Stand in for Nebraska’s Attorney, John Cartier JD

John Cartier joined our team as legal counsel amidst the complex 2020 summer in which protest rallies focused our local and national lives. During that episode and ever since, John has walked unflinchingly alongside our grassroots-developing non-profit organization and offered invaluable guidance and advocacy. It is no exaggeration to say our integrity was protected and infrastructure made increasingly robust toward non-profit maturity because of John Cartier.

While John is an essential team leader, he leads with humility and is invested in our unique approach to non-hierarchical structure and equitable compensation. A partner in establishing a legally sound reparations-informed compensation structure, John walks the SIFN philosophy that white resourced leaders volunteer for the organization and leaders of color are fairly and generously compensated. This approach allows white allies to live their desire to divest from white culture’s tendency to accumulate for their own benefit—accumulations supported by a history of policies supporting white culture’s resources and denying such upward mobility for people of color—and invest in SIFN’s brilliant leaders of color. This approach to compensation constitutes “equity” for Stand in for Nebraska and models disruption of non-profit hierarchies which historically and currently too often reinforce white power.

Beyond his innovative partnering work allowing SIFN to walk the talk of “dismantling systemic oppressions” and de-center white supremacy within our organization, John is such a good and healthy man—truly a beautiful soul. He fully understands and supports rematriation, an intentional structure in a predominately women-led human rights organization. A powerful, steady, brilliant human, John walks alongside SIFN in an egoless way and is always there with immediate response and help. It’s common knowledge among our leadership team—almost a recurring joke—that John is totally disinclined to invoice us for his services. We have to remind him and insist.

As former counsel for Civic Nebraska, John led their recent Voting Rights campaign and was a major force in advocating for medical marijuana legalization. Now, John is serving as general counsel for the organization, For Our Future Action Fund. Though John’s focus now involves human rights and environmental advocacy nationally, we are thrilled he will remain our beloved attorney.