Art: Speaker Biographies – Spring 2017

Below are the biographies for CAP’s Art of Social Change: Child Welfare, Education, and Juvenile Justice spring 2017 speakers.

Elizabeth Bartholet

elizabeth-bartholetElizabeth Bartholet is the Morris Wasserstein Public Interest Professor of Law and Faculty Director of the Child Advocacy Program (CAP) at Harvard Law School, where she teaches civil rights and family law, specializing in child welfare, adoption and reproductive technology. Before joining the Harvard Faculty, she was engaged in civil rights and public interest work, first with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and later as founder and director of the Legal Action Center, a non-profit organization in New York City focused on criminal justice and substance abuse issues.

Crisanne Hazen

CrisanneHazen_ResizedCrisanne Hazen is the Assistant Director of Harvard Law School’s Child Advocacy Program. Crisanne joined CAP in the summer of 2016.  She came from San Jose, California, where she worked as a supervising attorney at Legal Advocates for Children and Youth (LACY), a program of the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley.  Starting at LACY as an Equal Justice Works Fellow in 2006, Crisanne developed a “know your rights” curriculum for pregnant and parenting teens, which she taught at 6 area high schools.  Over the 10 years at LACY, she represented hundreds of teen parents in family law and restraining order matters, as well as directly represented children and youth of all ages in a variety of civil proceedings including family law, guardianships, housing, benefits, special education, and school discipline.  She helped to start and later manage a medical-legal partnership clinic in the Pediatric Department of Valley Medical Center in San Jose.  She also managed other population-based projects, including a CSEC project, transition-age foster youth project, and a foster youth identity theft project.  Crisanne is a graduate of Harvard University and the University of California-Davis School of Law.

Charles Nelson

Charles A. Nelson III, PhD, is Professor of Pediatrics and Neuroscience and Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Elsewhere at Harvard he holds faculty appointments in the Harvard School of Public Health and the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and sits on the steering committee for the Harvard Center on the Developing Child and the Harvard interfaculty initiative on Mind, Brain, and Behavior. In addition, he holds the Richard David Scott Chair in Pediatric Developmental Medicine Research at Boston Children’s Hospital, and is Director of Research in the Division of Developmental Medicine.  His research interests center on a variety of problems in developmental cognitive neuroscience, including developmental trajectories to autism; and the effects of early adversity (including psychosocial deprivation) on brain and behavioral development. He chaired the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Early Experience and Brain Development, and served on the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) panels that wrote From Neurons to Neighborhoods, and more recently, New Directions in Child Abuse and Neglect Research.  Among his many honors he has received the Leon Eisenberg award from Harvard Medical School, an honorary Doctorate from Bucharest University (Romania), was a resident fellow at the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center (Italy), and has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Rhoda Schneider

rhodaphoto2015Rhoda E. Schneider is General Counsel and Senior Associate Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. For over 30 years she has been chief legal counsel to the commissioner, state board, and department staff. She has advised six successive commissioners and served twice herself as acting commissioner. Besides providing legal guidance to the commissioner, state board, and department, Rhoda and her staff publish advisories for school and district leaders, parents and students, and other constituents on the state and federal laws affecting public elementary and secondary schools. Issues of law and policy that she addresses include standards-based education reform, civil rights, charter schools, school finance and governance, student assessment, special education, school and district accountability, and educator licensure. Rhoda graduated from Wellesley College and earned her J.D. from Boston University School of Law. She is an adjunct lecturer in school law at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, co-chairs and teaches in the School Law Institute at Teachers College, Columbia University, and has been a presenter or guest lecturer at many professional conferences and graduate courses for educators and lawyers. Rhoda was selected as one of the Top Women of Law for 2015 by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly. She is the editor of the MCLE book, School Law in Massachusetts.

Ventura Rodriguez

Dr. Ventura Rodriguez is the Director of the Office of Strategic Transformation (OST) at the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE). He previously served as a Special Assistant to the Commissioner, focused on school turnaround and redesign. Ventura’s primary role is to manage and coordinate ESE’s work with Level 5 schools and districts (state receivership) and to work with districts to design and implement robust and innovative reforms aimed at turning around their lowest performing schools. Similar reforms have included the in-district receiver models such as the Springfield Empowerment Zone Partnership (SEZP).

