Below are the biographies for CAP’s Art of Social Change: Child Welfare, Education, and Juvenile Justice spring 2020 speakers.
Nationally renowned child welfare expert Elizabeth Bartholet (Morris Wasserstein Public Interest Professor of Law) is the founding Faculty Director of Harvard Law School’s Child Advocacy Program. She teaches family law, specializing in child welfare, adoption and reproductive technology, as well as employment discrimination. Before joining the HLS 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. Bartholet graduated from Radcliffe College in 1962, and from Harvard Law School in 1965. Her publications include: Nobody’s Children: Abuse and Neglect, Foster Drift, and the Adoption Alternative (Beacon Press, 1999), and Family Bonds: Adoption, Infertility, and the New World of Child Production (Beacon Press, 1999), as well as numerous law review articles. Bartholet has won several awards for her writing and her related advocacy work in the area of adoption and child welfare. Other awards include a “Media Achievement Award” in 1994 and the Radcliffe College Alumnae Recognition Award in 1997. For more information about Professor Bartholet and to view her publications, please visit her website.
Crisanne 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.
Judith G. Edersheim, MD
Judith G. Edersheim is a graduate of Brown University, Harvard Law School, and Harvard Medical School and served as a law clerk to the Hon. Robert W. Sweet in the Federal District Court in Southern District of New York. Dr. Edersheim practiced trial and corporate law with the Boston law firm of Hill and Barlow and is a member of the bar of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. She did her adult psychiatry residency at the Cambridge Hospital and completed forensic fellowship training at the Law and Psychiatry Service of Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Edersheim is licensed to practice medicine in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and is board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, with Added Qualifications in Forensic Psychiatry.
Dr. Edersheim is the founding co-director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Law, Brain and Behavior. The Center brings insights from neuroscience, neurology and psychiatry into the legal arena in an effort to improve the justice system. In addition, Dr. Edersheim performs a broad range of psychiatric evaluations in criminal and civil contexts, including evaluations of transactional capacity and criminal responsibility. Dr. Edersheim lectures extensively in state and federal court settings, as well in the teaching programs of Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School and Harvard Law School. She has published scholarly articles, book chapters and editorials on law and neuroscience as well as appearing on popular media outlets regarding these subjects.
She is member of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, the American Psychiatric Association, the Academy of Organizational and Occupational Psychiatry. She is also a member of several public sector mental health and non-profit boards of directors, including the Massachusetts Mental Health Legal Advisors Committee and the Board of Governors of Tel Aviv University.
Rebecca Compton is Professor of Psychology and coordinator of the neuroscience program at Haverford College. She sees her current mission as promoting critical thinking about how neuroscience research can address societal challenges. Compton received her B.A. in psychology from Vassar College and her Ph.D. in biopsychology from the University of Chicago. Following a postdoctoral research position at the University of Illinois, she took a teaching position at Haverford, where she has been on the faculty since 1999. She teaches courses in general psychology, cognitive neuroscience, and neuroscience and society. Her research has investigated issues of executive function, attention, and emotion regulation in the human brain. In 2009, Compton and her husband embarked on an odyssey to adopt their son from Kazakhstan, and her yearlong observations of the orphanage setting there led Compton to write the book Adoption Beyond Borders: How International Adoption Benefits Children (Oxford University Press, 2016). The book martials evidence from the social and biological sciences to advocate for the needs of children around the globe to be raised in stable family settings. Compton is also co-author, with Marie Banich, of the textbook Cognitive Neuroscience (4th ed., Cambridge University Press, 2018).
Darcy Olsen founded Generation Justice with a foster baby in her arms and a mission: to put an end to the bureaucratic failures, violence, and death she’d seen children suffer in our nation’s broken child protection system.
Generation Justice’s inaugural reforms passed in a bipartisan landslide and were in place to help 15,000 abandoned and abused kids before the organization’s first birthday. Now, in its second year, Generation Justice’s reforms have taken root in multiple states, reaching 30,000 kids.
Prior to founding Gen Justice, Darcy served as CEO of the Goldwater Institute. Among her achievements was spearheading the Right to Try movement, which started in Arizona and now gives all Americans with terminal illnesses a fighting chance at a longer life. With her seminal book, The Right to Try, as a bipartisan blueprint, 30 states adopted the law in rapid succession and paved the way for the passage of the federal law three years later.
