Student, Emily Wilson (L'17), Makes Her Community A Better Place

July 8, 2015 —

As students recovered from final exams last spring, Emily J. Wilson (L’17) had already started her next project. The former Baltimore-based Teach for America social studies teacher planned a day of outreach where approximately 30 Georgetown Law students taught constitutional rights at Baltimore’s Academy for College and Career Exploration (ACCE).

Following the arrest of Freddie Gray, an African American man who died after sustaining injuries in police custody, Wilson wanted to help. “As a former social studies teacher, I know the value of students [understanding] their rights and feeling empowered [through] access to the justice system,” she said.

Wilson trained a group of Law Center students to conduct a dialogue on constitutional rights, the difference between first- and second-degree murder charges, possible careers in the law and the impact of body cameras on low-income communities.

"Emily encouraged all the Georgetown Law students to reflect on … the emotions, feelings and thoughts generated from volunteering at ACCE,” said Genevieve Fugere (L’17), who participated in Wilson’s project. “It is important to do this to grow as a student, as a person and as an American [while] our country continues a dialogue on race, education and poverty."

All of the ACCE students involved with the project are from Baltimore City, the school is 91-percent African American and approximately 85 percent of its students receive free or reduced price meals.

“I think we all, as future lawyers, need to interact with a diverse array of communities and grapple with the issues they're facing,” said Wilson. “Baltimore is adding another complex layer to what's already an incredibly meaningful and difficult conversation on race, poverty and politics in America.”


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