Originally from Panama, Ventura has twenty years of experience as a teacher, school leader, and senior administrator in California, Kenya, New York City, and Massachusetts. Prior to joining ESE, he was the founder and Executive Director of St. HOPE Leadership Academy, a charter middle school in Harlem. Dr. Rodriguez holds a BA in history from the University of San Francisco, a MA of Education from San Francisco State University, and is a graduate of the Doctor of Education Leadership program (Ed.L.D.) at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Jeff Riley

In January 2012, Massachusetts Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education Mitchell Chester appointed Jeffrey C. Riley as Superintendent/Receiver of the Lawrence Public Schools. A veteran educator with nearly two decades of experience in school and district leadership, he previously served in Boston Public Schools as Academic Superintendent for Middle and K–8 Schools and Chief Innovation Offices; Director of the High Tech Academy at Madison Park Technical-Vocational High School; and principal of the Edwards Middle School. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from Pomona College, a Master’s degree in Counseling from Johns Hopkins University and a Master’s degree in School Administration, Planning and Social Policy from Harvard University.

Richard Barth

barth_richardRichard P. Barth, PhD, MSW, is Professor and Dean at the University Of Maryland School Of Social Work. He has previously served as a chaired professor at UC Berkeley and the University of North Carolina. He has authored or co-authored many books, book chapters, and articles that present original research, review research, or reflect on the lessons of research for child welfare practice and policy. He has conducted evaluations that range from pilot projects to statewide initiatives and has used a variety of types of data to inform the design and redesign of child welfare services as related to child abuse prevention, parent training, substance abuse treatment of child welfare families, family reunification, foster and residential care, KEEP, child fatalities, and post-adoption services. He serves as Co-Investigator of the National Center on Evidence Based Practice and Child Welfare which has been training child welfare and mental health professionals in evidence-based practices and to partner for success. He has been honored for his research in children’s services by NASW, University of Chicago, USC, the Society for Social Work and Research, the American Public Human Services Association, and the North American Council on Adoptable Children, receiving the Friend of Children Award in 2012. He currently serves on the IOM Panel on supporting the parents of young children. He is President of the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare.

John Mattingly

AECF PortraitsIn September of 2014, John Mattingly retired as a Senior Fellow at the Annie E. Casey Foundation in Baltimore, Maryland. He is currently an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland, Graduate School of Social Work, specializing in leadership and management in child welfare and juvenile justice.

From 2004 until 2011, Dr. Mattingly served as Commissioner of the New York City Administration for Children Services, having responsibility for child welfare, child protection, foster and adoptive services, child care and Head Start, the Department of Juvenile Justice, and the overall operations of an agency of 7000 staff and a $2.6 billion budget.

During his long tenure at ACS, Dr. Mattingly increased preventive services, rebuilt its child protection system, started the accountability system known as ChildStat, redesigned an integrated child care and Head Start system for the City, opened a Leadership Academy for managers at the agency, and hired teams of retired detectives to assist workers in their child protective investigations. Finally, the Department of Juvenile Justice was integrated into ACS, and a new initiative called Close to Home was designed to remove city youth from state delinquency facilities. The number of children in foster care also declined by more than 7,000 during his tenure, while caseload sizes were reduced to historically low levels nationally.

When he resigned as Commissioner in 2011, the NY Daily News editorialized: “A good public servant is moving on. Mattingly can take his leave in September having much to be proud of.”

On WNET Andrew White said:  “Mattingly leaves ACS with respect not only from his colleagues and advocates but also from many of the reporters who covered his very worst days. In child welfare, that’s a rare and remarkable testament.”

In the New York Times, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said: “As I’ve said countless times over the last seven years, New York City has been extraordinarily lucky to have a nationally renowned expert, John Mattingly, ably and tirelessly leading our Administration for Children’s Services. Few people have worked harder and more effectively in such difficult circumstances than he has.”

Marcia Robinson Lowry, executive director of the watchdog organization Children’s Rights, called Mr. Mattingly’s departure “a real loss. There are far too few child welfare commissioners anywhere in this country that share his courage, strength, integrity and tenacity,” she said. “He aimed high and while he may not have hit every goal he set, his aim was dead on.”

Dr. Mattingly initially joined the Annie E. Casey Foundation in 1992 and led the Family to Family foster care initiative for over 10 years. Prior to that he directed the Lucas County Children Services agency in Toledo, Ohio.

