Today has been crammed with fun and interesting meetings and activities. Late yesterday night (after having a beer or two while playing the meme version of cards against humanities that James bought – so fun) we decided that we wanted to get up early to watch an “argument” in the Supreme Court of Justice before heading for our first meeting. Said and done, we took an uber to the supreme court around 8:30am to get in line for seeing an argument.
As you can see – we weren’t the only ones that wanted to see the Supreme Court in action that day. People had been standing in line for quite a while, so we did unfortunately not get seats for the whole argument. We weren’t left out to dry though, as we did get tickets for a short 3 minutes-observation of the argument.
So what is an “argument” in the supreme court? Well, each year the Court holds oral arguments in about 70-80 cases. The arguments are an opportunity for the Justices to ask questions directly of the attorneys representing the parties to the case, and for the attorneys to highlight arguments that they view as particularly important.
After the court we went straight to NIAC – National Iranian American Council – to meet up with an old friend of ours, Mr Trita Parsi. Earlier this year, UF got the chance to host him as he received the award for Uppsala University Alumnus of the year 2016 and now he got the chance to host us too! As an expert on Iran-American relations, Trita did share some interesting reflections about life in D.C. during the presidency of Trump, the “muslim-ban”, Middle-Eastern power struggles and the chances for war with Iran and North Korea. We left with a lot of new insights and inspiration for new Uttryck-articles, so stay tuned! If you are interesting in taking part of the conversation, the meeting will also (hopefully) be published at Radio UF’s SoundCloud page together with much else after we have returned to Sweden!
After that, a well-deserved break. Who can say no to FOODTRUCKS (nothing bad about Uppsala falafel but it was nice with some variety in the assortment)? It was sunny and warm so we could enjoy our lunch outside – look how cute we are?!
After the lunch break we got back to business. Next on our agenda was a meeting with the Sentencing Project, a non-profit organisation that works for a fair and effective justice system. We met up with Dr. Ashley Nellis that informed us about the problems in current policies. The organisation were handling a lot of different issues; mainly sentencing policies but also juvenile justice and racial disparity.
With our heads overfilled with new insight we rolled out of their downtown office and were done with the meetings of the day.
The group divided and conquered different sights of the city: some went to the shop of the National Geographic museum, some sat down outdoors at a tavern and others went to the National Museum of Women in the Arts (the only national museum solely dedicated to championing women in the arts).
Now we are home again at our grande AirBnB and after dinner life feels great. Today has been an amazing first day of meetings, and even though we have only been here for a day it feels like way longer, a great sign that this is a trip we’ll learn so much from.
Looking forward to tomorrow!
Felicia Wartiainen & Sonya Sammarco