In 2010, Olsen felt inspired to foster. The social worker told her, “We have newborns sleeping in offices…If you could open a crib, we’d be thankful.” She left the NICU cradling a drug-exposed baby girl; the first of ten she would take in.
In case after case, Olsen saw how predators receive more protection than their child victims. Criminals have the constitutional right to an attorney; kids don’t. Criminals have the constitutional right to a speedy trial; kids don’t. And while criminals have the right to a public trial, child welfare hearings routinely are held in the dark with records sealed, protecting public agencies from oversight, accountability and reform.
When Olsen announced the formation of Gen Justice, National Review declared, “Children could have no better guardian angel!” Gen Justice received the Arizona Capitol Times award for “Up and Comer” in 2018 and Olsen herself was named as a “Best Activist” honoree in 2019.
Olsen received the 2014 Bradley Prize from the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation for her pioneering work vindicating constitutional rights in state and federal courts. She has testified before Congress, written for outlets from the Wall Street Journal to USA Today and has appeared on countless public affairs shows.
Darcy, a single mom, adopted her four children from foster care, now ages 7, 7, 5 & 2. People frequently ask if she has lost her mind. She assures you she hasn’t, but she could probably use an espresso.
Jeffrey Shulman is a leading scholar in the field of constitutional family law. His book The Constitutional Parent: Rights, Responsibilities, and the Enfranchisement of the Child (Yale Univ. Press 2014) won the 2016 Alpha Sigma Nu Book Award in the field of Professional Studies (Law). The Constitutional Parent has been hailed as a “deeply learned, beautifully written, and courageous book,” as “a watershed moment in the trajectory of scholarship” on the constitutional status of parents and children. Professor Shulman’s scholarly work has appeared in the Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly, the Villanova Law Review, the Penn State Law Review, the Nebraska Law Review, among other journals. His chapter on Private School Regulation: Individual Rights and Educational Responsibilities appeared in The Oxford Handbook of Children and the Law, James Dwyer, ed. (2019). Professor Shulman was the co-editor (with Edwin O. Guthman) of Robert Kennedy in His Own Words: The Unpublished Recollections of the Kennedy Years (Bantam 1988).
Professor Shulman has been teaching at Georgetown Law since 2006. He received the Frank F. Flegal Excellence in Teaching Award for 2014-2015. From 1984 to 2005, Professor Shulman taught in the Georgetown University Department of English, with a focus on Renaissance Literature. His literary scholarship has appeared in such journals as Studies in English Literature, English Literary History, The Classical Journal, among others. Upon graduation from the Law Center, Professor Shulman worked for the Washington, D.C., Public Defenders Service as a D.C. Bar Pro Bono Fellow. He was an associate at Sidley Austin (Washington, D.C.) from 2005 to 2006. Since 2016, Professor Shulman has served as the Director of Georgetown Law’s Evening Program. He is himself a proud graduate of Georgetown’s Evening Program (J.D., 2005; magna cum laude, Order of the Coif).
Professor Shulman has made Georgetown University his academic home for more than 30 years. He writes: “First in the Department of English and then at the Law Center, I have had the remarkable privilege of being a part of this incredibly vibrant community. My teaching and my scholarship—indeed, for that matter, the person I am and the narrative arc of much of my life—have, I hope, been shaped by the wonderful students it has been my true joy to teach, by my colleagues with whom it has been a pleasure to work, and by the values of a university that, in cherishing intellectual inquiry, never stops seeking to nourish heart, mind, and soul.”
Katharine Young is an Associate Professor of Law at Boston College Law School, where she teaches the law of contracts, comparative and international human rights law, and feminist legal theory. Her scholarship focuses on comparative public law and theory, and human rights and positive state obligations. Her monograph, Constituting Economic and Social Rights (2012), was published in Oxford’s Constitutional Theory series and an edited collection (with Kim Rubenstein), The Public Law of Gender: from the Local to the Global (2016) appeared in the Cambridge series Connecting International Law with Public Law. Her recent edited collection, hosting over two dozen pathbreaking scholars of the emerging theories and practices around enforceable rights to health care, education, social security, housing, food, water and sanitation and other interests, appears as The Future of Economic and Social Rights (2019), in the Cambridge series on Globalization and Human Rights. Prior to joining Boston College, Professor Young clerked for Justice Michael Kirby AC CMG of the High Court of Australia and completed degrees at the University of Melbourne and Harvard University.
