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

5:00pm EDT

Opening Plenary: The Role of Black Public Defenders in Shaping Justice
Black public defenders have played an instrumental role in shaping justice in America. We will discuss the various roles that current and former public defenders have played in advancing criminal justice reform and social justice. The panel will include a diverse group of defenders who currently serve in leadership roles in leading social justice organizations, serving as members of the judiciary, and academics.

avatar for Brittany Mobley

Brittany Mobley

Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, Deputy Chief of Juvenile Services Program, Community Defender Division
Brittany Mobley has been an attorney for the Juvenile Services Program for the Public Defender Service (PDS) for Washington, D.C., since July 2015. Before joining PDS, Brittany was a senior attorney at the Children’s Law Center within its Guardian ad Litem Program representing children... Read More →


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 →

Charles Dorsey

Associate Judge, Circuit Court for Baltimore City
Judge Charles H. Dorsey III has been associate judge for the Circuit Court for Baltimore City since December 22, 2016. Before his appointment to the bench, Judge Dorsey was the deputy public defender for the State of Maryland, a position he held since December 2009. The Office of... Read More →

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 →
avatar for Brendon Woods

Brendon Woods

Public Defender, Alameda County Public Defender
With nearly 20 years of experience in criminal defense litigation, Brendon Woods has held positions of increasing responsibility in the Alameda County Public Defender’s Office since he joined the office as a post-bar law clerk in 1996. In December 2012, he was appointed public defender... Read More →

Genesis Draper

Assistant Public Defender, Harris County Public Defender's Office
Genesis Draper is an assistant public defender with the Harris County Public Defender’s Office in Houston. Before joining Harris County, she was an assistant federal public defender for the Southern District of Texas in Houston and an assistant public defender with the Metropolitan... Read More →

Patrice James

Founding Attorney, Still She Rises
Patrice James has spent her career tackling the inequities of the criminal justice system. Most recently, she was a founding attorney of Still She Rises, Tulsa, where she provided holistic legal representation primarily to low-income women of color, engaged in community building... Read More →

Thursday June 6, 2019 5:00pm - 6:30pm EDT
Chesapeake I-II 3rd Floor
Friday, June 7

1:15pm EDT

Closing Plenary: Lawyering While Black: How to Fight for My Clients and Take Care of My Health
As black public defenders, it was disturbing (while not surprising) to hear about the injustice that occurred in Hartford County, Maryland, when Rashad James was detained for impersonating an attorney while in court representing his client. Unfortunately, many of you surely have similar stories to share from your own practice. This panel will discuss the distinct pressures faced by black advocates working in the criminal legal system, and it will discuss the importance of self-care and managing the stress and secondary trauma that comes with the work.

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 →


Keisha Hudson

Deputy Chief Public Defender, Montgomery County Public Defender's Office

Erin Miles Cloud

Trial Attorney, The Bronx Defenders

Mr. Kenneth Days, III

Director/Chief Public Defender, City of Atlanta: Office of the Public Defender
Kenneth Days III is the current director and chief public defender for the City of Atlanta Office of the Public Defender. Before his tenure with the City of Atlanta, Days was a managing attorney for a large real estate practice and worked in private practice advocating as both plaintiff... Read More →

Friday June 7, 2019 1:15pm - 2:15pm EDT
Chesapeake II 3rd Floor