Mattingly received his doctorate from the Pennsylvania State University in Community Development and his Masters in Social Work from the University of Pittsburgh.

He is married to his wife Linda of 45 years and the father of two children, David and Kathleen—of whom he is very proud.

Colin Parks

Colin Parks attended Michigan State University for both his undergraduate (psychology) and his graduate degrees (social work). He has spent time working in the mental health profession with mentally ill and developmentally disabled populations. He has also spent three years as a substance abuse counselor and support staff. For the past 18 years, he has worked within the field of child welfare. He began his work with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services in 1998 as a foster care case worker. He spent ten years as a children’s protective services (CPS) investigator, ongoing worker, lead-worker and supervisor. In 2009, he began work as a CPS policy writer and in 2010 was appointed CPS Program Office State Manager. CPS Program Office is responsible for, among other thing: reporting child welfare data to the state and federal government; developing CPS policy and programs for the state; assisting in training and implementation of those policies and programs; providing logistical and policy support for front-line staff; acting as a public child welfare liaison for the department; and monitoring statewide initiatives.

Sam Greenberg

4. SamGreenbergF15 - Copy

Sam Greenberg is co-founder of Y2Y Harvard Square, the nation’s first student run homeless shelter for young adults. Sam is a graduate of Harvard College ‘14, where he wrote his honors thesis on homelessness in Harvard Square, served as the Staff Director at the Harvard Square Homeless Shelter, and as Vice President of the Phillips Brooks House Association, a student led non-profit at Harvard College. Sam is a Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation Entrepreneur, an Elliot and Anne Richardson Fund Fellowship recipient, a member of Boston’s City Awake Delegates Leadership Council, and has been named Forbes 30 Under 30 in Social Entrepreneurship and honorable mention for the Boston Globe Magazine’s 2015 Bostonian of the Year.

Sarah Rosenkrantz

4. SarahRosenkrantzF15Sarah Rosenkrantz graduated from Harvard College, where she studied Social and Cognitive Neuroscience. Passionate about homelessness advocacy since high school, she started working at the Harvard Square Homeless Shelter (HSHS) her freshman fall. There, Sarah served as the Resource Advocacy Director, training and supporting students who connected guests with services necessary to transition out of homelessness. She has experience in peer counseling, research management, and marketing. A Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation Entrepreneur and a Phillips Brooks House Association (PBHA) Stride Fellow, Sarah is excited to continue leading Y2Y Harvard Square and hopes to pursue a career in homelessness and housing.

Kelly Turley

turley-kellyFor the past nineteen years, Kelly Turley has been an advocate with and for people experiencing homelessness and poverty. Since 2002, Kelly has worked for the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless, where she serves as the Director of Legislative Advocacy. At the Coalition, she collaborates to develop public policy strategies to create access to homelessness prevention benefits, safety net resources, and affordable housing opportunities for families, unaccompanied youth, and adults throughout the Commonwealth.

Kelly coordinates the Coalition’s presence at the State House and serves as a liaison to state entities such as the Department of Housing and Community Development, the Department of Transitional Assistance, and the Executive Office of Health and Human Services. She mobilizes the Coalition’s members and allies on the ground and online on a variety of issues, including successful campaigns to have a groundbreaking unaccompanied youth homelessness bill signed into law, establish a special statewide commission on unaccompanied youth homelessness, preserve access to the state’s Emergency Assistance family shelter program, and to create and expand the Residential Assistance for Families in Transition homelessness prevention program.

Previously, Kelly worked as an advocate for extremely low-income families and individuals in Boston and Philadelphia. In addition to her housing and homelessness advocacy, Kelly is a long-time human rights activist, serving in volunteer leadership positions within Amnesty International USA and Students for a Free Tibet International. She is a graduate of Siena College (B.A. 1997) and Boston College (M.S.W. 2002 and M.A. 2007).

