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MEET THE SPEAKERS

"Hidden Legal Figures: A Spotlight on Lawyers and Judges in the Civil Rights Revolution"

Moss   Whitfield
   Daniels
   Thompson
   Canfield   Pope

 

"Criminal Justice Reform"

Justice Boggs   David Windecher

 

"Hidden Legal Figures" Speakers

 

REV. DR. OTIS MOSS JR., SPEAKER     

A theologian, pastor and civic leader, the Reverend Dr. Otis Moss Jr. is one of America’s most influential religious leaders and highly sought-after public speakers. Rev. Moss was born and raised in LaGrange, Georgia. He earned his bachelor's degree from Morehouse College in 1956 and his Master of Divinity degree from the Morehouse School of Religion/Interdenominational Theological Center in 1959. He earned his Doctor of Ministry degree from the United Theological Seminary in 1990.

Rev. Moss has been involved in advocating civil and human justices for most of his adult life. While a student at Morehouse College, Rev. Moss was a leader of the Atlanta Student Movement, participating in the planning, strategizing and execution of the Atlanta sit-ins, where he witnessed first-hand the tireless legal efforts of Donald Lee Hollowell. Shortly after beginning his pastorate of Mount Zion Baptist Church in Lockland, Ohio, Rev. Moss began serving as the regional director of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, participating in many civil rights campaigns and marches alongside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. His work in the international community has taken him to Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan and Israel.

Rev. Moss, who retired from the pastorate in 2008, and his wife Edwina, have three children, Kevin, Daphne (deceased) and Otis III. He and his wife continue to reside in Bratenahl, Ohio.

FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, MODERATOR

Fredricka Whitfield is an anchor for CNN/U.S. and is based in the network's world headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. Whitfield anchors the weekend edition of CNN Newsroom. Since joining CNN in 2002, she has reported from all over the world, including the Persian Gulf region during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, Beijing during the 2008 Summer Olympic Games, London at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games and Washington, D.C., during the 2009 presidential inauguration.

Before joining CNN, Whitfield was a correspondent for NBC News and served as an Atlanta-based correspondent for NBC Nightly News, The Today Show and Dateline NBC. She covered stories such as the highly contested 2000 presidential race and the resulting ballot recount, the 1996 Olympics, the Olympic Park bombing in Atlanta and the manhunt for bomber Eric Rudolph. Whitfield also reported on the 1999 refugee crisis in Macedonia during the Kosovo War. Before her time at NBC, Whitfield was a reporter and anchor at WPLG-TV in Miami, an evening anchor for News Channel 8 in Washington, D.C. and a general assignment reporter at KTVT-TV in Dallas as well as at WTNH in New Haven, Connecticut. She began her professional career as a reporter and morning anchor for WCIV in Charleston, South Carolina.

In her nearly three-decades long career, Whitfield has garnered multiple awards and honors for her broadcasting. In 2000 she earned an Emmy award nomination for long form storytelling. Her other notable awards include the 2002 Howard University School of Communications Alumna of the year; 2004 Alfred I. DuPont Award winning team for CNN’s coverage of the tsunami disaster in Southeast Asia; 2005 George Peabody award for the network’s live coverage of Hurricane Katrina and aftermath; 2005 Ebony award for Outstanding Women in Marketing and Communications; 2007 Emmy award for outstanding live coverage of a breaking news story long form; 2008 NAMD Communicator of the year; 2008 Howard University postgraduate achievement in the field of journalism; and 2009 NYABJ long form feature. Whitfield was also a part of the network’s Peabody Award winning coverage of the 2010 Gulf Oil Spill and the 2011 Arab Spring. Whitfield earned a B.A. in journalism from Howard University.

DR. MAURICE DANIELS, SPEAKER

Dr. Maurice Daniels is co-founder and director of The Foot Soldier Project for Civil Rights Studies, established in 1999. From July 2005 through June 2016, he served as dean of the University of Georgia School of Social Work. As dean, Daniels advanced interdisciplinary scholarship and social justice through the development of new degrees, endowed professorships and a research center. During his tenure, the school created dual Master of Social Work degrees in law, public health and divinity—each one a first for the state of Georgia. He also promoted the endowment of two professorships: the Donald L. Hollowell Distinguished Professorship of Social Justice and Civil Rights Studies—the university’s inaugural distinguished professorship named for an African American—and the Georgia Athletic Association Professorship in Health and Well-Being. In addition, he ushered into the university the creation of the interdisciplinary Center for Social Justice, Human and Civil Rights. Prior to becoming dean, Daniels served as associate dean, director of the Master of Social Work degree program and director of the Patricia Roberts Harris Fellowship Program at UGA. 

Daniels is the author of "Saving the Soul of Georgia: Donald L. Hollowell and the Struggle for Civil Rights" (University of Georgia Press, December 2013) and "Horace T. Ward: Desegregation of the University of Georgia, Civil Rights Advocacy, and Jurisprudence" (Clark Atlanta University Press, 2001). Howard University Press reissued a classic edition of "Horace T. Ward" in 2004. He is the executive producer of four critically acclaimed public television documentaries including "Donald L. Hollowell: Foot Soldier for Equal Justice," which originally aired on Georgia Public Broadcasting in 2010. 

