Lori James-Townes is President & CEO of Expand-Now, LLC. She also serves as the Executive Director for National Association of Public Defense. Lori’s passion is adding value to others through speaking, training, development activities, coaching, and consulting. Lori has over 25 years of teaching, clinical social work, leadership, and management experience in juvenile justice, mental health, and public defender settings. She is an adjunct clinical instructor at Towson University, Department of Family Studies and Community Development. Her most recent public defender position was Director Social Work, Leadership and Program Development, with Maryland Office of Public Defender. With over more than 800 employees, she served as one of the first Directors of Leadership in a public defender setting. While in this position, she demonstrated her ability to help others grow in the areas of teamwork, leadership, and management. She also led the agency’s social work staff, consultants, and interns. Lori is a certified John Maxwell Trainer, Coach, and Speaker. She has developed programs that are now national models for other agencies. In 2015, The Daily Record Newspaper named her as one of Maryland’s Top 100 Women. As a speaker, she is requested both nationally and internationally. She resides in Maryland with her daughter, Maya.
Sharon D. Jones-Eversley, DrPH, is an Associate Professor at Towson University in the Family Studies and Community Development Department. Dr. Jones-Eversley earned a Doctorate in Public Health from Morgan State University School of Community Health and Policy. Her interdisciplinary research expertise is in social epidemiology, family science, and community capacity-building. Her advocacy and research look to better understand intergenerational disease distribution and the continuum of disease-related morbidities that adversely impact high-risk families and communities. Dr. Jones-Eversley was born, raised, and public school educated in West Baltimore. She is deeply concerned about the high mortality rates, low life expectancy, premature death, and dehumanization of People of Color.
Terri Collins Green -
Terri Collins-Green, LCSW-C is the Director of Social Work for the Maryland Office of the Public Defender. Mrs. Collins-Green has been with MOPD over ten years, beginning her career with MOPD as a line social worker, she was promoted to Regional Social Work Manager, and finally Director of Social Work in 2018. In 2016, she was the recipient of the MOPD’s Jane Addams, Believer of Justice Award. She also serves as a faculty member for the MOPD’s Gideon’s Promise, new attorney training program conducting sessions on Secondary Trauma and Sentencing Advocacy.
Mrs. Collins-Green is an Adjunct Professor with Morgan University, School of Social Work, teaching master level classes in Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and Public Child Welfare. She is a field instructor for social work interns from Morgan University and University of Maryland. She is trained in Dialectical Behavior Therapy from Behavioral Tech. She is a member of the Citizen's Advisory Board for the Patuxent Institution.
Mrs. Collins-Green has been a Maryland state employee for over 20 years, and has worked in a variety of social work settings which include child welfare, outpatient mental health therapy, residential psychiatric adolescent care, and forensic social work. Mrs. Collins-Green holds an undergraduate degree in Psychology from Towson University and a MSW from University of Maryland. Mrs. Collins-Green is a motorcycle rider enthusiast during her free time.
Amari Harris -
Amari Harris is the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion attorney for the Virginia Indigent Defense Commission. Mr. Harris started his legal career as an assistant public defender in the City of Richmond where he was known for his zealous legal advocacy and excellent client relations. Mr. Harris went into private practice in 2016 and practiced in the areas of civil litigation, civil rights, contract, corporate counsel, and criminal defense. He was named to Virginia Business Magazine’s “Legal Elite” in 2016.
Growing up in public housing in the City of Virginia Beach exposed Mr. Harris to a number of injustices which instilled in him a passion for civil rights and equality. As an undergraduate at the University of Virginia, Mr. Harris established an annual forum addressing the interactions between law enforcement officers and minority students and was a regular contact for issues of discrimination at the University. As a law student at the University of Richmond, Mr. Harris investigated allegations of Honor Code violations and advocated for cultural equality as the Vice President of the Black Law Students Association and Street Law.
In 2021, Mr. Harris has been appointed to the Governor’s Cannabis Equity Reinvestment Board and to to the Department of Criminal Justice Service’s (DCJS) workgroup to establish statewide standards of conduct for law enforcement.
