Black Public Defender Association

“Fighting daily for our clients and communities against racism and other systems of oppression”

The Black Public Defender Association aims to improve the quality of defense provided to low-income communities across the United States by creating and maintaining a national network of skilled Black public defenders that identify with and are committed to the populations they serve.

The role of black defenders in the struggle for justice in this country is often untold. The creation of BPDA elevates the necessary and valuable voices of current and former defenders in the fight for racial equity and justice.

-Angela Davis

Black public defenders are American freedom fighters; they are on the front lines of this generation’s civil rights movement.

-James Forman, Jr.

OUR HISTORY

The unique experiences and challenges of black public defenders prompted Patrice James, a founding public defender of Still She Rises, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, to reach out to April Frazier Camara, then Director of Defender Legal Services at the National Legal Aid Defender Association (NLADA) in the fall of 2017, to inquire about national organizations that provide support and training for black public defenders. Patrice’s inquiry prompted a long-overdue discussion at NLADA about the need to form an organization that would serve as a safe space, refuge, and training ground for black public defenders throughout the country. During initial discussions at NLADA, April learned from NLADA President and CEO Jo-Ann Wallace, the idea for this organization had been discussed for many years in the black defender community. Jo-Ann recognized the long-standing desire and need for such an organization and readily supported its creation under April’s leadership.

Our Mission

The Black Public Defender Association aims to improve the quality of defense provided to low-income communities across the United States by creating and maintaining a national network of skilled Black public defenders that identify with and are committed to the populations they serve. BPDA is a section of the National Legal Aid and Defender Association.

Upcoming Events

BPDA Monthly Membership Meeting
Every 3rd Wednesday of Each Month
This month's meeting will take place, Wednesday, October 28th at 7:00pm
Join Us This Sunday For Our "VOTE FOR BLACK LIVES" Live Stream
On Sunday, November 1st at 4:00pm (EST) BPDA will discuss the significance of Voter Protection during the 2020 election and how you can get involved today!
  • Black Public Defender Association
  • 1901 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Suite 500
  • Washington, DC 20006

(+1)202-452-0620