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Speakers Announced for Symposium on Criminal Justice, Poverty, and Race

Lexington, VA — Paul Butler, Albert Brick Professor in Law at Georgetown University; James Forman, Jr., Professor of Law at Yale University; and Robin Steinberg, Director of the Bronx Defenders, will be the principal speakers at the 2017 Shepherd Consortium symposium on Monday, July 31.

This event will be held at the Marshall Hall, Center for Leadership and Ethics at the Virginia Military Institute. These speakers will be joined by Sarah Farmer, Research Faculty and Lecturer at the Yale University Divinity School. Dr. Farmer, a former Berea College Shepherd Intern, will moderate the Panel among the speakers.  The symposium agenda is now available.

Robin Steinberg will address “Re-entry for Dignity and a ‘Productive’ Life”

Robin Steinberg will speak on: “Re-entry for Dignity and a ‘Productive’ Life.” A graduate of NYU Law School, Ms. Steinberg has been a public defender for her entire career. As the Founder and Executive Director of The Bronx Defenders, Ms. Steinberg developed and pioneered holistic defense, a client-centered model of public defense that looks beyond a criminal case to address underlying causes and collateral consequences of criminal justice involvement. She has been honored by the National Legal Aid & Defender Association and the New York Bar Association for her leadership and for her many civic initiatives on behalf of criminal justice reform. Ms. Steinberg has taught trial skills and has served as a Lecturer-in-Law at various law schools, including Columbia Law School. She has spoken at many forums and published in multiple law journals, including the Washington and Lee Law Review.

James Forman Jr. will address “Just Prosecution, Defense, and Sentencing”

James Forman, Jr., son of a well-known civil rights leader, will address “Just Prosecution, Defense, and Sentencing.” He graduated from Yale Law School before clerking for Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and then working at the Public Defender Service in Washington, DC, where SHECP has had interns for many years. Mr. Forman also co-founded the Maya Angelou Charter School for dropouts and youth who have been arrested. He visited at the Stanford University Law School this year, and has recently published Locking Up Our Own, which will be for sale at the symposium. He has also published in multiple law reviews, newspapers, and magazines.

Paul Butler will address “Just Policing”

Paul Butler, a graduate of Harvard Law School, will speak on “Just Policing.” Mr. Butler clerked for United States District Court judge, Mary Johnson Lowe, and has taught at George Washington University and the University of Pennsylvania as well as Georgetown. He served for a time as a prosecutor in the U.S. Justice Department and as defense attorney for the Williams and Connolly, a Washington, DC law firm. He is the recipient of a Soros Justice Fellowship. Mr. Butler is widely published in law journals and newspapers, magazines, and the on-line press and provides legal comments for MSNBC, CNN, and the National Public Radio. His forthcoming book, Chokehold: Policing Black Men, will be on sale at the Symposium.

Sarah Farmer will moderate the panel of our speakers

Sarah Farmer is as an associate research scholar at Yale Divinity School and directs the Adolescent Faith and Flourishing Program at Yale Center for Faith and Culture. She was a Shepherd Intern from Berea College working in Boston at the Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corporation in 2004. Sarah received her M.Div. and Ph.D from Emory University, where she taught as an adjunct faculty and co-directed a Certificate in Theological Studies Program at a Women’s Prison. Her dissertation was on “Hope in Confinement: Moving Toward a Pedagogy of Restorative Hope.” She continues to write on hope for marginalized groups, especially those who have experienced “confinement.” Sarah’s book with Anne E. Streaty Wimberly—Raising Hope: Four Paths to Courageous Living for Black Youth—will be released in Fall 2017.

Harlan Beckley reports that the Consortium is overdue for an in-depth examination of the connection between incarceration and poverty, a relationship fraught by racial issues. “These speakers are among the most knowledgeable on the topic. They will help us see how much we need to learn in order to effectively address the detrimental impact of some aspects of our criminal justice system on individuals, families, and communities.”

In addition to participation by the 2017 Shepherd Interns (120), Symposium participation is  open to the public, including former Consortium interns, faculty and staff from all interested institutions, and local citizens. Registration costs $30.  The Symposium is preceded on Sunday, 30 July by the Frueauff Closing Conference for Intern Reports.   Registration for the Closing Conference is $55. Participants are expected to register for one or both at .


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