Garrett Therolf is a reporter at the Investigative Reporting Program at UC Berkeley where he has produced work for the Los Angeles Times, The Atlantic magazine and Netflix. Before arriving in Berkeley, he worked for the Los Angeles Times for a decade, focusing on stories about children and families living in poverty. He also completed assignments for The Times in Iraq following the fall of Saddam Hussein and Egypt during the Arab Spring. Prior to that, he worked for the St. Petersburg Times (now the Tampa Bay Times), The Tampa Tribune, The (Allentown, Pa.) Morning Call and the Associated Press. Therolf received The Times’ award for best explanatory reporting, the Price Child Health and Welfare Journalism Prize three times, and recognition as a Livingston Award finalist twice. He is a graduate of the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.
I was born in Manhattan, New York. My mother is Italian and Puerto-Rican. My father immigrated to the United States from Iran. I have two brothers, Peter and Matthew, and two sisters, Tara and Stacey. I am the oldest.
I grew up in the San Fernando Valley (Los Angeles). I enlisted in the United States Army after graduating from high school. I was in the Army from 1989 to 1996. I was in 11B (Infantry) and 95B (Military Police). I was honorably discharged in 1996 as a Military Police Staff Sergeant (E-6).
I obtained my A.S. from Monterey Peninsula College (with Honors), my B.A. from California State University Northridge (Cum Laude), and my J.D. from the University of Nebraska (with Distinction). I was the A.S. Vice-President at CSUN, and was the graduation speaker and class president at the University of Nebraska.
I clerked for the Honorable Richard Sievers of the Nebraska Court of Appeals from 2002 to 2003. I have passed four bar exams: California, Nebraska, New York, and, New Jersey.
I have been married to Roxanne Hatami, who is a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) Detective, for the past eight years. We have a son, Jonathan, who is 6-years-old, and a daughter, Lindsey Beth, who is 4-years-old.
I joined the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office in the summer of 2006. From 2011 to 2016, I worked as a senior trial attorney, handling numerous child physical and sexual abuse cases. In September of 2016, I became a senior trial attorney in the Complex Child Abuse section (CCAS), which is located at the Hall of Justice in Los Angeles. In my short time in CCAS, I have prosecuted numerous complex and difficult jury trials involving the torture and murder of children. I carry a caseload of approximately fifteen complex child abuse murder cases. I have tried over 70 felony jury trials.
Mr. Browning served from March 2017 to August 2019 as a Faculty Advisor and Assistant Adjunct Professor in the Doctoral Program for Social Work (DSW) at the University of Southern California School of Social Work.
Philip Browning retired as the Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) in January 2017 where he was responsible for a staff of 8500, serving 35,000 children with a budget of $2.2 Billion. During his tenure an online policy manual was created, 2,000 new social workers hired who benefited from a state of the art training program created with the Los Angeles area Schools of Social Work. A data analytics program was created and major automation initiatives helped to reduce the number of young children in residential care by 40%. He received the Chauncey Alexander Lifetime Achievement Award from the Network for Social Work Management in 2015.
Prior to DCFS, Mr. Browning served as the Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services with over 13,000 employees serving 2.5 milling clients receiving Medicaid, Food Stamps, Refugee services, cash assistance and other benefits. Mr. Browning received recognition for an all-time low food stamp error rate and for meeting stringent Welfare to Work performance standards. Mr. Browning was the first Los Angeles County Child Support Director appointed in 2001 and improved performance to meet all the federal standards and increased collections to over $500 million which was twice the state average.
Mr. Browning has been in senior management positions in the District of Columbia, State of Alabama, Military and private industry where he has received numerous awards and recognition for innovation, creativity and automation.
Mr. Browning has an MBA from Auburn University and an MSW from the University of Alabama. He retired from the US Navy Reserves as a LCDR Supply Officer.
Michael A. Rebell is the executive director of the Center for Educational Equity and Professor of Practice in Law and Educational Policy at Teachers College, Columbia University. He is also an adjunct Professor of Law at Columbia Law School, and Chairman of the New York State Civic Readiness Task Force.
Mr. Rebell is also currently lead counsel for the plaintiffs in Cook v.Raimondo, a class action law suit that was recently filed in the U.S. District Court in Rhode Island. The plaintiffs in this case are seeking to establish a right to an education adequate for capable citizenship under the U.S. Constitution for all students in the United States.