Daniels holds a B.A. in psychology, a master's degree in social work, and a doctorate in higher education from Indiana University. In addition to his scholarly work, he is active in civil rights and social reform organizations. He is co-founder of Athens Area Habitat for Humanity and the UGA Black Faculty and Staff Organization and played a key role in the establishment of the UGA Institute for African American Studies, Department of Minority Services and Programs, and Office of Institutional Diversity. Daniels is a life member of the National Association for the Advanced of Colored People, the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, and the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.

HON. MYRON H. THOMPSON, SPEAKER

Hon. Myron H. Thompson is a U.S. district judge for the Middle District of Alabama. He was nominated to that seat in September 1980 by President Jimmy Carter and served as chief judge from 1991 to 1998.

Thompson is a graduate of Yale College (B.A. 1969) and Yale Law School (J.D. 1972). He served as an assistant attorney general of Alabama from 1972 to 1974. He was the first African-American assistant attorney general for the state of Alabama, the first African-American bar examiner for the state and the second African-American federal judge in the state. Thompson was in private practice from 1974 until 1980. He was a founding director and board chairman of the Alabama Legal Services Corporation.

Thompson has contributed to the development of legal scholarship by serving as Jurist in Residence at Pace Law School in 2012, delivering the dean’s lecture at Yale Law School in 2004, and serving as a New York University Law School Scholar in Residence in 1998 and 1999. He was the 11th Circuit’s District Judge Representative on the Judicial Conference of the United States from 2007 through 2011, and was chair of the District Judges Representatives to the Conference from 2010 through 2011. As chief judge, he was instrumental in preserving the Montgomery bus station where the Freedom Riders were attacked in 1961 and in establishing the Freedom Riders Museum.

In 2017, for having made a substantial contribution to public service and the legal profession, Thompson received the Yale Law School Award of Merit, the highest award the law school may give to a graduate and faculty member. He was also named a 2017 Alabama Humanities Foundation fellow in honor of his noteworthy achievements and commitment to the advancement of the humanities in Alabama. Thompson also received the National Public Service Award from Stanford Law School; the Thurgood Marshall Award by the National Bar Association’s Judicial Council; the 2005 Mark De Wolfe Howe Award from the Harvard Civil Rights - Civil Liberties Law Review; the Judge Jane M. Bolin Service Award from the Yale Law School BLSA; an honorary J.D. in 2010 and the Ernestine Sapp Justice Award in 2009, both from Thomas Goode Jones Law School; and an Honoree Award from the Touro Law School BLSA in 2009.

Thompson and his wife, Ann Oldham, have three sons.

PETER CANFIELD, SPEAKER

Peter Canfield is with the Atlanta office of Jones Day, specializing in civil litigation generally, and media law and litigation in particular. A graduate of Amherst College, where he was an editor of the student newspaper, and Yale Law School, where he was an editor of the Yale Law Journal, Canfield clerked for U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Frank M. Johnson Jr. (Eleventh Circuit) and U.S. District Judge Myron H. Thompson (M.D. Ala.). Following the clerkships, he served as a deputy district attorney in Montgomery, Alabama and a trial attorney with the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.  

Canfield is a founding director of the Georgia First Amendment Foundation, the chair of the State Bar of Georgia’s Communications Committee and has organized the State Bar's annual Bar, Media and Judiciary Conference for decades. Nationally, he has chaired the biennial media law conference of the Newspaper Association of American and the National Association of Broadcasters, been a director of the New York-based Media Law Resource Center and served on the governing committee of the American Bar Association’s Forum on Communications Law. Canfield is currently vice chair of the Media Law Resource Center’s International Committee.

Canfield and his wife, Laurel Lucey, have two daughters and one son.

DERRICK ALEXANDER POPE

Derrick Alexander Pope is president and founding director of The Arc of Justice Institute. In this role, Pope has responsibility for all aspects of the standing initiatives and programs of the Institute beginning with developing and managing the exhibit initiative and accompanying programs.  

Born in Atlanta, Georgia, Pope is a 1987 graduate of Morris Brown College and a 1992 graduate of Loyola University School of Law in New Orleans, Louisiana, earning top honors in the Loyola Law Clinic. 

Pope has a distinguished career in the public, private and academic sectors. He has provided counsel to the legislative and executive branches of government at the federal, state and county level and has been an adjunct professor at Georgia State University College of Law. In private practice, he has helped protect the inheritance rights of more than 500 families throughout Georgia. 

