Registration is Open September 10, 2020

Police, Criminal, and Judicial Reform

Police, Criminal, and Judicial Reform

4:00pm- 6:00pm

Schedule

Speaker

Keir Bradford-Grey,
Chief Defender of the Defender Association of Philadelphia 
Summer Lee,
State Representative, 34th Legislative District

(1)
Policy Reform


Host

Blue Hall

Speaker

Anthony Williams,
State Senator, 8th District
Jordan Harris,
State Representative, 186th Legislative District

(2)
Criminal Justice Reform

Host

Green Hall

Speaker

Kevin Harden, Jr. Esq.
Attorney, Ross Feller Casey, LLP
Honorable Timika Lane
Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge



(2)
Judicial Reform

Host

Purple Hall

Host

Representative Jordan Harris

State Representative Jordan Harris was first elected to represent the 186th Legislative district, covering parts of South and Southwest Philadelphia, in 2012.

POLICE, CRIMINAL AND JUDICIAL REFORM

Speakers

Kevin Harden, Jr. Esq.

Attorney, Ross Feller Casey, LLP

Summer Lee

State Representative, 34th Legislative District

Keir
Bradford-Grey

Chief Defender of the Defender Association of Philadelphia

Anthony H. Williams

State Senator, 8th District

Honorable Timika Lane

Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge

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Speaker Bios

State Representative Jordan Harris has emerged as a rising star and leading progressive voice in the Pennsylvania legislature on issues that matter most to his constituents, including criminal justice reform and education reform. First chosen to represent the 186th Legislative District on Nov. 6, 2012, Harris was most recently selected by his colleagues to serve as the Democratic Caucus Whip for the 2019-20 legislative session. This historic leadership election saw the Pennsylvania House Democrats select their most diverse leadership team ever elected. The Whip is the second highest ranking position in leadership behind only the caucus leader, and Harris is only the second African American to hold the position of Whip for the Democratic Caucus and the youngest member of leadership in either the House or the Senate. Harris previously served as chairman of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus.

Prior to being elected to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, Harris focused on his passion for helping children and young adults as he was appointed as the Executive Director of Philadelphia's Youth Commission where he advised the Mayor, City Council and other key decision-makers on issues relating to the city's youth and young adults. In this office, Harris spearheaded initiatives that helped address and ultimately end Philadelphia's outbreak of nuisance flash mobs, including extending the hours of the city's recreation centers and creating alternative activities. He was also instrumental in designing Slam Dunk, a summer program that assisted over 600 high school students in meeting credit requirements for graduation.

After graduating from Philadelphia’s John Bartram Motivation High School, Harris earned his bachelor’s degree from Millersville University in Government and Political Affairs. He also holds a master’s degree in Education from Cabrini College and is currently a Doctoral candidate in Educational Leadership at Neumann University. Before pursuing a career in public service, he worked as an educator in the Philadelphia Public School System for several years.

Anthony Hardy Williams never dreamed he’d hold elective office growing up. After graduating from Franklin & Marshall College, he planned to use his economics degree to take over the business world. He worked as a corporate analyst, next as an executive for PepsiCo, and then launched his own vending company. Then, his world exploded – literally.
That’s when he watched part of his neighborhood engulfed in flames during the 1985 MOVE standoff in Philadelphia. He saw hopelessness creeping into formerly vibrant communities. He watched companies closing and jobs leaving across Pennsylvania. Fear rose. Opportunities waned. Something needed to be done. Someone had to address the issues hanging over kitchen tables and boardroom tables alike. Someone had to have better ideas. At 31, he decided to try and tackle that challenge.
Since joining the Pennsylvania Legislature – first as state representative of the 191st District in 1988, then as state senator of the 8th District in 1998 – he resolved to make the needs of his constituents known, and has, with solid results.
He served as an original architect of Pennsylvania’s landmark charter school legislation, ushering in an era of expanded options for families. He created the Philadelphia Illegal Gun Task Force, an invaluable law enforcement tool for curbing violence. He developed the Diversity Apprenticeships Program, providing access to the labor trades for thousands of young men and women. He authored legislation which is now law to protect students in school from sexual predators, and he’s still crafting meaningful legislation that champions real world solutions.
His commonsense, yet fearless, approach to leadership resists blind party allegiance or indebtedness to its patrons. It’s how he operates in the Pennsylvania Senate, where he serves as Democratic Whip, and a member of the Education, Environmental Resources & Energy, Intergovernmental Operations, Law and Justice, Policy and State Government committees. His sense of advocacy compelled him to join the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, along with several community boards.
As senator for the 8th District, he connects with and offers solutions for citizens in small towns, suburban enclaves, and urban centers, serving people of all economic, ethnic, religious, and cultural backgrounds with sensibility and compassion.
This stems from the moral courage instilled in him by his father, the late Hardy Williams, the pioneering activist and former state senator, and his mother, Carole Williams-Green, a feisty and committed retired public school educator. It is replenished by the inspiration he finds in his wife, Shari, their two daughters, Asia and Autumn, and grandson Brendon.