Shayla Marshall -
Shayla Marshall is the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer for the Missouri State Public Defender System where she leads the diversity, equity and inclusion strategy and programming in the areas of recruitment, retention, hiring, training and employee relations. Ms. Marshall practices criminal law, and supervises and mentors criminal defense attorneys and essential defense staff throughout her office.
Ms. Marshall frequently presents on litigating race, racial injustice, client centered representation, and antibias in the workplace. She is a commissioner on the Missouri Supreme Court Commission for Racial and Ethnic Fairness, and is on the board of directors for the Missouri Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Ms. Marshall is also member the National Association for Public Defense’s Racial Justice Litigation Committee, and Racial Justice Policy Committee, Black Public Defender Association and several local bar associations. A graduate of the University of Kansas School of Law, and native of Kansas City Missouri, Ms. Marshall is an avid Jayhawks, Kansas City Chiefs and barbeque fan. She resides in Kansas City with her family.
Kate Mason - Kate Mason leads a midsized trial and appellate public defenders office in Augusta, Georgia serving Burke, Columbia, and Richmond Counties bordering on the Savannah River in east central Georgia. Kate represents clients, leads attorneys and staff, works with the local community all with the common goal of Truly Client Centered Effective Assistance of Counsel for Every Client, in Every Case, Every Time. During her 10 years of leading the Office, she has encountered everything from leaky roofs to COVID 19 challenges. Like most aspects of public defense it is always challenging and full of stressors but never boring. The best part is always the clients.
- Seann is currently a professor at CUNY Law School where he teaches Criminal Procedure, Evidence, Professional Responsibility and a Criminal Trial Practice Lawyering Seminar. At CUNY, Seann has served as a faculty advisor to two of the law school’s mock trial teams. Seann began his legal career as an E. Barrett Prettyman Fellow at the Georgetown University Law Center, where he represented clients in D.C. Superior Court and supervised third year law students in the Criminal Justice Clinic. After the fellowship Seann joined The Bronx Defenders where he was a staff attorney, a Team Leader and for 8 years the Deputy Director. During his twelve years at The Bronx Defenders, Seann represented thousands of clients and tried approximately 70 cases in both criminal and family courts. He also created a first of its kind interdisciplinary training for all new lawyers regardless of discipline designed to address the many needs of indigent clients in the criminal legal system.
Since leaving The Bronx Defenders Seann served as the Project Director for The Center for Holistic Defense, a Supervising Attorney of the Adolescent Representation Clinic at Columbia Law School and as a Senior Staff Attorney at the Legal Aid Society. Most recently, Seann spent three years as the Director of Partnerships for Uptrust, a tech start-up focused on creating technology to assist public defender clients with their court obligations. While at Uptrust, Seann won a $200,000 Child Welfare Innovation prize to modify Uptrust’s technology to assist indigent parents fighting allegations of abuse and neglect in Family Court.
Over the course of his career Seann has served as a faculty member with Gideon’s Promise, The Defenders Academy and the Office of Alternate Defense Counsel in Colorado for their annual trial skills training. He has been an adjunct professor at Fordham Law School, Seton Hall Law School and Columbia Law School, where he currently serves as the law school’s Public Defender Career Advisor. Seann received his law degree from Tulane Law School, where he was the recipient of the Outstanding Leadership and Service award; a MSW from the University of Michigan, where he was named NASW’s Student Social Worker of the Year; a BA from Georgetown University and an LLM in Trial Advocacy from the Georgetown Law Center. In 2013 Seann was awarded the Wasserstein Fellowship by Harvard Law School, which recognizes exemplary lawyers who have distinguished themselves in public interest work.
Betsy Wilson - Betsy Wilson is a founder of the Sentencing Advocacy Group of Evanston, where she leads a multidisciplinary team of sentencing advocates and record specialists. SAGE conducts mitigation investigations in federal and state and capital, juvenile-life-sentence, and non-capital cases throughout the country. Betsy has been dedicated to capital defense and mitigation for her entire legal career and has conducted sentencing investigations in more than 90 cases, including more than 50 capital cases. After graduating from Harvard Law School in 1998, she worked as a trial attorney at the New York Capital Defender Office until founding SAGE in 2005. Betsy has developed particular expertise in mitigation investigations involving complex trauma, intellectual disabilities, mental illness.
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