Pope has several published works to his credit. He is the author of "By the Content of Our Character: A Declaration of Independence for Colored Folks, Negroes, Black People and African Americans, Thy Will Be Done: An African American Guide to Estate Planning" and the Howard Law Journal article, "A Constitutional Window to Interpretive Reason: Or in other Words… The Ninth Amendment." In 2012, teaming with his daughter, he released a spoken word CD, "The Race Track." Pope is a member of the State Bar of Georgia (immediate past co-chair of the Committee to Promote Inclusion in the Profession), the Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity, the United States Supreme Court Historical Society and the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. He is married to Lanette Pope, and they have one daughter, Sydney Alizabeth, a freshman at Valdosta State University. 

"Criminal Justice Reform" Speakers

JUSTICE MICHAEL P. BOGGS, SPEAKER

Justice Michael P. Boggs was appointed to the Supreme Court of Georgia on Dec. 7, 2016, by Gov. Nathan Deal. He was re-elected statewide without opposition for a six-year term in 2018. Previously, Boggs served as a judge on the Court of Appeals of Georgia from 2012 through 2016. Prior to his appellate judicial service, Boggs served as a Superior Court judge for the six-county Waycross Judicial Circuit, having been elected to an open seat in 2004. He was re-elected to the Superior Court without opposition in 2008. Boggs was raised in Waycross and now lives in Pierce County with his wife, Heather, a kindergarten teacher in the Ware County public school system.

Boggs obtained his undergraduate degree in Political Science and Psychology from Georgia Southern College in 1985. He earned his J.D. from Mercer University's Walter F. George School of Law in 1990. While in law school, Boggs was a member of the Moot Court Board and participated on the ABA/LSD and National Moot Court competition teams. At Mercer, he was inducted into the Order of Barristers and was elected to the Student Government Association.

Following his graduation from law school, Boggs practiced insurance defense litigation in Atlanta until 1992, when he returned to his hometown of Waycross. Prior to his election to the trial court bench, Boggs maintained a general trial practice focusing on family law, real estate, banking, personal injury and general civil litigation matters. He served as a county attorney, development authority counsel and as a special assistant attorney general.

In 2000, Justice Boggs was elected as a state representative to the General Assembly and served until 2004. While in the Legislature, Justice Boggs served on the Judiciary, Public Safety and Government Affairs committees, and as chairman of the Probate Law and Elections Law subcommittees.

Among his legislative accomplishments, Boggs authored the “Child Protection Act,” a bill aimed at protecting children from sexual predators, and he secured funding for a Public Health Laboratory in Waycross. In 2002, Boggs was selected as the Outstanding Freshman Member of the General Assembly by the Legislative Alumni Association and was also recognized by the editors of Georgia Trend Magazine as one of the “40 under 40” leaders throughout Georgia who have made significant contributions to the state. He was a member of the 2009 Class of Leadership Georgia.

An ardent supporter of accountability courts, Boggs founded the Waycross Judicial Circuit Drug Court Program, served as its presiding judge, and served as a member of the Judicial Council of Georgia’s Standing Committee on Accountability Courts. Boggs has served as a member of the Governor’s Judicial Nominating Commission, and served on the Foundation Board of Trustees at South Georgia State College in Waycross, where he likewise served as a part-time adjunct professor.

In 2011, Boggs served as a member of Georgia’s Special Council on Criminal Justice Reform and was appointed by Gov. Nathan Deal to serve as co-chair of the Georgia Criminal Justice Reform Council from 2012 to 2018. He serves as chairman of the Board of Directors of the Council of State Governments Justice Center, a national nonpartisan criminal justice policy organization, and as a member of the Advisory Committee of the Council on Criminal Justice, a national criminal justice policy initiative. Boggs also serves on the Pew Public Safety Performance Project – Jails/Pretrial and Community Corrections Advisory Council, and on the National Center for State Courts Task Force on Fines, Fees, and Bail Practices, a commission created by the Conference of Chief Justices and the Conference of State Court Administrators. Boggs chairs the Judicial Council of Georgia Standing Committee on Criminal Justice Reform and serves on various committees of the Supreme Court of Georgia, including the committees on Justice for Children and Access to Justice. He is a member of the Lawyers Club of Atlanta and the Atlanta Bar Association.

DAVID LEE WINDECHER, SPEAKER

David Windecher is a criminal defense attorney licensed to practice in Georgia and Florida. He graduated summa cum laude from American Intercontinental University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in 2005, and received his J.D. from Atlanta's John Marshall Law School in 2012. Windecher is also on the Board of Advisors for the GA Justice Project.

Prior to being sworn into the Georgia and Florida bars, Windecher was an impoverished minority who was arrested 13 times and spent over seven months incarcerated as a juvenile. He dropped out of high school and joined a criminal street gang in an attempt to overcome a poverty-stricken life. Windecher began his path to rehabilitation when he received his GED in March of 1998 and took his first academic step toward becoming a dual-licensed practitioner. He understands the empowering effects of obtaining an education in order to facilitate upward social mobility.

Windecher chronicled his life’s journey of transitioning from defendant to defense attorney in an inspirational autobiography — "The AmerIcan Dream | His Story In The Making." A portion of the proceeds from the sale of each copy of "The AmerIcan Dream" is donated to RED.