Keynote Address: Benjamin Jealous, NAACP Former National President

Renowned activist, civil rights leader and community organizer, Benjamin Jealous outlines what it will take to secure true equality for all Americans and to empower the next generation to lead toward a better future.

The former president and CEO of the NAACP, Benjamin served as the youngest president in its history. Under his leadership and through various initiatives, he led the association to become the largest civil rights organization online and on mobile, as well as the largest community-based nonpartisan voter registration operation in the country. Now affiliated with the Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kapor Capital, Benjamin continues to further the goal of growing opportunities for minorities in the tech economy.

During his dynamic and rousing speeches, Benjamin exposes the ways in which our country’s history of racial inequality continues, offering a powerful and empowering narrative that encourages individuals to contribute to making lasting change. Drawing from real-life stories from his efforts and the struggles of others, he rallies audiences to continue working for progress.




Hadar Aviram

Prior to joining the Hastings faculty in 2007, Hadar Aviram practiced as a military defense attorney in the Israel Defense Forces for five years, completed her M.A. in Criminology at Hebrew University of Jerusalem and her Ph.D. in UC Berkeley’s Jurisprudence and Social Policy program, where she studied as a Fulbright Fellow and a Regents Intern, and taught at Tel Aviv University. Professor Aviram’s research focuses on the criminal justice system and examines policing, courtroom practices, and broad policy decisions through social science perspectives. Her methodology often combines quantitative, qualitative and experimental tools. Professor Aviram’s most recent projects and publications, including her forthcoming book Cheap on Crime: Recession-Era Politics and the Transformation of American Punishment (University of California Press) analyze the impact of the financial crisis on the American correctional landscape and on California corrections in particular. She is the President-Elect of the Western Society of Criminology and runs the California Correctional Crisis blog.


 Gilad Barnea

Gilad Barnea is Israel’s most active and influential attorney in social welfare. After 15 years in the profession, he’s known as a serial winner, who prevails even in cases that seem lost.

Barnea has advised a number of nonprofits: Yedid, the Association for Community Empowerment; Community Advocacy; and the Histadrut labor federation’s Hevrat Ovdim. He was involved in the formulation of the law to protect the rights of residents of public housing, as well as the Public Housing Law, which enabled residents to purchase their public housing apartments at low prices. He has also worked on free speech issues and the Gay Pride parade in Jerusalem.

Barnea succeeded in persuading the High Court of Justice to prevent the privatization of prisons and emerged with a historic judgment supporting his principles. He also represented students who petitioned the High Court to equalize the state support provided to university students with that given to yeshiva students – and won the case.

At the moment, he is representing a coalition of organizations who have petitioned the court against the privatization of state land that was initiated by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. At the same time, he is representing hundreds of needy persons in their daily struggle for survival against government bureaucracy.

Paul Bender

Paul Bender teaches courses on U.S. and Arizona constitutional law. He has written extensively about constitutional law, intellectual property and Indian law, and is coauthor of the two-volume casebook/treatise, Political and Civil Rights in the United States. Professor Bender has argued more than 20 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, and actively participates in constitutional litigation in federal and state courts.

Professor Bender served as Dean of the College of Law from 1984-1989, during which time he was instrumental in starting its Indian Legal Program. Prior to joining the College faculty, he was law clerk to 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Learned Hand and to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter, and spent 24 years as a faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Professor Bender served as Principal Deputy Solicitor General of the United States from 1993-1997, with responsibility for Supreme Court and federal appellate litigation in the areas of civil rights, race and sex discrimination, freedom of speech and religion, and tort claims against the federal government.