Previously, Mr. Rebell was the executive director of the Campaign for Fiscal Equity, and co-counsel for the plaintiffs in CFE v. State of New York, a challenge to the system of funding public education in the State of New York which has established the right of all students in the state to the “opportunity for a sound basic education.” Mr. Rebell has also litigated numerous major class action lawsuits, including Jose P. v. Mills, which involved a plaintiff class of 160,000 students with disabilities. He also served as a court-appointed special master in the Boston special education case, Allen v. Parks.
Rebell is the author or co-author of six books, and dozens of articles on issues of law and education. Among his recent works are Flunking Democracy: Schools, Courts and Civic Participation (Univ of Chicago Press, 2018), Courts And Kids: Pursuing Educational Equity Through The State Courts (U. Chicago Press, 2009 and 2017 Supplement,) and The Right to Comprehensive Educational Opportunity, 47 Harvard Civil Rts-Civil Lib. L. Rev. 49 (2012. )
He is a graduate of Harvard College and Yale Law School.
Senator Robert Jackson
Senator Robert Jackson grew up in Northern Manhattan with eight brothers and sisters. As a student at PS 186, he never dreamed that one day he would be a New York State Senator. It was possible through hard work, perseverance, and the help of good people in the community. Teachers like his track coach at Benjamin Franklin High School, Irwin Goldberg, always played an important role. Mr. Goldberg pointed him in the right direction, making sure he went to college, and that has made all the difference. That’s why Senator Jackson has fought so hard to knock down barriers and to make sure every child receives the best education possible.
As a Community School Board President, Robert Jackson filed a lawsuit against New York State to fix an inequitable school funding distribution formula that was cheating schools and undermining our children’s future. He walked 150 miles to Albany to bring attention to the lawsuit and won a court judgment that awarded $16 billion for NYC schools. As a result of this landmark decision and “for being a staunch advocate for generations of New York City children, for never giving up on the belief that education is a basic civil right, and for giving millions of city students a fighting chance,” NY1 honored Robert as “New Yorker of the Year”.
In 2001, Robert Jackson was elected to the City Council—and was twice overwhelmingly re-elected by the voters of his upper Manhattan district. Because of his experience, commitment and leadership, he was chosen to Chair the Education Committee and Co-Chair the Black, Latino, and Asian Caucus. On the City Council, Robert worked to make sure every child got the best education we have to offer by helping to create more than 4,000 new openings for pre-K, fought to prevent thousands of teacher layoffs, and helped start the Drop-Out Prevention Initiative. He worked to increase jobs and opportunities by sponsoring a landmark NYC MWBE law and the Small Business and Jobs Survival Act, and he helped create a community people-power training program cited as a national model by the Clinton Global Initiative. He passed increased immigrant services, was an early advocate for marriage equality, and a leader in combating bullying. He fought for smart budget choices that kept senior centers, libraries and fire stations open. And he worked to make our neighborhoods safer by getting guns off the street through partnering with community groups, sponsoring Buy Back Programs, and advocating for stronger state and federal legislation.
In 2015, Jackson was elected District Leader and helped found the new, progressive, grassroots Democratic Club, Uptown Community Democrats. In 2018 he was elected to the New York State Senate representing District 31, where he has championed diverse issues from public education and criminal justice reforms to tenants’ rights and climate justice. Born and raised in Manhattan, Robert and his family have lived in Washington Heights since 1975. He attended New York City public schools and graduated from State University of New York at New Paltz. He is married and a dedicated father of three daughters.
Amy O’Leary is director of Early Education for All, a campaign of Strategies for Children, an advocacy and policy organization that works to ensure that Massachusetts invests the resources needed for all children, from birth to age five, to access high-quality early education programs that prepare them for success in school and life. Amy joined SFC in 2002 as the early childhood field director and has also served as the Campaign’s deputy director. Prior to joining SFC, Amy worked as a preschool teacher and program director at Ellis Memorial in Boston. In March 2017 Amy was elected President-elect of the governing board of the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Her four-year term started in June of 2017 and she will serve as President for two years from June 2018-2020. She serves on the adjunct faculty at Boston University Wheelock College of Education and Human Development and Quinsigamond Community College in Worcester. Amy is a member of Massachusetts Early Literacy Expert Panel and the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care Advisory Committee. Amy also serves on the Board of Directors of the Children’s Investment Fund in Boston. In addition, Amy presents at national, state and local conferences and provides technical assistance to advocates and legislators in other states. Amy earned a Master in Public Administration degree from the Sawyer Business School at Suffolk University. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and early education from Skidmore College.
