Body Politics: From Rights to Resistance featured information sessions with lawyers, activists, and grassroots organizers on issues of bodies under duress: civil disobedience, protest, healthcare, policing, prisons, immigration, environmental contamination, and indigenous rights. Each session focused on resource sharing and modes of resistance, and included presentations followed by discussion with the audience. This session featured Chris Amato and Joel R. Kupferman.
At the time of this program, Chris Amato was senior attorney with the Northeast office of Earthjustice, a not-for-profit environmental law firm. Prior to joining Earthjustice, Amato was Assistant Commissioner for Natural Resources at the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation where, among other things, he drafted and implemented the Department’s first Indian nation consultation policy. While serving as Deputy Chief of the New York State Attorney General’s Environmental Protection Bureau, Amato was lead counsel in the first joint prosecutions brought by a state and Indian nations under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act. While in private practice, Amato served as Environmental Counsel to the Onondaga Nation and worked with the Cayuga, Tonawanda Seneca, and Tuscarora nations on environmental, cultural resource, and treaty rights issues.
Joel R. Kupferman was co-chair of the Environmental Justice Committee at the National Lawyers Guild, and the Executive Director of New York Environmental Law & Justice Project and the Environmental Justice Initiative for Haiti. In these capacities, he offered environmental law justice counseling for cases in Standing Rock on behalf of the Ramapough Lenape Nation in New Jersey, among many other cases. He focuses on water and air issues that affect the vulnerable environmental justice community.