Training Programs Provided by BPDA

BPDA provides challenging racial bias and racial justice litigation strategy training to public defender and legal services offices around the country. 

Many practitioners — Black and non-Black — have expressed the need for training beyond just acknowledging racial bias. They want tips and tools for how to challenge and eliminate bias in their practices and their workspaces.

Challenging Racial Bias

  • In office, amongst colleagues, with clients, in the community;
  • Recognizing and challenging interpersonal, institutional, and structural racism;
  • How to talk about race (grown from “facilitating difficult conversations”).

Racial Justice Litigation Strategy

  • Helping offices include this work in their strategic plan, operations, and practice;
  • Litigation skills training on how to incorporate challenging bias in legal advocacy — from working with clients and other legal stakeholders to representation in court and appellate litigation.

Contact BPDA today if you are seeking:

Anti-racism litigation training

Facilitated conversations about race and challenging racial bias

Training and technical assistance in developing training/information on challenging racial bias for your agency

Anti-Racism Litigation Training

BPDA devises and delivers an intensive training curriculum comprised of materials and workshops designed to enhance the capacity of defenders and public interest advocates to advocate for their clients through a racial justice lens. With a special focus on racial justice, the program includes three components:

1) materials and information to aid in racial justice litigation;

2) skills-based forensic exercises;

3) small-group-facilitated discussion on overcoming challenges of racial justice advocacy.

We tailor the training curriculum to your particular agency, practice, and jurisdiction.


Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia (PDS) Parole Division
Fall 2021
With this project we conducted five weekly sessions with the defender division, drafted a mission statement, and an initial client interview questionnaire. We also contributed to a bibliography for them to use for legal arguments.
New York State Defender Association (NYSDA) Family Defenders Anti-racism Training
December 2021 and March 2022
This program was provided for those who engage in family court adult representation and members of their legal team, including attorneys, social workers, parent advocates, and investigators. With this project we conducted two virtual trainings: a larger challenging bias session, followed by an intensive anti-racism litigation training. The training included content on do’s and don’ts of initial client interviews. We contributed to a bibliography for them to use for legal arguments. We also presented on cultural humility, tying in NY state ethics rules for ethics CLE credit. Participants received 6 CLE credits, 2 of which were ethics.

Facilitating Discussions About Race

Listening Sessions

BPDA has facilitated listening sessions with agencies to help their staff identify, examine, and challenge racial bias in their offices, client interactions, and advocacy in court or before other agencies. We also hold listening sessions for agencies or groups interested in training to gather information to tailor their training.

CT Division of Public Defender Services Dialogues for Change 2022

In conjunction with NLADA, BPDA-certified Anti-racism Trainers provided co-facilitation assistance to defenders at the Connecticut Division of Public Defender Services (CT DPDS) in their 8-week-long challenging bias program, where participants met every other week along with asynchronous learning, to learn ways to challenge bias in their working and personal lives.

NLADA-BPDA Anti-racism Train-the-Trainer Program

Sponsored by: National Legal Aid & Defender Association (NLADA), the National Alliance of Indigent Defense Educators (NAIDE), Black Public Defender Association (BPDA)

This program is specifically designed for new and experienced trainers as well as managers and upcoming leaders responsible for planning and providing training in their organizations. This program is conducted by a team of training professionals from a variety of perspectives and cultures, representing different regions of the country and with experience in training within statewide, county, and nonprofit systems. The faculty includes BPDA-certified Anti-racism Trainers.

The format of the program includes both plenary sessions and breakout groups for participants to focus on individual goals for themselves and their agencies. The program has two tracks for participants to choose from: