Message from the Chair

Conference Registration

Pre-Annual Conference Social Hour

2020 Virtual Annual Conference
  • Sessions
  • Featured Speaker
  • Social Activities
  • Conference Awardees
Registration for our 2020 Virtual Annual Conference closes
Friday, November 6, 2020.

All Client Members can attend for FREE, but registration is required!
Message from the Chair
Hello Client Community, 
It’s almost Annual Conference Time!! Are you ready to be wowed with workshops that are both client-focused and client-driven? Then you don’t want to miss the 2020 NLADA Annual Conference. This year’s theme is: Resist. Persist. Insist. The Client Council’s workshop theme is: Building Strong Community and Advocacy! So, as you can tell from this year’s themes, the conference will be jam-packed with information and opportunities that support our work in the community.

In Service with You,

Shawntelle L. Fisher, Founder/CEO
The SoulFisher Ministries
Board Member, NLADA
Interim Chair, NLADA Client Council
Defender Council, NLADA
Development Committee, NLADA

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.”
Come relax and socialize with us this Thursday
Client-Related Conference Sessions
Meeting at the Crossroads of Community Mobilization - Presented by Shawntelle Fisher, Nathan Emmons, Captain Clay Farmer, Susan Sneed, Latrisha Gandy & Maharat Rori Picker Neiss
Tuesday, November 10 at 12:30 PM

This will be an open panel discussion on cross collaboration that mobilizes and empowers communities to action. Hear from experts on how they use their faith to drive community change through partnership with community members. You will hear from the Jewish community, Interfaith communities, law enforcement, and the prosecutor's office on how to effectively use your voice for your community!
Building a Specialized Legal Services Program for People Experiencing Homelessness - Presented by Julie Anne Reiskin, Terese Howard, Donna Axxel & Teague Gonzalez
Tuesday, November 10 at 1:30 PM

A panel of people with lived and professional experience with homelessness will discuss the importance of building and operating a specialized legal services program for this population. It involves a cross of civil and criminal practice and must be formulated on lived experience of people without housing. We will also address intersectional equity issues. 
Balancing the Spectrum of Wellness: Tipping the Scale Through Adversity - Presented by Melissa Douglass, LCSW
Tuesday, November 10 at 2:15 PM

This interactive and engaging workshop will guide participants through examining the eight spectrums of wellness every human being navigates in their lives. From navigating a global pandemic, grief/loss, re-entry, traumatic racism, and an intense political climate, we'll explore the dynamic of what happens mentally when adversity arises and the emotional impact and needs that present. We'll explore self-care strategies and tools to achieve and maintain mental wellness while navigating life remotely to some degree. Participants will gain an understanding and practical guidance on how to perform personal mental health check-ins, create self-care maintenance plans, and the importance of support and accountability along the journey.
Client Caucus: Building Strong Communities and Advocacy - Presented by Charli Cooksey
Wednesday, November 11 at 1:45 PM

In 2011, Charli Cooksey co-founded an educational access venture called inspireSTL. During Charli’s tenure, each senior class of inspireSTL Scholars celebrated 100 percent high school graduation and four-year college acceptance rates. inspireSTL has inducted seven classes of scholars, and it is on track to serve approximately 400 scholars annually. Charli went on to serve as an executive-in-residence at the United Way with a focus on education innovation. Before WEPOWER, she served as the interim executive director/lead catalyst of Forward Through Ferguson.
LSC and the Client and Voice - Presented by Ron Flagg & Julie Anne Reiskin
Wednesday, November 11 at 3:45 PM

Annual opportunity for LSC to discuss initiatives that affect client involvement and to get input from client board members of grantees from around the country.
Record Clearing in 2020: Challenges and Opportunities - Presented by Bill Cobb, Sharon Dietrich, Jamie Gullen, James Prescott
Wednesday, November 12 at 3:30 PM

Record clearing is not immune from the changes of 2020, for better and worse. This timely session will examine:
* The role of expungement & sealing in this moment, especially in the context of the recession and racial justice initiatives;
* Advocacy with your court to restart its expungement process;
* Presentation of virtual clinics to reach clients; and
* Groundbreaking new empirical research, including take-up rates, value, and recidivism.
Re-envisioning the Law for Social Justice - Presented by Anne Rios
Thursday, November 12 at 12:00 PM

Oftentimes, complex legal systems are used to condemn marginalized peoples. This workshop focuses on reimagining what legal systems could look like if communities reclaimed power and used the law as a shield and a sword.
Your Mental Health Matters: Self-Care, Balance, and Wellness in Turbulent Times - Presented by Valeria Chambers, La Verne Saunders & Suzanne Small
Thursday, November 12 at 1:45 PM

In this interactive workshop, we will examine how the two current pandemics – COVID-19 and systemic racism -- affect our mental and emotional health. We will explore how self-care and balance mitigate these harmful effects and promote wellness. We will use the peer support model of mutuality to demonstrate how sharing and understanding life experiences are of value for clients, advocates, paralegals, and attorneys. This may determine how clients will benefit during this encounter and in their lives going forward. We will discuss the influences these things have on our lives as we strive to navigate needed resources, maintain connections with others, and engage with the people we serve while protecting, preserving, and promoting our wellness. The panel members will share effective tools and techniques that they utilize as well as solicit from the audience things they have found helpful.
Tenants' and Litigants' Rights in the Age of COVID-19: Common Strategies for Client Education, Data Tracking, Court Access, and Advocacy - Presented by Matt Ampleman, Robert Boedeker & Susie Alverson
Thursday, November 12 at 3:45 PM

We aim to build consensus around common strategies for protecting tenants' and other low-income litigants' rights in the age of COVID-19. Many of our best strategies predate the pandemic, and we will spend time discussing fundamentals of tenant protections that still apply today. COVID-19 has also forced us to learn quickly and adapt, including how we use data and engage with the community. Our presentation will discuss some obstacles to using data well and strategies for meaningful engagement when open communication with vulnerable populations is so important. We will also discuss best practices for allowing pro se litigants to access courts whose policies may be unclear or changing.
Resident Empowerment through Public Housing Conversions - Presented by Gail Livingston, James “Mac” McCreight & Steve Meacham
Friday November 13 at 12:00 PM

This session will highlight replicable collaboration between legal aid (Greater Boston Legal Services), the local housing authority (Boston Housing Authority), and a grassroots tenant rights organization (City Life Vida Urbana) to empower racially and linguistically diverse public housing residents to build organizational capacity to enable effective and meaningful participation through all phases of public housing mixed finance conversions into truly integrated mixed-income communities and that preserve public resident rights through public-private partnerships with nonprofit and for-profit developers, owners, and property managers.
Featured Speaker
If you haven't already heard, we will be welcoming Nicole Austin-Hillery, the executive director of the U.S. Program at Human Rights Watch, as one of our featured speakers at this year's conference.

In her current position, she is addressing and combating systemic racism, improving U.S. immigration laws, tackling rights problems within the domestic criminal justice system and advocating for policies to address poverty and inequality informed by the international human rights standards. Read more about Ms. Austin-Hillery here. Learn about our other speakers and take part in the conference, here
Social Engagement
An Evening Musical Performance featuring Herb Scott
Tuesday, November 11 & Wednesday November 12 at 6:00-7:00 PM
Daily Pre-Conference Fitness Classes and Meditations
Everyday, see schedule for details
Daily Virtual Museum Tours
(including the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture)
Run, Walk, or Wheel 5K
Tuesday November 11 - Friday November 13
2020 Virtual Annual Conference Awards Ceremony
NLADA looks forward to recognizing the work and achievement of these awardees. Join us online at the Annual Awards Ceremony on Friday, November 13. Learn more about the honorees here.
Sonia Brookins
Mary Ellen Hamilton Award
Ed Marks
Denison Ray Award
Howard Belodoff
Reginald Heber Smith Award
Stacey Lannert
New Leaders in Advocacy Award