Douglas NeJaime

nejaime_dougDouglas NeJaime is Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard Law School for Spring 2017.  He was the Martin R. Flug Visiting Professor of Law at Yale Law School in Fall 2016.  He is also Professor of Law at UCLA School of Law, where he serves as Faculty Director of the Williams Institute, a research institute on sexual orientation and gender identity law and policy.  He teaches in the areas of family law, legal ethics, law and sexuality, and constitutional law.  Prior to his time at UCLA, he taught at UC Irvine School of Law and Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. NeJaime is the co-author of Cases and Materials on Sexuality, Gender Identity, and the Law (with Carlos Ball, Jane Schacter, and William Rubenstein).  His recent scholarship includes “The Nature of Parenthood,” 126 Yale Law Journal (forthcoming 2017); “Marriage Equality and the New Parenthood,” 129 Harvard Law Review 1185 (2016); “Conscience Wars: Complicity-Based Conscience Claims in Religion and Politics,” 124 Yale Law Journal 2516 (2015), with Reva Siegel; and “Before Marriage: The Unexplored History of Nonmarital Recognition and Its Relationship to Marriage,” 102 California Law Review 87 (2014).  NeJaime has twice received the Dukeminier Award, which recognizes the best sexual orientation legal scholarship published in the previous year, and has also been the recipient of UCI Law’s Professor of the Year Award and Loyola Law School’s Excellence in Teaching Award.

Dan Zhou

zhou_danDan Zhou is an S.J.D. candidate at Harvard Law School. He has completed the requirements of the LL.M. at Harvard Law School, and holds a master’s degree from Renmin University of China.

He is one of the very few Chinese lawyers who have ever come out to local, national and international media about his sexual orientation, personal experiences and legal advocacy. After he had worked on commercial law matters for 8 years, he founded a public interest legal advocacy organization in Shanghai in 2005, focusing on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues and rights of people with HIV/AIDS. Also, in 2009, he published one of the first Chinese-language academic books dealing with legal treatment of same-sex intimacy in modern China. In addition, he has cooperated with the China Law Center of Yale Law School over the past decade on comparative antidiscrimination law related to sexual orientation and gender identity as well as HIV/AIDS. He was a visiting scholar at Yale’s China Law Center in 2004 and in 2015.

His S.J.D. project is designed to explore the topic of public interest lawyering in China. He will examine the nature, place of, and possibilities for public interest advocacy at the margins in Chinese society. One of his areas of interest germane to his project is women’s rights and children’s welfare. Professor Elizabeth Bartholet is one of his field supervisors for his doctoral research project.

John Affeldt

affeldt_johnJohn Affeldt is a managing attorney at Public Advocates in San Francisco, where he focuses on educational equity issues through litigation, policy advocacy and partnerships with grassroots organizations. John served as a lead counsel on Williams v. California, which resulted in a breakthrough 2004 settlement guaranteeing California’s students sufficient instructional materials, decent facilities and qualified teachers. He is also lead counsel on Community Coalition v. LAUSD, a challenge to the district’s undercounting its obligation to support high need students by $450 million annually, and the Campaign for Quality Education v. California suit challenging the state’s underfunding of public schools.

John brought the only lawsuits in the country to enforce the teacher quality provisions of the federal No Child Left Behind Act, which required states and districts to provide fully credentialed teachers in equal measure to low-income students and students of color. These actions led to a state court voiding the improper labeling of some 4,000 provisionally-certified teachers as “highly qualified” and a Ninth Circuit, U.S. Court of Appeals ruling striking down a federal regulation that unlawfully labeled teachers still in training across the nation as “highly qualified.”

John has worked on numerous school finance, teacher quality, equitable opportunity and accountability policies in Sacramento. In 2013 and 2014, John helped to shape several key provisions of California’s new school funding law known as the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF). These new laws require schools to provide increased or improved services for high need students in proportion to the billions of dollars of additional funds generated by such students, establish parental involvement as a new state priority, and require new levels of community engagement and transparency in school planning and budgeting statewide.

John is a founding member of various grassroots, community-based and advocacy coalitions working on statewide policy advocacy campaigns to improve educational opportunities for low-income students of color and to build power in low-income communities.

For his work, John has twice been recognized as an Attorney of the Year in California, once in 2005 by California Lawyer magazine and again in 2010 by The Recorder. John graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1990 and Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford University in 1984.

Katy Nuñez-Adler

Katy was born in Oakland, California and raised in a diverse low-income community in Berkeley during the Free Speech Movement. As a high school student in the early 1980s, she became active in organizing around opposition to US intervention in Central American. Later, she became involved in organizing around racial and economic justice movements locally, nationally, and internationally, including the anti-apartheid movement, and the fights against the passage of Propositions 187 and 227 in California.