Commissioner Aigner-Treworgy began her career in early education and care in the classroom, serving as a preschool teacher in Western Massachusetts and the Chicagoland area. After some time as a teacher coach and social-emotional consultant to child care agencies, she began focusing on the development of early education policies that benefited children and families. Ms. Aigner-Treworgy helped to advance federal and state-level initiatives at the Ounce of Prevention Fund, including the Illinois Infant & Toddler Early Learning Guidelines, and ExceleRate, the Illinois Quality Rating and Improvement System. Later Ms. Aigner-Treworgy worked with the City of Chicago and Chicago Public Schools to develop and innovative early childhood strategy focused on quality, access, and with the Ounce of Prevention Fund to help launch a national policy initiative that focused on supporting school districts to effectively implement early learning strategies in collaboration with local communities.
Most recently, Ms. Aigner-Treworgy was the Chief of Early Learning for the City of Chicago where she was the key architect of the City’s early childhood strategic plan, which focused on reducing barriers for families and identifying administrative efficiencies across agencies. In this role she oversaw approximately $350 million in early childhood funding across multiple City agencies, including coordination of birth-to-five services in schools, community-based organizations, libraries, and health and human service programs. While working for the City of Chicago Ms. Aigner-Treworgy also reconfigured the early childhood financing structures, oversaw the City’s design for providing universal full-day pre-kindergarten to all four-year-olds, and launched the pilot of a universal nurse/home-visiting program with the City’s Department of Public Health.
Commissioner Aigner-Treworgy was born and raised in Massachusetts, and graduated from Smith College in Northampton with a Bachelor of Arts in Child Development and Sociology. Commissioner Aigner-Treworgy received a Master of Public Policy and a Master of Social Work from the University of Chicago, where her studies concentrated on education and families.
Commissioner Aigner-Treworgy is a Boston resident and in her free time she enjoys running along any body of water, spoiling her nieces and nephews, and baking elaborate cakes for special birthday celebrations.
In 2018 Boston hired TeeAra Dias as its first-ever UPK Director to launch Boston’s Universal Pre-K and lead the implementation of high-quality education for all four-year olds via a mixed delivery system. This position presents a unique opportunity to be at the forefront of innovation in early education in Boston, and in Massachusetts, and to play a vital role in building collaborations between schools, community based programs, and city partners.
Prior to the UPK Director position, Ms. Dias joined Boston Public Schools to manage the Preschool Expansion Grant (PEG), a grant that expanded upon the partnership between BPS and community-based organizations. As the Project Manager, Ms.Dias worked with various district departments, named partners, outside state/city agencies and organizations to implement the Preschool Expansion Grant and create shared governance structure. Over the years the PEG grant continues to improve the quality of Pre-K instruction and learning environments, providing a high-quality experience for 250 four-year old children a year.
Early in her career Ms. Dias served families at Bright Horizons Family Solutions as a teacher, director and regional educator. For close to twenty years she offered support that meets the national standards of early education and care. BHFS Ms. Dias facilitated regional training sessions, published divisional communications and assisted programs in the achievement of NAEYC accreditation.
Matt Cregor, a staff attorney with the Mental Health Legal Advisors Committee (MHLAC), focuses on the school-based exclusion and policing of students with mental health needs. He is currently litigating a pair of cases challenging schools’ failure to implement Massachusetts’ school discipline laws. Matt has worked on school discipline issues for much of his legal career, first with the Southern Poverty Law Center and then with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund (LDF). At LDF, Matt coordinated the Dismantling the School-to-Prison Pipeline Initiative, partnering with national civil rights groups and parent-led, student-led, and teacher-led organizations in the Dignity in Schools Campaign to secure the issuance and introduction of discipline-related federal policy guidance and legislation. Matt has also served as the Education Project Director for Boston’s Lawyers for Civil Rights, where he focused on school-based racial harassment, student assignment, teacher diversity, and school discipline. Matt is proudest of the work he has done in partnership with base-building organizations and coalitions, nationally and in Boston. He is the 2018 recipient of the Boston Bar Association’s James G. Brooks Legal Services Award, the proud husband of a kick-ass public defender, and proud father of two.
