Tag Archives: race-speaker-series

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Why Race Matters: See Something, Say Something: Interrupting Bias and Litigating Race and Trauma in the Courts

Why Race Matters // April 28
See Something, Say Something: Interrupting Bias and Litigating Race and Trauma in the Courts

Speaker: Kris Henning, Esq.
Thursday April 28, 1:00pm – 4:00pm

Developing the skills necessary to raise race in the courtroom is a critical component of your success in litigation. Join the author of Rage of Innocence: How America Criminalizes Black Youth, Blume Professor of Law, and the Director of the Juvenile Justice Clinic and Initiative Georgetown Law as she works with us to develop the critical thinking, concrete skills, and tools we need to raise race in the Court. In an engaging and interactive style, Professor Henning will help us understand how racial bias, hyper-surveillance, and the traumatic effects of policing impact all our cases — juvenile, criminal, family court, and mental health cases. Together, we will develop strategies to interrupt the dehumanizing language, attitudes, and legal decisions that harm our clients of color. Continue reading

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Why Race Matters: Spotting Issue of Expert Bias in the Courtroom

Why Race Matters // April 7
Spotting Issue of Expert Bias in the Courtroom

Speaker: Dr. Itiel Dror
Thursday April 7, 1:00pm – 4:00pm

Biases plague many domains of our life, and the legal system is no exception. Therefore, experts are heavily relied upon as their judgment and decision making is regarded as objective and impartial. Drawing from the field of criminal justice, I will present research and evidence from real casework that many different types of biases affect even experts, including fingerprinting and DNA forensic laboratory decision making. Continue reading

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Why Race Matters: Racial Trauma: Clients, Court and Conversations

Why Race Matters // March 24
Racial Trauma: Clients, Court and Conversations

Speakers: Dr. Steven Kniffley and La Mer Kyle-Griffiths
Thursday March 24, 1:00pm – 4:00pm

In this session, participants will leave with a better understanding of racial trauma and race-related stress as well as the psychological and physical impact on their clients. We will explore how to assess these impacts on our client and gather the building blocks of a rich story of our client’s experience. Participants will learn some of the flaws that can appear in evaluations and assessments by other players in the legal systems impacting our clients. Finally, we will build skills and tools to mindfully discuss these experiences with our clients and other witnesses and to bring these stories to life at every stage of the case. Continue reading

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Why Race Matters: Client Centered Advocacy Speaker Series: Centering Clients Voices

Introduction to Why Race Matters // March 11
Client Centered Advocacy Speaker Series: Centering Clients Voices
Speaker: Abrigal Forrester
Friday March 11, 1:00pm – 2:30pm

This module introduces participants to the Why Race Matters: Client Centered Advocacy Speaker Series. This presents a unique opportunity for participants to gain an understanding of why the issues of litigating race and addressing systemic racism in the adult criminal, juvenile, child and family regulation and mental health legal systems are critical in representing clients. Participants will begin to uncover the reality that creating and fostering an environment of acceptance and inclusiveness creates better outcomes for our practice, our office, and our clients. Continue reading

Why Race Matters #6: How to be an Anti-Racist – Racism in Massachusetts

Speakers: Dr. Phillipe Copeland
Date: June 3, 2021, 1-3pm

Drawing on the ideas of W.E.B Du Bois, Cedric Robinson, Angela Davis and others, this lecture will apply an Abolition frame to racial inequities in Massachusetts. It will examine how these inequities reflect the operation of racial capitalism, with the criminal legal, family preservation and mental health systems exemplifying these dynamics. Participants will gain a better understanding of systemic racism specifically in Massachusetts and the tools necessary to become an Anti-Racist and address and influence racism in the legal systems in which we practice.

CLEs: 2 each for YAD Appeals, YAD Trial, CAFL Trial, CAFL Appeals, Criminal Trial, Criminal Appeals, SDP/SORB; Mental Health (Trial Skills)

Why Race Matters #5: Courageous Conversation and Unpacking Privilege

Speakers: Bart Bailey and Karen Fleshman, Esq.
Date: May 21, 2021, 1-3pm

Now that we have some background, information and understanding about the issues influencing race, justice and equity within society, this presentation encourages the growth, vulnerability and development of participants, organizations and communities by removing barriers to thought and communication.

The presenters will help to create a safe space for authentic conversations by providing a trustful and respectful foundational platform generating participation in transformative training, addressing white fragility for public defenders, witnesses, jurors, judges and other stakeholders.

The training will not only provide tools which allow participants to engage in internal transformation, but will also help participants understand how to influence this transformation in the thoughts and communications of finders of fact and stakeholders across practice areas.