In 1994, Katy began working with the Justice for Janitors campaign as a union organizer, supporting workers, who were primarily undocumented immigrants, in organizing for dignity and respect in the workplace, health care for their families, and changes to unjust immigration policies. She continued working for 15 years as a union organizer – working with allies for racial, gender, immigrant, and economic justice.

Since 2011, Katy has worked as a community organizer with Oakland Community Organizations (OCO), a multiracial, multicultural and multi-faith organization that supports community leaders in organizing to transform their own lives, and the lives of their families and communities. OCO leaders organize campaigns focused on education equity, economic dignity, affordable housing, immigrant rights, and ending mass incarceration.

OCO is a member federation of PICO California – People Improving Communities through Organizing. OCO helps lead PICO California’s Statewide Education for Liberation Campaign. PICO California is organizing parents, teachers, students, and community members to ensure that every child has the opportunity for an excellent public education. PICO works for equitable and consistent funding for schools, improved teacher quality, and meaningful opportunities for parents and communities to partner with schools and districts for student success. Recognizing that far too often K-12 public schools serve as feeder to the criminal justice system, PICO focuses significant energy through various state and local policy efforts to dismantle the school to prison pipeline.

Anthony Watson

12. AJ WatsonF15At his core A.J. Watson is about helping people thrive, not just survive. Over the course of his career he has worked across the public, private and non-profit sectors to meet people where they are and make connections that allow them to reach their full potential. As the Director of Youth Guidance’s Becoming A Man (BAM) program he is responsible for leading a team of 80 highly-trained BAM Counselors that meet young men where they are, both physically and emotionally, and take them on a journey to learn, practice and internalize the knowledge, skills, mindsets and values necessary to become a responsible and contributing man. And it’s working.

Results from a 2009-2010 randomized controlled study by the University of Chicago Crime Lab showed that BAM reduced violent crime arrests by 44% and other crime arrests by 36% and just as importantly increased future graduation rates by 10-23%. These results equate to an estimated annual ROI of between 18-24 percent according to the White House Council of Economic Advisors.

Prior to joining the Youth Guidance Executive Team, A.J. worked for CASEL, the leading organization in the field of Social and Emotional Learning (SEL), where he oversaw efforts to attract, develop and retain top-tier talent by creating a goal oriented, high-performance culture and supported CASEL’s policy and advocacy efforts. He is a former Education Pioneer Graduate School Fellow and has also done consulting work for IDEA Public Schools, a public charter school network in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas.

A.J. has also spent 13 years as an executive trainer and consultant for FOCUS Training, a leadership training and development firm, worked as an organizer for a gubernatorial campaign and held finance and sales roles for Fortune 200 firms such as GE, Target and Wells Fargo.

A.J. earned his MBA in human capital and strategy from the University of Michigan Stephen M. Ross School of Business and a BBA in finance and political science from Howard University. A.J. resides in Chicago with his wife Stacey and their daughter Gabrielle.

Anthony Ramirez-Di Vittorio

ramirez-di-vittorio_anthonyAnthony Ramirez-Di Vittorio, BAM Founder, currently manages the BAM Training Academy, which promotes and reinforces program fidelity through intensive counselor training. He is a licensed clinical professional counselor and has worked with Youth Guidance in Chicago, Illinois, since 1999. He founded the BAM program in 2001 in the Humboldt Park community, mainly serving Roberto Clemente High School and many feeder middle schools. He developed the BAM curriculum and served hundreds of students from “at-risk environments” throughout the Chicago area until 2009 when he launched the BAM Training Academy.

Anthony holds a Master’s degree in Professional Counseling Psychology from the Illinois School of Professional Psychology and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Illinois. He has worked in the field of mental health since 1992, specializing in adolescent and youth programs for males. Anthony is also a graduate of two men’s organizations: Victories of the Heart and The Mankind Project. These organizations provide modern day “men’s initiations” that lead to personal mission. Anthony’s mission is to “create a world where father and son live in harmony by mentoring male youth into men of character.”

Anthony is a second generation U.S. citizen. His grandparents came from Mexico on his mother’s side and Italy from his father’s side. He grew up in an at-risk environment on the southwest side of Chicago and is the first in his family’s history to go to college and graduate. He is a graduate of Kelly High School in Chicago, Illinois, where he spent his formative years as a street break-dancer. Anthony resides on the southwest side of the city with his family.

