Corporations and other people are invited to hear author Jeff Clements this Friday, January 9, in an Arizona Advocacy Network event at Changing Hands Bookstore.

Corporations and other people are invited to hear author Jeff Clements this Friday, January 9, in an Arizona Advocacy Network event at Changing Hands Bookstore.

WordPress can tell me exactly how many followers there are of my blog (more on that tomorrow). Oddly enough, though, when I scan the list, not one of those followers appears to be a corporation.

Why does that surprise me? Well, given that we have been taught that corporations are people, I figured they may like blogs in roughly the same ratio as do regular old-fashioned people. But no.

That thought leaps to mind as I consider an event at the Phoenix branch of Changing Hands Bookstore this Friday evening. That’s when we can meet Jeff Clements, attorney and author of Corporations Are Not People: Reclaiming Democracy From Big Money & Global Corporations. (What appears to be his own corporation-free blog is here.)

The event is hosted by the Arizona Advocacy Network, whose smart gatherings I have mentioned before. (Here is one regarding the negative qualities of judicial campaign dollars.)

Jeff Clements, looking a little corporate.

Jeff Clements, looking a little corporate.

More detail about Friday’s event—plus a free-but-necessary RSVP—is here. (Another event partner is the Justice and Social Inquiry unit within ASU’s School of Social Transformation.)

And for some particularly pointed insight into how this book and its author are the ideal interlocutors to speak to a lawyer audience, read here. As this opinion piece by Eleanor Goldfield opens:

“The title says it all: Corporations Are Not People. And Jeff Clements is in a position to know. During his tenure at the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office, Clements was involved in a number of cases that saw corporations eager to gain all the rights of a person without holding the responsibility of a person. … This is the cornerstone of Clements’s book: common sense blended with first-hand experience and pointed research. It’s a simple comment on what has become a complex issue.”

Not sufficiently persuaded? How about this: The book has a foreword by Bill Moyers.

Changing Hands First Draft Book Bar-logoStill nothing? How about this: This is the Phoenix location of Changing Hands Bookstore, the one in a building that formerly housed generations of lawyers who lunched at Beefeaters, the one with the bar and the ready access to Southern Rail Restaurant across the breezeway.

There you go. I figured those may be some corporations you can support. I hope to see you there; I’ll save a stool for you.

civil rights attorney and Harvard Law professor Lani Guinier

civil rights attorney and Harvard Law professor Lani Guinier speaks at ASU on Wednesday, April 16.

In year 19, ASU continues to invite great people to deliver its A. Wade Smith Memorial Lecture on Race Relations. Tonight’s offering, by civil rights attorney and Harvard Law professor Lani Guinier, promises to keep in that tradition.

The event is free, open to the public, and requires no RSVP. But seats are often at a premium.

Guinier’s remarks are titled “Rethinking Race and Class.” She will speak tonight at 7:00 pm, in the Carson Ballroom of Old Main on the Tempe campus.

As ASU says,

“Guinier challenges conventional thinking on the issues of race and class. This lecture focuses on the ways that those who have been excluded (based on race or class) are like canaries in coal mines: their vulnerability signals problems with the larger atmosphere affecting us all.”

More information on the Lecture and Guinier is here.

And here is background on the Lecture’s namesake:

“The A. Wade Smith Memorial Lecture on Race Relations was created in 1995 to perpetuate the work of a man who had devoted his life to the idea of racial parity. As professor and chair of sociology at Arizona State University, A. Wade Smith worked tirelessly to improve race relations on the ASU campus and within the greater community.”

I never had the opportunity to know Wade Smith, but I know and think very highly of his family. I am so pleased to see the Lecture continue and thrive.