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Bill Smith Lecture with Associate Professor Dean Spade

Thursday February 28, 2019

Wilkins Moot Courtroom - Room 1301
5:30 PM – 7:30 PM

Reception to follow after the lecture.
Free and open to the public.
MCLE credits will be provided.

Solidarity Not Charity: Mutual Aid for Mobilization and Queer and Trans Survival

In mainstream US culture, and particularly in law schools, law and policy reform are revered as the most important strategy for transforming conditions facing marginalized groups. In this lecture, Dean Spade will argue not only that the focus on changing law is misplaced, but also that models of mutual aid are crucial to both the survival of queer and trans people, and the mobilization of powerful social movements we need if we aim to transform current conditions. 

Dean Spade is an associate professor at the Seattle University School of Law. In 2002, he founded the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, a non-profit collective that provides free legal help to low-income people and people of color who are trans, intersex and/or gender non-conforming and works to build trans resistance rooted in racial and economic justice. He is the author of Normal Life: Administrative Violence, Critical Trans Politics and the Limits of Law (Duke University Press 2015). His video projects and writing are available at

About the Bill Smith Memorial Lecture

The Bill Smith Memorial Lecture honors the memory of Bill Smith '98 who passed in 2001. During Bill’s short time with us, he dedicated himself to disability and LGBT rights activism. The Lecture is our way of honoring his memory, both by highlighting a powerful voice in the disability or LGBT rights arena and by awarding a small summer grant to a 1L or 2L law student doing nonprofit legal work in either of those areas.


For more information, please contact Lambda Law Students Association at