The recipient of a Skadden Foundation Fellowship, Amy Laura Cahn joined the Law Center in the fall of 2011 to found and direct the Law Center’s Garden Justice Legal Initiative. Through her work with the Garden Justice Legal Initiative, Amy Laura provides legal and advocacy support to urban gardens and farms in historically disinvested communities – supporting communities in their efforts to grow healthy, affordable, culturally-appropriate food; promote community land and food sovereignty; engage in leadership and economic development; and reclaim vacant land. Amy Laura is the co-chair of the Philadelphia Food Policy Advisory Council and serves on the vacant land and membership/governance subcommittees. She is a board co-chair at Bread and Roses Community Fund, a member of the Neighborhood Gardens Association board, and on the advisory boards of 596 Acres in New York City and Jane Place Neighborhood Sustainability Initiative, a community land trust in New Orleans, Louisiana. Amy Laura is a magna cum laude graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where she was a Toll Public Interest Scholar and co-founder of Penn’s Environmental Law Project. While at Penn, she worked with the Law Center to produce “Pennhurst: the Road to Civil Rights for People with Disabilities,” a documentary on the Pennhurst State School and Hospital and its closing. She graduated summacum laude from Hunter College with a B.A. in urban studies. Before joining the Law Center, Amy Laura served as a law clerk to the Honorable Michael M. Baylson of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and as a clerk with the Honorable Stephen Skillman of the Superior Court of New Jersey. While in law school, Amy Laura completed legal internships at Advocates for Environmental Human Rights in New Orleans, the Natural Resources Defense Counsel, and Delaware Riverkeeper Network. She has been a community organizer with the ACLU of Pennsylvania and co-founded New York City’s Bluestockings Women’s Bookstore. In 2004, Amy Laura co-authored a community-based study on childhood lead paint poisoning that helped overturn New York City’s lead laws.
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