Kulsum Ameji is driven to think outside the box. As a Staff Attorney in LAF’s Community Engagement Unit, she sees the future of legal aid in the interweaving specialties of different individuals and organizations to not only provide immediate aid, but to also create long term “remedies and tools for financial empowerment.”
“I’m thinking, ‘how can you weave a fabric of financial empowerment?’ How do we more effectively refer clients back and forth to each other, but also how do you re-conceptualize your work?”
In swiftly changing times, the value of collaboration between practice groups and interdisciplinary organizations has never been greater. Innovative thought and action is key, and at the heart of it all is something Kulsum is very good at: “building community partnerships.” The possibilities within these partnerships are critical for sustaining and evolving legal aid.
“When I use the word community, I’m talking about impact. I’m talking about doing work that’s sustainable, work that has benefit to more than one person. I’m talking about leveraging our limited resources in ways that are resourceful, ingenious, and sustained. That’s how I envision community engagement, in its ideal form.”
And the end result?
“Ideally, this kind of work – meaning social justice work – you work yourself out of a job.”