Gail Day

day_gailGail S. Day, MSW, LSW is a state licensed Social Worker.  She received her MSW from University of Illinois at Chicago, Jane Addams School of Social Work in 2002.  She is employed by Youth Guidance, a school-based not-for-profit agency and has been working in both mental health and substance abuse programs for over 15 years.  Her work has addressed a broad range of adolescent issues including, depression, trauma, anxiety, behavior disorders, academic school-related difficulties, social school-related difficulties, grief and loss, anger management, and substance use.  She is currently the Program Manager for the Working on Womanhood (WOW) Program. She has supervised undergraduate students and graduate students from several colleges and universities in the Chicago area.  Mrs. Day has conducted several workshops on Adolescent Development, Trauma and Stress Management for parent and teacher conferences.  She also is a member of the Oak Park Multicultural Mental Health Advisory Committee which oversees the development and implementation of mental health practices in the village of Oak Park.

She is an adjunct professor at University of Phoenix since 2006 where she teaches undergraduate classes in Human Services and Psychology.

She is a member of the National Association for Social Workers and National Association of Black Social Workers (Chicago Chapter), and the Oak Park Multicultural Behavioral Health Advisory Committee, and holds certifications in Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools (CBITS), Think First, Non Violent Crisis Intervention, and Mediation/Neighborhood Restorative Justice.  Mrs. Day has also been a member of Delta Sigma Theta, Inc. (Glen Ellyn Area Alumnae Chapter) since 2008 and has chaired and co-chaired several committees.


Scott Cummings

cumming_scott-editedScott Cummings is Robert Henigson Professor of Legal Ethics and Professor of Law at UCLA School of Law, where he teaches and writes about the legal profession, public interest law, and community economic development. He is the faculty director of a new program, Legal Ethics and the Profession (LEAP), which promotes research and programming on the challenges facing the contemporary legal profession. He is also a long-time member of the UCLA David J. Epstein Program in Public Interest Law and Policy, a specialization training students to become public interest lawyers. Professor Cummings is co-author of the first public interest law textbook, Public Interest Lawyering: A Contemporary Perspective (with Alan Chen) (Wolters Kluwer, 2012), and co-editor of a leading legal profession casebook, Legal Ethics (with Deborah Rhode, David Luban, and Nora Engstrom) (7th ed. Foundation Press, 2016).

Professor Cummings began his legal career in Los Angeles building economic opportunity in low-income communities.  In 1998, after clerking in Chicago, he was awarded a Skadden Fellowship to work in the Community Development Project at Public Counsel in Los Angeles, where he provided transactional legal assistance to nonprofit organizations and small businesses engaged in community revitalization efforts.

After clerking for Judge A. Wallace Tashima on the Ninth Circuit, Professor Cummings joined the faculty at UCLA in 2002 to pursue research focused on law and social change, and access to justice.  His law and social change scholarship has explored the opportunities for and challenges to mobilizing law in support of different movements, with major works including “Community Economic Development as Progressive Politics: Toward a Grassroots Movement for Economic Justice,” 54 Stanford Law Review 399 (2001); “Public Interest Litigation: Insights from Theory and Practice” (with Deborah Rhode), 36 Fordham Urban Law Journal 603 (2009); and “Lawyering for Marriage Equality” (with Douglas NeJaime), 57 UCLA Law Review 1235 (2010).  On the access to justice side, his research has focused on the organization and practice of public interest law and pro bono, and the role of public interest lawyers in the contemporary legal profession.  Key works in this area include: “The Politics of Pro Bono,” 52 UCLA Law Review 1 (2004); “The Internationalization of Public Interest Law,” 57 Duke Law Journal 891 (2008); and “Privatizing Public Interest Law, 25 Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics 1 (2012). He also edited The Paradox of Professionalism: Lawyers and the Possibility of Justice (Cambridge University Press, 2011).

Building upon this research, Professor Cummings is currently co-Principal Investigator of a National Science Foundation funded study (with Richard Abel and Catherine Albiston), which examines the factors causing law students to enter and persevere in public interest careers.  He is also writing a book on the role of lawyers in the labor movement’s challenge to low-wage work in Los Angeles, under contract with Oxford University Press.