Lael Elizabeth Hiam Chester is an attorney who has focused her career on juvenile, criminal and civil rights law and policy. A graduate of Barnard College and Harvard Law School, she has worked as the Sacks Clinical Fellow at the Criminal Justice Institute at Harvard and then joined the Civil Rights Division of the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office. For 12 years, she served as Executive Director of Citizens for Juvenile Justice (CfJJ), a statewide non-profit dedicated to improving the juvenile justice system. Lael led the successful Justice for Kids Campaign, ending the practice in Massachusetts of automatically prosecuting and sentencing all 17 year olds as adults, regardless of the severity of the offense. As a Research Fellow at the Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management at the Harvard Kennedy School, Lael focused her research on emerging adult justice (ages 18 – 25), and now continues this work as the Director of the Emerging Adult Project at the newly created Justice Lab at Columbia University. In addition to conducting research and supporting states with systemic reform, she organizes the Emerging Adult Justice Learning Community, a first-of-its-kind, carefully orchestrated collaborative learning environment that brings together researchers, practitioners, policy makers and advocates from around the country to increase learning and policy innovation in this new field.
Mike Lawlor is a nationally recognized expert on criminal justice reform which was a major focus of his 24 years as a member of the Connecticut House of Representatives and 8 years as former Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy’s undersecretary for criminal justice policy and planning in the Office of Policy and Management.
Prof. Lawlor was a state prosecutor prior to his election to the Connecticut House of Representatives in 1986 representing East Haven’s 99th district. He chaired the House Judiciary Committee from 1995 to 2011, taking a leadership role in a wide variety of criminal justice reforms. He was a founding board member of the Council of State Governments Justice Center, and he’s served on numerous national criminal justice reform commissions.
As a member of Governor Malloy’s administration, Prof. Lawlor developed and implemented initiatives including juvenile justice, bail, and drug policy reforms; post Sandy Hook gun control legislation, and repeal of the death penalty, as well as initiatives that addressed racial disparities in the criminal justice system and mass incarceration.
Those initiatives helped lead to a 41 percent drop in arrests in the state from 2008 to 2017, a decrease in violent crime, and a 65 percent decrease – from 2009 to 2018 – of 18 year olds committing crimes, getting arrested and ending up in the prison system. The state’s prison population also decreased from 20,000 inmates in 2008 to 12,600 in 2019.
Prof. Lawlor’s current focus is on is researching, writing, and collaborating with students on policy reforms, including new criminal justice policies for adults ages 18 to 21; developing initiatives to help prosecutors categorize offenders; and creating new sanctions that could help lead low-level offenders away from further criminal activity.
Prof. Lawlor, who has been a faculty member at the University since 1995, teaches courses in criminal law and criminal procedure.
Prof. Lawlor received his J.D. from George Washington University, his M.A. in Soviet area studies from the University of London, and his B.A. in Slavic and Eastern European studies from the University of Connecticut. He also previously earned a Fulbright-Hays scholarship that enabled him to study in Hungary.
Scott is the Chief Executive Officer of Generation Citizen. He co-founded the organization at Brown University with fellow student Anna Ninan during their senior year, working with students in the local Providence community. From that starting point in 2008, Scott has grown Generation Citizen to become one of the preeminent civics education organizations in the country, promoting Action Civics across diverse geographies through best-in-class programming and concrete policy change. Scott has served as a Social Entrepreneur in Residence at Brown University and Tufts University, and published a book in 2019, Generation Citizen: The Power of Youth in Politics.
Scott was named an Echoing Green Fellow in 2010, and a Draper Richards Kaplan Fellow in 2012. He continues to write on subjects ranging youth political engagement to African politics to sports, and has been published and featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, the Christian Science Monitor, Education Week, the New York Daily News, Huffington Post, San Diego Union Tribune, Sports Illustrated, Philadelphia Inquirer, and the Providence Journal.
