2021 BPDA Summer Conference

 The annual conference was held virtually June 17-18. The BPDA Summer Conference provides Black public defenders, who identify with and are committed to the populations they serve, the opportunity to train, dialogue and network with each other.

Here’s what’s new!
This year we launched FOUR separate tracks: emerging leaders (law students), skills training, policy reform, and professional development. 

There were attend sessions for law students, professionals looking to grow, or any one who wants to join in the effort to dismantle the criminal justice system.

Make sure you’re signed up for our email list to be notified about our next event!

2020 Virtual conference recap

The 2020 BPDA Summer Conference, which was held virtually on Thursday, July 16, was a resounding success. The BPDA Summer Conference tackled everything from how to advance your career, how to aid in the fight for black lives, to moving success stories from the client community.

BPDA’s first virtual conference provided Black public defenders, who identify with and are committed to the populations they serve, the opportunity to train, dialogue and network with each other. 

Many of the sessions were captured on social media, and we have provided links and highlights for you all to view below. 

Opening Plenary

Jeffery Robinson, Deputy Legal Director, ACLU & Director of the ACLU Trone Center for Justice and Equality. Robinson’s full remarks can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/nlada.org/videos/566969177328699/

Closing Plenary: Black Defenders Matter: Seeing the World Through the Lens of Our Clients

During the BPDA Conference last week, Michael White shared about the importance of Black defenders and how Keir Bradford-Grey, Chief Defender, Defender Association of Philadelphia, impacted his case. Here’s what White had to say about why black defenders matter: https://twitter.com/BPDA_justice/status/1285270908794540034?s=20

The BPDA Summer Conference featured three tracks to choose from: Professional Development, Reform, and Skills Training. 

Professional Development Track:

  • “How to Advance in Your Career as a Black Defender” featuring Byron Conway, Attorney, Federal Defender Program, Georgia; Cynthia Jones Professor of Law, American University Washington College of Law; Herbert Duzant, Criminal Defense Investigator, Nevada Federal Defenders; Clinique Marshall, Senior Program Associate, Vera Institute of Justice; Cynthia Roseberry, Deputy Director, ACLU; and Juval Scott, Federal Public Defender, Western Virginia. Tweets about the session can be found here: https://twitter.com/BPDA_justice/status/1283858803147055111?s=20
  • “How to Recruit and Retain Black Attorneys in Public Defender Offices & Hold the Broader PD Community Accountable for Inclusion” featuring Lori James-Townes, Professor, Towson University & President, Expand-Now, LLC; Doris Randle-Holt, Federal Defender of Western Tennessee; Zanele Ngubeni, Supervising Attorney, Atlanta Judicial Circuit; Samia Hossain, Research & Writing Attorney, Federal Public Defender Office; and Herbert Duzant, Criminal Defense Investigator, Nevada Federal Defenders. Tweets about the session can be found here: https://twitter.com/BPDA_justice/status/1283865496207720448?s=20

Reform Track: 

  • “Dismantling Structural Racism and White Supremacy Through Systems Reform” featuring Porsha-Shaf’on Venable, Staff Attorney, The Bronx Defenders; Erin Miles Cloud, Co-Founder & Co-Director, Movement for Family Power; Patrice James, Founding Attorney, Still She Rises, Tulsa; Leonard Noisette, Director, Open Society Institute Justice; and David Singleton, Executive Director, Ohio Justice & Policy Center. Tweets from the discussion can be found here: https://twitter.com/BPDA_justice/status/1283856423177330693

Skills Training Track:

We also held the session “Hearing the Untold Clients’ Stories about Race and Criminal Legal System” featuring Paula Thompson, Voices for Second Chances in DC; Norman Brown, Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services (DYRS); Rolanda Holman, advocate; CeCe Jones-Davis, worship leader, speaker, writer, and social advocate; and Musa Mahdi, Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services (DYRS). Click here for tweeted highlights and key takeaways from the discussion: https://twitter.com/BPDA_justice/status/1283872811539456000?s=20


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