2019 Black Public Defender Association (BPDA) Conference.
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Discussion Groups [clear filter]
Friday, June 7


Litigating Race in the Courtroom
The workshop will highlight the important and innovate work of the San Francisco Public Defender Office on racial justice. Many black defenders know that race plays a central role in the criminal legal system, but they lack the tools and knowledge needed to attack the issues in the courtroom. This workshop will equip you with the tools and ideas needed to address race in the courtroom.


Manohar Raju

Public Defender, San Francisco Public Defender
Manohar Raju was appointed San Francisco Public Defender in 2019. Before that, he served as felony manager. He came to San Francisco in 2008 by way of the Contra Costa Public Defender’s Office, where he worked as a deputy public defender for seven years. He is known for being a... Read More →

Friday June 7, 2019 8:00am - 9:30am
Chesapeake I 3rd Floor


How to Work with Client Communities & Acknowledge Our Own Privilege
This workshop will focus on strengthening client relationships, and it will discuss the inherent power dynamic between clients and public defense advocates. We will discuss how to recognize and own our privilege as public defense professionals and how it affects our relationships with clients.

avatar for Regina Kelly

Regina Kelly

Chair, NLADA Client Council, Lone Star Legal Aid
A mother of four by age 24, Regina Kelly worked multiple jobs to support her family and provide a safe environment in the midst of the tough neighborhood in which they lived. Despite her efforts, she became entangled in an ironic twist of fate when she was arrested at work right before... Read More →

Ronald Simpson-Bey

Director of Outreach and Alumni Engagement, JustLeadershipUSA
Ronald D. Simpson-Bey is a national leader in the decarceration movement and currently works as the director of outreach and alumni engagement for JustLeadershipUSA. He is also a 2015 LwC Fellow with JLUSA committed to cutting the national prison population in half by 2030. Ronald... Read More →

Friday June 7, 2019 9:45am - 11:15am
Chesapeake I 3rd Floor


Discussion Groups: a. How to Find Your Voice as a Leader of Color b. The Power of Mentorship c. What Does Fellowship Look Like among Black Public Defenders?
avatar for La Mer Kyle-Griffiths

La Mer Kyle-Griffiths

Director of Training and Complex Litigation, Still She Rises, Inc.
La Mer Kyle-Griffiths is the Director of Training and Complex Litigation at Still She Rises, Tulsa. La Mer has been a lifelong public defender amplifying the voice of the poor in Kentucky, Massachusetts, and Washington. In Seattle, she was responsible for designing, organizing, and... Read More →

Porsha Venable

Staff Attorney, The Bronx Defenders
Born, raised, and still residing in the Bronx, Porsha-Shaf’on received her J.D. from California Western School of Law and her MSW from New York University School of Social Work. She initially worked at the Bronx Defenders as a forensic social worker. During law school, she returned... Read More →

Friday June 7, 2019 11:30am - 1:00pm
Chesapeake I 3rd Floor