College of Law and The Grace School of Applied Diplomacy. In February, President Biden announced that he would restore the United States partnership in refugee resettlement by inviting up to 125,000 refugees to our nation in the next fiscal year.  He also said he would increase the number of refugees previously designated for resettlement in this fiscal year.  The Presidential Determination increasing refugee resettlement in this fiscal year to 65,000 has not been yet signed.  One workable response to rebuilding would be to resettle refugees to reach those numbers.  In the midst of the turmoil, this would be one significant step to protect the vulnerable. The International Rescue Committee (IRC) Report on the few refugees resettled in 2021 can be found at: https://www.rescue.org/sites/default/files/document/5783/ircmid-yearrefugeeadmissionsreport-april2021.pdf

Chaplain Abdul-Malik Ryan’s article on Ramadan can be found at: https://blogs.depaul.edu/dmm/2021/04/12/ramadan-and-the-vincentian-question-guidance-and-inspiration-in-times-of-challenge/

For ideas on how to respond, IRC offers this action: https://act.rescue.org/xv4TiDR

HIAS offers these actions:  https://www.hias.org/get-involved/take-action

You can find information on the Illinois resettlement agencies and their work at:


Chicago programs include:

The Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago Refugee Resettlement Program: https://www.catholiccharities.net/GetHelp/OurServices/RefugeeResettlementServices.aspx

Ethiopian Community Association of Chicago: https://www.ecachicago.org/project/give-clean-water/

RefugeeOne: www.refugeeone.org

Heartland Human Care Services: www.heartlandalliance.org/program/rics

World Relief Chicagoland Refugee Resettlement: https://chicagoland.worldrelief.org/resettlement/

Lawful Assembly Episode 12: Shared Values

This is a podcast interview with Rev. Craig B. Mousin, founder and former Director of the Midwest Immigrant Rights Center and an Adjunct Faculty member at DePaul University’s College of Law and The Grace School of Applied Diplomacy.  As the United States begins to reform immigration law in the midst of a multitude of developments at the nation’s borders, the podcast encourages us to respond to our shared values of living under the rule of law.  When our debate focuses on naming individuals as illegals prior to adjudication, it leads to gridlock.  By focusing on why we have established a refugee law and the importance of fair and just procedures, we may instead build upon those shared values.  The podcast also explains how criminal and civil law addresses those who seek to cross the border without authorization.

For information on the Border Patrol budget, see “The Cost of Immigration Enforcement and Border Security,” provided by the American Immigration Council at:  https://www.americanimmigrationcouncil.org/research/the-cost-of-immigration-enforcement-and-border-security  (January 21, 2021).

For information on ways to address refugees at the border without simply relying on detention, see the report by the National Immigrant Justice Center, “A Better Way: Community-Based Programming As An Alternative To Immigrant Incarceration” at https://immigrantjustice.org/research-items/report-better-way-community-based-programming-alternative-immigrant-incarceration  (April 22,2019).

For more information and sources on the impact of the Title 42 regulation closing much of our border allegedly on public health concerns, see “Health Inequity and Tent Court Injustice,” at:  https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3777549

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