Kevin Harden, Jr., is a trial lawyer with the law firm Ross Feller Casey, LLP, where he works to rebuild the lives of people who have suffered tragic injuries and harms. Since joining the firm, he was worked on a series of significant cases, including a record-setting $9.6 million verdict in a Berks County, Pennsylvania medical malpractice case and the exoneration of Terrance Lewis, a Philadelphia man who served 21 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. In June 2020, Harden won a record-breaking $6.25 million settlement for Mr. Lewis, the highest non-DNA exoneration resolution in Pennsylvania history.

Prior to joining Ross Feller Casey, Kevin worked in the White-Collar and Commercial Litigation practice groups of the national law firm Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLC. While there, he represented corporations and their executives in sensitive government investigations and business litigation. Harden defended matters involving numerous federal and state investigative agencies, including the Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Securities Exchange Commission, the Office of Foreign Asset Control, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office.

As lead counsel, Kevin has tried over 25 trials to jury verdict and numerous bench trials in both state and federal courts. He has also represented corporations in professional malpractice, breach of contract, consumer rights, real estate, civil rights, product liability, construction, whistleblower, medical malpractice, class action and mass tort litigation.

Kevin began his career as a prosecutor in the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office. He is originally from West Philadelphia and attended Philadelphia public schools before graduating from the Kutztown University of Pennsylvania and the Temple University Beasley School of Law. He is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated and has practiced and taught Taekwondo for over 20 years. He has served in leadership positions within numerous professional associations and non-profit organizations, including the Barristers’ Association of Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Bar Association, the Public Interest Law Center, the Urban Affairs Coalition and the Defender Association of Philadelphia.

Kevin’s most important title and role is Daddy: to his daughter, three-year-old Sasha Evienne Harden. 

Judge Lane was born and raised in West Philadelphia. She attended the McCall School, Friends Select and West Catholic High School during her formative years. She is a graduate of Howard University in Washington D.C., where she excelled as a student leader, and was initiated into Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, Alpha Chapter. The value of hard work and public service were instilled in her at a very young age by her mother, now a retired Philadelphia Police Detective. With those values engrained in her, she took on the challenge of teaching social studies to middle school students in Prince George’s County, Maryland.

Following a successful teaching career, Judge Lane decided to pursue a career in law. In 2002, she received her Juris Doctor degree from Rutgers-Camden School of Law in New Jersey. While attending Rutgers, she continuously sought ways to serve her community and worked for the Pro Bono Domestic Violence Project, the Bankruptcy Pro Bono Project and co-chaired the Black Law Students Community Outreach program.

Her legal career has been defined by her desire to serve the community. After serving as a law clerk, she represented clients in various areas of family law, ranging from support to custody issues, and represented indigent families involved in dependent matters as a Certified Child Advocate Attorney. Afterwards, she went on to work as a major trial attorney for the Defender Association of Philadelphia. Her primary duties were to litigate complex criminal jury and waiver trials for indigent adults and juveniles in Philadelphia’s criminal justice system.

She left the Defender Association to serve the community in a different capacity, as Chief Legal Counsel for State Senator Anthony H. Williams and as the Democratic Executive Director for the Pennsylvania State Senate State Government Committee. In this role, she was on the front lines challenging Pennsylvania’s restrictive Photo ID law, organizing rallies and drafting legislation to counter its disparate impact on seniors, minorities and the poor. Additionally, she assessed the constitutionality of proposed and existing legislation, and provided legal advice and guidance regarding the legal implications of legislation, regulations, and administrative policies. She also served as an Arbitrator and a member of the Pennsylvania and Philadelphia Bar Associations.