Oren Nimni

Oren Nimni is a movement lawyer in Boston and currently a partner at Community Law Office in Dorchester. Nimni uses a community lawyering model to partner with local organizing efforts and provide holistic representation for low income clients on issues including criminal defense, wage theft, housing discrimination, eviction, and civil rights violations. He is also a founding steering committee member of Law for Black Lives which seeks to leverage the law for social justice movements and to teach lawyers how to better support organizing efforts. Nimni is a board member for the Mass. National Lawyers’ Guild and is co-author of the Guild’s resolution regarding prison abolition. Additionally Nimni is co-founder and legal editor of Current Affairs Magazine.

Purvi Shah

Purvi is one of the nation’s premier thinkers on law and social movements.  She has encouraged lawyers at every stage in their careers – as students, emerging lawyers, and senior lawyers – to deepen their imagination, vision and capacity to connect law and social change.

Most recently, Purvi co-founded Law4BlackLives, a national network of lawyers dedicated to supporting the growing Movement For Black Lives after her work supporting the uprisings in Ferguson and Baltimore.  Before that, Purvi was the Bertha Justice Institute Director at the Center for Constitutional Rights where her work focused on deepening the theory and practice of movement lawyering across the United States and the world.  While there, Purvi designed internship and fellowship programs; published training materials; organized national and international conferences; and built national and international networks to increase collaboration, innovation, and strategic thinking about movement lawyering.

Prior to CCR, Purvi worked as a litigator, law professor, and community organizer.  Purvi co-founded the Community Justice Project at Florida Legal Services where she litigated on behalf of taxi drivers, tenants, public housing residents, and immigrants.  She also was a law professor, serving as the Co-Director of the Community Lawyering Clinic at the University Of Miami School Of Law.  She is a graduate of Northwestern University and the Berkeley School of Law at the University of California.  Her work has been featured on MSNBC and in The Nation.

Nicole Pittman

pittman_nicoleNicole Pittman has worked exclusively on questioning the wisdom of placing children on sex offender registries since 2005, becoming a leading national expert in this area. She recently founded the Center on Youth Registration Reform at Impact Justice, an center dedicated to eliminating the widespread practice of placing kids on sex-offense registries. A Stoneleigh and Rosenberg Leading Edge Fund fellow (and 2011 Senior Soros Justice Advocacy fellow), Pittman regularly testifies in front of state and federal legislatures, while building a bi-partisan coalition of advocates and lawmakers dedicated to tackling this issue.

She has bolstered national awareness of this issue, leading the MacArthur Foundation to name it a Top 5 reform priority. Her Center’s work has recently been featured in The New Yorker, New York Times, NPR, The Hill and Aspen Ideas Festival.

Pittman, a graduate of Tulane School of Law and Duke University, began documenting the harms of labeling young people more than a decade ago as a juvenile public defender. She later collected more than 500 stories for the Human Rights Watch report Raised on the Registry: The Irreparable Harm of Placing Children on Sex Offender Registries in the U.S. Ending youth registration is part of a larger desire to change the narrative around child sexual behavior, which will ultimately allow the country to move beyond punitive responses and toward lasting child sexual abuse prevention and healing.

Marsha Levick

Levick, Marsha headshot 2014Marsha Levick is the co-founder, Deputy Director and Chief Counsel of Juvenile Law Center, America’s oldest public interest law firm for children. Levick has published many articles on children and the law, and has participated in numerous cases before the US Supreme Court as well as federal and state courts nationwide. Notable cases include Roper V Simmons, Graham v Florida, and Miller v Alabama, all cases striking severe adult sentences for juveniles in the criminal justice system, and JDB v North Carolina, requiring consideration of youth in the Miranda custody determination. Levick also served as co-counsel in Montgomery v. Louisiana, where the Supreme Court ruled Miller retroactive across the country. Levick spearheaded Juvenile’s Law Center’s work in the Luzerne County Pa “Kids for Cash” judges’ scandal, the subject of both a book and an award winning documentary film. Levick serves on the board of the Louisiana Center for Children’s Rights, and is a member of the Dean’s Council of the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs. Levick has been honored for her work by the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and American Bar Associations, the American Association for Justice, and received the Philadelphia Inquirer 2009 Citizen of the Year Award (co-recipient). Levick was also the inaugural recipient of the 2013 Arlen Specter Award, established by the Philadelphia Legal Intelligencer, and the recipient of the 2015 Philadelphia Award. Levick is an adjunct professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and Temple University Beasley School of Law.

