Real Change honors law school's homeless rights advocacy

September 14, 2016

The law school's Homeless Rights Advocacy Project, an endeavor fueled by passion and filled with purpose, will receive the 2016 Change Agent award this week from Seattle's Real Change.

Sara RankinFaculty director Sara Rankin, professor of lawyering skills at Seattle University School of Law, will deliver the keynote address at the Real Change Annual Breakfast on September 15.  A group of Professor Rankin's students will receive the award on behalf of the project.  

Real Change is an award-winning weekly newspaper that provides immediate employment opportunity for low-income and homeless vendors and takes action for economic, social, and racial justice.

The Homeless Rights Advocacy Project (HRAP) engages law students in effective legal and policy research, analysis, and advocacy work to advance the rights of homeless adults, youth, and children. Students published four reports in 2015 and six more in 2016, examining the scope and severity of laws across Washington state that unfairly target people experiencing homelessness.

"Our students sign up, they sometimes get credit and sometimes don't. It's one of those things that's entirely fueled by passion. Selfishly, I need to have meaning in my life. I need to have meaning in my life, and I think that's what drives our students to participate," Rankin told Real Change. "They do it for reasons that are related to their passion for making a difference in the world."

HRAP's work has received considerable media coverage, as well as inquiries from throughout the state and nation for how to improve municipal laws.

Read more about HRAP and download the students' reports.