CLEs: 2 each for YAD Appeals, YAD Trial, CAFL Trial, CAFL Appeals, Criminal Trial, Criminal Appeals, SDP/SORB; Mental Health (Trial Skills)

Why Race Matters #4: Who We Are – A Chronicle of Racism in America

Speakers: Jeff Robinson, Esq.
Date: May 10 2021, 1-4pm

For almost four decades, attorney Jeffery Robinson has devoted his legal career to racial justice. In recent years, he has travelled the country speaking hard truths about race in America. “Our history,” he tells audiences, “has been stolen from us.” Weaving heartbreak, humor, passion, and rage, Robinson takes us through this stolen history, showing us how the legacy of slavery and U.S. imperialism impacts every aspect of our society – from 1619 through the present.

Not only is it time for all Americans to reckon with the true history of racial oppression in this country, but also to understand its impact on today. Robinson’s presentation aims to help us do just that. From the historical connection of slave patrols to local police departments, through the massacres of communities of freed slaves, to the fact that the essential elements of the practice of modern day slavery continued long after the Civil War, Robinson challenges us to think about where we started as a country, where we are, and where we want to end up. His words lay bare an all-but-forgotten past, as well as our shared responsibility to create a better country in our lifetimes.

There is a direct line from the values of white supremacy held by the people who founded America to present day America, and Robinson’s presentation demonstrates how those values and resulting laws have led us to our current circumstances. When people reflect on police violence today few people see the direct connection between laws on police use of force and laws passed in the 1600’s making it clear that if a slave was killed while resisting a master, no crime had been committed. People are unaware of the connection between slave patrols and modern-day police departments. These kinds of connections are critical to understanding that the devaluation of Black lives today can be traced to historic examples of devaluation that continue unbroken throughout American history and especially the criminal justice system.

The history Robinson imparts is not easy. It is not comfortable. But it is necessary. In the end, Robinson’s words are a call to arms. He empowers his audience to change the future, leaving them with a sense of optimism about what America could look like if we have the courage to change it.

CLEs: 3 each for YAD Appeals, YAD Trial, CAFL Trial, CAFL Appeals, Criminal Trial, Criminal Appeals; 2 each for SDP/SORB; Mental Health (Trial Skills)

Why Race Matters #3: The Science of Stereotyping and Bias: Challenges and Opportunities for Organizational Diversity

Speakers: Dr. Keith Maddox and Dr. Sam Sommers
Date: May 3, 2021, 2-4pm

This interactive presentation will explore the psychology underlying racial (and other forms of) bias, discuss the challenges bias presents for leveraging the benefits of organizational diversity, and consider strategies to mitigate its impact.

While the modern era is one in which most professionals believe themselves to be fair-minded individuals— perhaps even genuinely prioritizing equity—social categories including age, gender, race/ethnicity, and sexual orientation continue to have profound effects on how we see and interact with the world around us in the boardroom, the classroom, the courtroom; in all phases of daily life. What research tells us is that while individual forms of contemporary bias are sometimes unconscious, this doesn’t make its implications for organizational climate or the individuals within that environment any less real. The science also demonstrates that we are not hopelessly at the mercy of the power of stereotyping and bias.

We will identify the circumstances under which bias is most likely to emerge and evaluate potential strategies for trying to curtail its impact. A scientifically-informed approach to bias can bring our thoughts, feelings, actions and policies in line with our personal and organizational goals for equity.

CLEs: 2 each for YAD Appeals, YAD Trial, CAFL Trial, CAFL Appeals, Criminal Trial, Criminal Appeals, SDP/SORB; Mental Health (Trial Skills)

Why Race Matters #2: Harvard Study

Why Race Matters #2: Harvard Study

April 26, 2021 // 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Felix Owusu and Brook Hopkins, Esq.


Webinar: 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

In 2016, the late Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Gants asked Harvard Law School to study racial disparities in the criminal legal system in Massachusetts. The Harvard researchers collected three years of data from the relevant agencies and conducted a comprehensive analysis of racial disparities in the criminal legal system. Participants will examine the data and gain an understanding of its use in litigating issues of race.

CLEs: 2 each for YAD Appeals, YAD Trial, CAFL Trial, CAFL Appeals, Criminal Trial, Criminal Appeals, SDP/SORB; Mental Health (Trial Skills)

Breakouts: 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm 

Sign up ahead of time! Breakout rooms are closed to new attendees 1 week prior to the training!

Breakout Participants will engage in a discussion regarding the result of that study and how such information can be used in assisting practitioners in the raising of race and equity issues in your particular practice area. There will be a YAD specific breakout room to discuss the meaning of this study for Delinquency and Youthful Offender cases.

CLEs 1 each for YAD Appeals, YAD Trial, CAFL Trial, CAFL Appeals, Criminal Trial, Criminal Appeals, Mental Health (Trial Skills)