2019 Black Public Defender Association (BPDA) Conference.
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Membership Meetings [clear filter]
Thursday, June 6

4:00pm EDT

BPDA Membership Committee
This meeting will focus on the creation of BPDA chapters and membership engagement.


Sylvia Smith

Staff Attorney-Trial Division, The Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia

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 →

Thursday June 6, 2019 4:00pm - 5:00pm EDT
Chesapeake I-II 3rd Floor

4:00pm EDT

Pathways to Legal Education
Black public defenders have an important role to play as teachers in both professional and academic settings. Yet, for many of us, law teaching may seem out of reach. This workshop explores the various pathways available to public defenders seeking to engage with legal education. This session will explain what law teaching involves and provide advice on how to pursue clinical and other academic opportunities.


Vida Johnson

Associate Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center
Before joining Georgetown University Law Center, Professor Johnson was a supervising attorney in the Trial Division at the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia (PDS), where she worked for eight years. At PDS, Ms. Johnson was assigned to the most serious cases at the... Read More →

Nicole Smith Futrell

Associate Professor; Co-Director, Defenders Clinic, City University of New York School of Law
Nicole Smith Futrell is an associate professor and co-director of the Defenders Clinic at the City University of New York (CUNY) School of Law. In the clinic, she and her students handle a variety of defense related cases such as representing clients in state court misdemeanor matters... Read More →

Thursday June 6, 2019 4:00pm - 5:00pm EDT
Severn I 2nd Floor

4:00pm EDT

Social Policy and Advocacy Committee
This committee of BPDA is focused on policy reform and advocacy on issues affecting black public defenders. This meeting will focus on developing a plan and strategy on how BPDA can engage the larger criminal justice reform community and how members can volunteer to ensure the success of the work.


Chiquisha Robinson

Deputy Chief, Prisoner & Reentry Legal Services, Public Defender Service for DC
Ms. Robinson serves as the deputy chief for the Prisoner & Reentry Legal Services program in the D.C. Public Defender Services' Community Defender Division. The Community Defender Division (CDD) provides legal advice, social services, and community education and outreach to adults... Read More →

Thursday June 6, 2019 4:00pm - 5:00pm EDT
Chesapeake III 3rd Floor

4:00pm EDT

Training and Professional Development Committee
This meeting will focus on identifying topics and ideas for future BPDA training.

avatar for Keir Bradford-Gray

Keir Bradford-Gray

Chief Defender, Defender Association of Philadelphia
Since becoming Chief Defender of the Defender Association of Philadelphia in 2015, Keir Bradford- Grey has been the city’s leading advocate for comprehensive justice system reform. Ms. Bradford- Grey believes that the Defender must not only provide clients with first-rate legal... Read More →
avatar for Lori James-Townes

Lori James-Townes

Assoc. Clinical Professors, Towson University
Professor James-Townes’s passion is adding value to others. She has focused her attention on personal and professional development. Nothing brings her more joy than working with students and professionals as they take their journey and focus on achieving their full potential. She... Read More →

Thursday June 6, 2019 4:00pm - 5:00pm EDT
Potomac 3rd Floor