James Forman

James Forman Yale Faculty LibraryJames Forman Jr. is one of the nation’s leading authorities on race, education, and the criminal justice system, and a tireless advocate for young people who others have written off.

Professor Forman attended Yale Law School, and after he graduated, worked as a law clerk for Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. After clerking, he took a job at the Public Defender Service in Washington, D.C., where for six years he represented juveniles and adults in felony and misdemeanor cases.

Professor Forman loved being a public defender, but he quickly became frustrated with the lack of education and job training opportunities for his clients. So in 1997, along with David Domenici, he started the Maya Angelou Public Charter School, an alternative school for dropouts and youth who had previously been arrested. The Maya Angelou school has been open for almost twenty years, and in that time has helped hundreds of vulnerable young people find a second chance, begin to believe in themselves, graduate, get jobs, and attend college.

Professor Forman started teaching law in 2003, and he currently teaches at Yale Law School, and this year is a Visiting Professor at Stanford Law School. Professor Forman teaches a course on Race and the Criminal Justice System and a clinic in which his students fight against the school to prison pipeline by representing young people facing expulsion from school for discipline violations. Last year he took his teaching behind prison walls, offering a seminar on criminal justice which brought together, in the same classroom, 10 Yale Law students and 10 men incarcerated in a CT prison.

Professor Forman has written many law review articles, in addition to pieces for the New York Times, the Atlantic Monthly, the New Republic, the Nation, and the Washington Post. He has just finished a book, titled Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America. It will be released on April 18, 2017.

He will be giving a book talk at Harvard Law School on April 13, 2017 at noon in Room WCC 2019 Milstein West A/B. Lunch will be provided.


Martha Coakley

coakley_martha_press2Martha Coakley has been a trial attorney for almost four decades.  With civil litigation experience at two firms in Boston, twenty years as a prosecutor in the Middlesex District Attorney’s office and service as a Field Attorney for the Department of Justice in the Boston Organized Strike Force, she has tried hundreds of civil and criminal cases including high profile cases.  As Chief of the Middlesex Child Abuse Prosecution Unit from 1991-1996, she oversaw the investigation and prosecution of thousands of physical and sexual child abuse cases including as Comm. v. Louise Woodward.  She served as Middlesex District Attorney from 1999-2006.

As the first female Attorney General of Massachusetts, Martha Coakley served from 2007-2015.  She served as a Resident Fellow at the Harvard Institute of Politics, John F. Kennedy School of Government in 2015.  Martha has been a national leader in consumer protection, civil rights, and cyber-crime.  NAAG recognized her outstanding accomplishments in 2014 when she received the Kelley-Wyman Award, given annual to the Attorney General who has done the most to achieve NAAG objectives.

Martha graduated from Williams College and the Boston University School of Law. She is a Partner at Foley Hoag LLC where she focuses on government and internal investigations, litigation, data privacy and security, and healthcare.

Sameer Sabir

sabir-sameerSameer is currently the Co-Founder and CEO of SevenOaks Biosystems, a Cambridge-based venture-backed life sciences company. Prior to SevenOaksBiosystems, Sameer was the Co-Founder and CEO of MoMelan Technologies, which was acquired by Kinetic Concepts, Inc in 2012. Sameer is also the co-founder of the Rehma Fund for Children, established in memory or Rehma Sabir and focused on enabling equal access to high-quality healthcare for all children. Sameer is a graduate of the Harvard-MIT Biomedical Enterprise Program (MBA & SM).


Robert Sege

Sege_RobertRobert Sege, M.D., Ph.D. is the Chief Medical Officer at Health Resources in Action, and directs The Medical Foundation there.  He is also a Senior Fellow at the Center for the Study of Social Policy.  Dr. Sege is nationally known for his research on effective health systems approaches to the prevention of violence and abuse. He is a member of the boards of the Massachusetts Children’s Trust and Prevent Child Abuse America, and has served on the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect. He is a graduate of Yale College, and received his PhD in Biology from MIT and his MD from Harvard Medical School. Bob lives in the Boston area, where he and his wife Karen have raised three young adult children.