Leena Odeh is a lawyer, researcher, consultant, healer and community weaver. She specializes in law at the intersection of political economy, planning, intellectual property, migration, cultural landscaping, and comparative constitutionalism. She’s worked for the past 4 years with Global Refugee Protection Project and currently, Lamp, Lifeboat, Ladder, where she provided legal defense, fact-finding, strategic planning, and litigation in partnership with refugees and grassroots organizations. She co-founded a holistic program dedicated to recovery and sovereignty for refugees in-transit who are survivors of torture and detention. Leena comes from a radical tradition of organizing in the tradition of Ella Baker and is a long time organizer and community leader in Chicago.
Leena previously fellowed at the Center for Constitutional Rights, the Brooklyn Public Defenders, and the ACLU of Northern California, working in civil rights, national security, prisoners rights, international law, and the intersection of criminal, civil rights, immigration, and family law.
Leena comes to the work of transformative justice with the belief that creating sustainable and alternative systems to consumption, urbanization, domination, control, and addiction to punishment, carceral geographies, and securitization is as important as critiquing the harmful systems and structures that already exist. She hails from Chicago’s southwest side and is currently based in the Southwest side of Asia. Leena supports, invests, and sits on the boards of various organizations and networks committed to transformative justice “glocally.” In her spare time she is committed to a practice of unearthing and preserving the embodied cultural wisdom of Southwest Asia and North Africa, to honor the elders and carry-on that wisdom to generation after generation.