Abby Kiesa is the Director of Impact at CIRCLE, a national research institute that focuses on youth civic learning and engagement, especially among those who have been marginalized in political life. Abby joined the CIRCLE team in 2005 and is versed in the wide range of youth civic and political engagement efforts and practice, and brings a broad view of the levers and interventions that make up ecosystems for civic development among a wider diversity of youth. CIRCLE’s research informs policy and practice for healthier youth development and a more inclusive democracy. CIRCLE is part of the Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts University. In this work, Abby leverages research to catalyze systemic change towards local ecosystems that promote and support diverse and sustained civic engagement. She provides leadership for CIRCLE’s election strategies and communications, including several partnerships to support k12 school climates that facilitate equitable voting. Abby’s most interested in how to change community, institutional and political systems to reduce inequality.
Andy X. Vargas serves as State Representative for the 3rd Essex district. He sits on the Ways and Means, Education, Public Health and Small Business Committees. He was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives at 24. He was previously elected and served as a City Councilor in Haverhill, MA. He is the first Latino elected official in his city.
Rep. Vargas attended Boston University (BU) and received a bachelor’s degree, with a double major in Political Science and International Relations and a concentration in Foreign Policy and Security Studies. He is an inaugural member of the BU Pardee School of Global Studies. In 2019, he received the Young Alumni Award from BU. Rep Vargas is a member of the 2019 cohort of the Emerging Legislative Leaders program at the University of Virginia. He is an El Mundo Latino 30 under 30.
Rep. Vargas grew up on Arlington St. in Haverhill, Massachusetts. At a young age, his family moved from Cambridge, MA to Haverhill, due to rising housing costs. Andy’s family immigrated from the Dominican Republic and played an active role in installing the values of humility, hard work, and service. Prior to elected office, Rep. Vargas led communications and marketing for Entrepreneurship for All (EforAll), a non-profit that fosters inclusive entrepreneurship in communities that need it most. He also served in the U.S. Embassy in Madrid, and as a White House intern under the Obama administration.
At 22, Vargas was elected City Councilor, where he focused on educational equity, financial transparency, and economic development. In 2017, Andy was elected in a special election to serve as State Representative for the 3rd Essex District. He was reelected in 2018. As Representative, Andy has successfully helped pass civic education reform, advanced legislation to address the opioid epidemic, and created a new public health grant to fund youth gun violence prevention. He resides in downtown Haverhill with his wife and Yankees fan, Rikelma.
Sunindiya is responsible for further developing, implementing, and scaling Roca’s exemplary Young Mothers’ Program and raising its profile nationally as a model Two Generation program. She is also working on developing fatherhood programs for Roca’s high-risk young men. Sunindiya has over 12 years’ experience launching and leading high-impact early childhood initiatives, and is a recognized leader in Two Generation work across Massachusetts. Prior to Roca, she was Senior Director of Educational Success at United Way where she launched and led several early childhood initiatives including Brain Building in Progress, DRIVE, and Shared Services of MA. Sunindiya graduated from Tufts University with a B.A. in Child Development and a Master’s in Public Health. She also holds an MBA in Nonprofit Management from the Heller School of Social Policy at Brandeis University.
Marsha Levick is the co-founder and Chief Legal Officer of Juvenile Law Center, America’s first public interest law firm for children. Throughout her career, Levick has advocated for youth involved in the justice and child welfare systems, in Pennsylvania and nationwide. Levick has participated in numerous cases before the U.S. Supreme Court as well as federal and state courts nationwide. Notable cases include Roper v. Simmons, Graham v. Florida, Miller v. Alabama, and Montgomery v. Louisiana, all U.S. Supreme Court cases striking severe adult sentences for youth in the criminal justice system, and J.D.B. v North Carolina, requiring consideration of a suspect’s youth in the Miranda law enforcement/custody determination. Levick also spearheaded Juvenile’s Law Center’s work in the Luzerne County, Pa. “Kids for Cash” judges’ scandal, resulting in the vacatur of nearly 2500 juvenile adjudications and substantial financial awards to the youth and their parents. Levick serves on the Board of Directors of the Southern Poverty Law Center and Louisiana Center for Children’s Rights and is a member of the Dean’s Council of the Indiana University O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs. Levick has received numerous awards for her work, including the Philadelphia Award (2015) and the Philadelphia Inquirer Citizen of the Year Award (2009 – co-winner), as well as recognition for her work from the American Bar Association, American Association for Justice, the Pennsylvania Bar Association and the Philadelphia Bar Association. Levick is an adjunct professor at Temple University Beasley School of Law and the University of Pennsylvania Law School.