In January 2013, after much soul searching and consultation with her family and Pastor, she decided to pursue a seat on the Court of Common Pleas. To accomplish this goal, she left her position and sold her car because she knew the challenges she would face. Despite seemingly insurmountable odds, she forged ahead walking by faith. Her tireless and dedicated approach was met with success when she was officially elected to the Court of the Common Pleas in November 2013.

Judge Lane received a rating of Highly Recommended for Superior Court by the Pennsylvania Bar Association in 2019. She is presently assigned to the Major Trials program in the Criminal Division. Here, Judge Lane handles serious felony criminal matters including but not limited to human trafficking, domestic/family violence, sexual assaults, attempted murder, arson, robbery and burglary. She also handles Investigative Grand Jury matters and oversees the Uplift, Fast Track and Branching Up (formerly Roots to Re-entry) programs. Currently, she serves as Chair of the Board of Judges Board of City Trust Committee, Co-Chair of the Local Criminal Rules Committee and a member of the Communication and Community Affairs, Jury, FYI and Women Judges Initiative committees. Recently, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court appointed her to the County Adult Probation and Parole Advisory Committee (CAPPAC) where she serves as Co-Chair. Additionally, she served on the Elder Task Force and as former secretary for the Clifford Scott Green Chapter of the National Judicial Council.

Judge Lane’s commitment to the community extends well beyond her legal career. She was formerly a Trustee at Bright Hope Baptist Church, Executive Director of the New Life New Member Ministry and Vice-President of the Hospitality Ministry. She worked for Habitat for Humanity during Hurricane Katrina and traveled to New Orleans to rebuild homes destroyed by the hurricane. The Chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association recently re-appointed her as Co-Chair of Advancing Civic Education (ACE,) in which judges and lawyers teach civics to high school students, and she is Co-Chair for The National Trends and Services Facet for The Links, Inc., Delaware Valley Chapter. Additionally, she is an Adjunct Professor at Harcum College and Executive Board member of the Greenhill Farms Residents Association; Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Philadelphia Alumnae Chapter; The National Coalition of 100 Black Women; The Black Brain Campaign; former Co-Chair of Parents for Students of Color/Diversity at Friends Central School and she has served on countless Boards. --------

Keir Bradford-Grey began her tenure as Chief Defender in September 2015, following service as Chief Defender of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.  

At the Defender Association, Ms. Bradford-Grey focuses on serving the citizens of Philadelphia through innovative programs that empower communities and ensure that justice is fair and final. Ms. Bradford-Grey has spearheaded initiatives to help clients develop skills to successfully re-enter their communities after serving their time in the justice system.

Prior to Ms. Bradford-Grey’s appointment at the Defender Association, she served as Chief Defender for Montgomery County (PA), an assistant federal defender at the Delaware Federal Defenders Office, began her career as an attorney as an assistant public defender at the Defender Association of Philadelphia. Ms. Bradford-Grey has dedicated her career to public interest work.

Ms. Bradford-Grey serves on a number of boards and associations, including President of the American Council of Chief Defenders (ACCD), a large subchapter of the National Legal Aid and Defender Association (NLADA). The ACCD is a national community of public defense leaders dedicated to securing a fair justice system and ensuring high quality legal representation for people facing loss of life, freedom, or family.  

A Boston native, Ms. Bradford-Grey earned her undergraduate degree in criminal justice at Albany State University and received her law degree from Ohio Northern University School of Law.

Summer Lee was elected to the House in 2018. She grew up in the North Braddock and Rankin neighborhoods of Pittsburgh, and currently lives in Swissvale.

A graduate of Woodland Hills High School, she went on to study and graduate from the Pennsylvania State University and Howard University School of Law, where she specialized in civil rights and constitutional law.

While at Howard, Lee was an intern with the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and a student attorney in the Howard University School of Law Civil Rights Clinic, representing and assisting indigent clients with civil rights complaints.

After graduating law school, Lee was a dedicated organizer, activist and advocate for social justice in her local community. Her legislative priorities include criminal justice reform; education, health care and energy policy reforms; a progressive tax structure for Pennsylvania and a $15 minimum wage for all workers.

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