Professor Bender has served as a member of the Hopi Tribe’s Court of Appeals, and is currently Chief Justice of the Fort McDowell Nation Supreme Court, and the San Carlos Apache Court of Appeals.


andre’ douglas pond cummings

andré douglas pond cummings is a Professor of Law at the Indiana Tech Law School where he teaches Civil Procedure, Business Organizations, Ethics, Hip Hop and the American Constitution, Professionalism, and Sports Law.  Professor cummings has served as Interim Dean, Vice Dean and founding Associate Dean for Academic Affairs while at Indiana Tech Law.  Prior to joining Tech Law as Associate Dean, cummings was a Professor of Law at the West Virginia University College of Law.  Before embarking on his academic career, cummings worked as a judicial law clerk for Chief Judge Joseph W. Hatchett of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit and for Chief Justice Christine M. Durham of the Utah Supreme Court.  In addition, he worked at the Chicago, IL based law firm of Kirkland & Ellis LLP, focusing his practice on complex business transactions including mergers, acquisitions, divestitures and securities offerings of publicly traded corporations.  Simultaneously, cummings represented clients in the sports and entertainment industries, including athletes in the National Football League, record labels, motion picture production companies, and a variety of authors, including Hollywood screenwriters and novelists.

cummings has written extensively on issues regarding investor protection, racial and social justice, and sports and entertainment law, publishing in the Washington University Law Review, Indiana Law Journal, Utah Law Review, Howard Law Journal, Marquette Sports Law Review, Iowa Journal of Gender, Race and Justice, Thurgood Marshall Law Review and Harvard Journal on Racial and Ethnic Justice, amongst many others.  cummings has published three books including Corporate Justice (with Todd Clark) in 2016, Hip Hop and the Law (with Pamela Bridgewater and Donald Tibbs) in 2015, and Reversing Field: Examining Commercialization, Labor, Gender, and Race in 21st Century Sports Law (with Anne Marie Lofaso) in 2010.  Noted public intellectual Cornel West has stated that cummings’ scholarly “reputation goes far beyond . . . the nation, and is heard in every corner of the globe, wrestling with legacies of legal thinking on one hand and popular culture on the other.”

cummings has been recognized as Professor of the Year on numerous occasions including the University-wide Distinguished Professor Award by the West Virginia University Foundation.  cummings has taught as a Visiting Professor of Law at the University of Iowa College of Law, University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law, Syracuse University College of Law, Temple University Beasley School of Law (Tokyo Campus) and has taught as a Visiting Lecturer at the North Carolina Central University School of Law, Fundação Getulio Vargas, Direito Rio in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Universidade de Vila Velha in Vila Velha, Brazil, and Universidad de Guanajuato in Guanajuato, Mexico.  cummings holds a J.D. from Howard University School of Law where he graduated cum laude.



John R. Dacey

John Dacey worked for 12 years at legal aid and public interest firms where he handled class actions and other cases for the poor and people with disabilities in matters concerning poverty and disability programs, particularly Medicaid, and jail conditions. Since 1990 John has been in private practice in Phoenix where he represents businesses, particularly nonprofits, that provide medical, behavioral health and developmental disability services. In 2015 John founded Abolish Private Prisons, a tax-exempt Arizona corporation that is dedicated to criminal justice reform, including building a litigation challenge to the constitutionality of prison privatization in the United States. John serves as the executive director of Abolish Private Prisons.


Alex Friedmann

Alex Friedmann serves as associate director of the Human Rights Defense Center and managing editor of HRDC’s long-running monthly publication on criminal justice issues, Prison Legal News ( He is also president of the Private Corrections Institute (, a non-profit citizen watchdog group that opposes the privatization of correctional services, and serves on the advisory board of the Prison Policy Initiative. Alex is an expert on prison privatization and has testified before federal and state legislative committees; authored four book chapters and a law journal article; and spoken extensively at conferences, law schools, a Congressional briefing and other events on issues related to the private prison industry. He served 10 years behind bars, including six years at a privately-operated prison, prior to his release in November 1999.




Marie Gottschalk

Marie Gottschalk is a professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania. She specializes in American politics, with a focus on criminal justice, health policy, and the development of the welfare state, and has been widely quoted in the media on these issues.

She is the author of, among other works, The Prison and the Gallows: The Politics of Mass Incarceration in America, which won the 2007 Ellis W. Hawley Prize from the Organization of American Historians, and The Shadow Welfare State: Labor, Business, and the Politics of Health Care in the United States. Her latest book is Caught: The Prison State and the Lockdown of American Politics, which won the Michael Harrington Award from the American Political Science Association for “an outstanding book that demonstrates how scholarship can be used in the struggle for a better world.”

Professor Gottschalk is a former editor and journalist. She served on the American Academy of Arts and Sciences National Task Force on Mass Incarceration and was a member of the National Academy of Sciences Committee on the Causes and Consequences of High Rates of Incarceration.

Caroline Isaacs

Caroline has worked for the last 15 years advocating for just and effective criminal justice policy in Arizona. She has authored several reports on the poor performance of for-profit incarceration in Arizona, including Private Prisons: The Public’s Problem (2011), which has been cited nationally as the most comprehensive state-based evaluation of prison privatization; Death Yards: Continuing Problems with Arizona’s Correctional Health Care (2013), and The Treatment Industrial Complex: How For-Profit Prison Corporations are Undermining Efforts to Treat and Rehabilitate Prisoners for Corporate Gain (2014). Her work has been featured in The New York Times,, Dan Rather Reports, In These Times, Al Jazeera America, The Huffington Post, and numerous state and local media outlets.






Yvonne Lindgren

Yvonne Lindgren will be a Visiting Assistant Professor of Law at University of San Francisco School of Law beginning fall 2017. She earned her JSD from U.C. Berkeley School of Law and her J.D. from Hastings College of the Law. Previously she served as a post-doctoral Legal Fellow at the Center on Reproductive Rights and Justice at UC Berkeley School of Law. She served as co-executive editor on the casebook, Cases on Reproductive Rights and Justice, co-authored by Melissa Murray and Kristin Luker. Her scholarship in reproductive rights, health law policy, and constitutional law has appeared in Utah Law Review, Hastings Law JournalHastings Constitutional Law Quarterly, American University Journal of Gender, Social Policy & Law, The Women’s Rights Law Reporter, and Domestic Violence Reporter. Her most recent article is forthcoming in Constitutional Commentary.



 Rashad Shabazz

Professor Rashad Shabazz’s academic expertise brings together human geography, Black cultural studies, gender studies, and critical prison studies. His research explores how race, sexuality and gender are informed by geography. His most recent work (Spatializing Blackness, University of Illinois Press, 2015) examines how carceral power within the geographies of Black Chicagoans shaped urban planning, housing policy, policing practices, gang formation, high incarceration rates, masculinity and health. Shabazz’s scholarship has appeared in Souls, The Spatial-Justice Journal, ACME, Gender, Place and Culture and Occasions and he has also published several book chapters and book reviews.  He is currently working on two projects: the first examines how Black people use public spaces to negotiate and perform race, gender and sexual identity as well as to express political or cultural identity. The second project uncovers the role Black musicians in Minneapolis played in giving rise to “the Minneapolis sound”.



Donald Tibbs

Donald Tibbs’ expertise focuses on the overlapping issues of race, law, civil rights and criminal procedure.

Professor Tibbs came to the law school from Southern University Law Center, where he was an assistant professor of law and director of the Institute for Civil Rights and Justice. Previously, he was a lecturer in the Department of Criminal Justice at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, in the School of Justice Studies and the Department of African American Studies at Arizona State University and in the Department of Criminal Justice at Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte.

Tibbs is the co-author of “Hip Hop and the Law,” a compilation of essays published in 2015 that complement a course and lecture series he developed in 2012.  The author of “From Black Power to Prison Power: The Making of Jones v. North Carolina Prisoners’ Labor Union,” (Palgrave MacMillan 2012), his publications also include “The Jena Six and Black Punishment: Law and Raw Life in the Domain of Non-Existence,” in the Seattle Journal for Social Justice, “Peeking Behind the Iron Curtain: How Law ‘Works’ Behind Prison Walls,” in the Southern California Interdisciplinary Law Journal and “Who Killed Oscar Grant?: A Legal Eulogy of the Cultural Logic of Black Hyper-Policing in the Post-Civil Rights Era” in the Southern University Journal of Race, Gender and Poverty.

Professor Tibbs received his JD from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, where he was a semi-finalist in the Frederick Douglas Moot Court Competition. He received the Sheila S. Skipper Award for outstanding graduate work while pursuing his Ph.D. in Law and the Social Sciences at Arizona State University.

After receiving his JD, he practiced with the Law Offices of Pamela A. Hunter & Associates in Charlotte.

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