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Angela Harris J.D., M.A.

Keynote Speaker
Professor of Law, UC Davis School of Law

Professor Harris teaches at King Hall School of Law at the University of California at Davis. Harris received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree in social science (with a specialization in the sociology of culture) from the University of Chicago, where she also received her J.D. She clerked for Judge Joel M. Flaum on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, and then briefly practiced with the firm of Morrison & Foerster in San Francisco before making her way to Berkeley. At Berkeley Law, Harris taught a variety of courses. Along with her friend Luke Cole, she taught the first seminar on environmental justice at Berkeley Law. At the University at Buffalo, along with Professor Stephanie Phillips, she pioneered a seminar called “Mindfulness and Professional Identity: Becoming a Lawyer While Keeping Your Values Intact.” She is the recipient of the Rutter Award for Distinction in Teaching from Berkeley Law.

Harris is the author of a number of widely reprinted and influential articles and essays in critical legal theory. She is also a prolific co-author of casebooks, including Criminal Law: Cases and Materials, Race and Races: Cases and Materials for a Diverse America, Gender and Law, and Economic Justice. Among other awards for her mentorship of students and junior faculty, she received the 2008 Clyde Ferguson Award from the Minority Section of the Association of American Law Schools. Harris is a frequent and sought-after speaker at workshops and conferences, and she is active in promoting community among critical legal scholars in legal academia and beyond.

Stephen Loffredo J.D.

Professor of Law, CUNY School of Law

Professor Loffredo teaches at CUNY School of Law in New York City. He earned his undergraduate degree from Yale, his J.D. from Harvard Law School, and clerked for the New Jersey Supreme Court before entering practice at the Legal Aid Society in the South Bronx, where he provided neighborhood legal services and conducted test case litigation. He has litigated many path-breaking law reform cases, including actions that secured the right of homeless families in New York to safe and adequate shelter, established the right of single homeless shelter residents to public assistance and Medicaid, and vindicated the statutory entitlement of disabled New Yorkers to federal benefits worth over $100 million annually. He has continued to represent poor people through the Law School's clinical program and as pro bono counsel to the Urban Justice Center. He has written and spoken widely on the constitutional dimensions of economic rights and the role of wealth in a constitutional democracy.

He is co-author of The Rights of the Poor with his wife, Helen Hershkoff, and served as consultant to the late U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone on the constitutional aspects of federal welfare legislation. He teaches in the areas of constitutional law, administrative law, health law, and social welfare law, and has co-directed the Immigrant and Refugee Rights Clinic and the Workfare Advocacy Project Seminar/Economic Justice Clinic, which received the Pro Bono Service Award of the New York State Bar Association in 2002 and the Clinical Legal Education Association's Award for Excellence in 2004.

Kenyon Farrow

Executive Committee Member for Connect 2 Protect New York and CLAGS

Kenyon Farrow has been working as an organizer, communications strategist, and writer on issues at the intersection of HIV/AIDS, prisons, and homophobia. Kenyon is the former Executive Director of Queers for Economic Justice—an organization dedicated to organizing, research, and advocacy for and with low-income and working-class lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities. Prior to becoming ED, Kenyon served as the National Public Education Director, building the visibility of progressive racial and economic justice issues as they pertain to LGBTQ community through coalition-building, public education, and media advocacy. Currently he serves on the Executive Committee of Connect 2 Protect New York, and the Center for Gay & Lesbian Studies (CLAGS). Kenyon is working on a new report on the Tea Party and LGBT Politics with Political Research Associates, as well as working as a book editor with South End Press.

Kenyon was also a Policy Institute Fellow with the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF) doing research, writing, and advocating for new approaches to the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Black gay men in the U.S. While the Director of Communications for CHAMP, Kenyon lead the strategic communications efforts for the Prevention Justice Mobilization, and helped launch Project Unshackle—a network of AIDS activists and prison activists from across the country to work more strategically together at the intersection of mass imprisonment and HIV risk.

In addition to his community work, he is the co-editor of “Letters From Young Activists: Today’s Rebels Speak Out” (Nation Books 2005) and the upcoming “A New Queer Agenda” and Stand Up! The Politics of Racial Uplift (South End Press). His work has appeared in publications such as The Huffington Post,,,, After, Utne Reader, Black Commentator, and in the anthologies, “Spirited: Affirming the Soul of Black Lesbian and Gay Identity” (Red Bone Press 2006) and the new book “Against Equality: Queer Critiques of Gay Marriage (AK Press 2010).”

Kenyon has been a panelist, lecturer and keynote speaker at many conferences and universities including New York University, Columbia University, University of Pennsylvania, University of Wisconsin/Madison, and Hampshire College, University of California/Berkeley, Antioch College, University of Texas at Austin, and Macalester College.

James Gray Pope J.D., Ph.D.

Professor of Law, Rutgers University

Professor Pope received an A.B. and J.D. from Harvard, and a Ph.D. in politics from Princeton. He currently teaches at Rutgers University. From 1974 to 1980, he worked in the metal trades and was an active member of the International Association of Machinists and the Industrial Union of Marine and Shipbuilding Workers. After law school, he clerked for Chief Justice Rose Elizabeth Bird of the California Supreme Court. Prior to joining the Rutgers faculty in 1986, he was associated with the Boston law firm of Segal, Roitman & Coleman, where he represented labor unions and employees.

Professor Pope is a member of the National Lawyers Guild and serves on the Executive Council of the Rutgers AAUP/AFT (AFL-CIO). His articles about workers’ rights, constitutional law, and labor history have appeared in a wide variety of publications including the Columbia Law Review , Law& History Review , the Michigan Law Review , the University of Pennsylvania Law Review , the Texas Law Review , the Yale Law Journal , Labor History , New Labor Forum (with Peter Kellman & Ed Bruno), and Working USA (also with Kellman & Bruno).

Frank Pasquale J.D.

Professor of Law, Seton Hall University

Professor Pasquale joined Seton Hall after practicing law as an attorney at Arnold & Porter LLP, where his work included antitrust and intellectual property litigation. Professor Pasquale's prior experience includes clerking for the Honorable Judge Kermit Lipez of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit and serving as a fellow at the Institute for the Defense of Competition and Protection of Intellectual Property in Lima, Peru.

Professor Pasquale blogs at Concurring Opinions and, and has has guest-blogged at Jurisdynamics. At the Co-Op, his posts focus on methodology in legal scholarship, health law, and IP. The Madisonian blog has a technology focus. Along with Gaia Bernstein and Jim Chen, Pasquale organized a virtual symposium at Law & Technology Theory.

Ronny A. Bell Ph.D.

Professor of Public Health Sciences, Wake Forest University School of Medicine

Dr. Bell is Professor in the Division of Public Health Sciences, Department of Epidemiology and Prevention, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, with training in nutrition and epidemiology.

Dr. Bell’s primary interests are chronic disease prevalence and risk factors, with particular emphasis on ethnic minority populations. He is Director of the Maya Angelou Research Center on Minority Health. Dr. Bell served as the Principal Investigator of the HEARTQUEST project, an NHLBI-funded contract serving as one of six vanguard Enhanced Dissemination and Utilization Centers (EDUCs) nationwide. The project targeted African Americans, Native Americans and whites in Robeson and Columbus counties, North Carolina, to address the tremendous cardiovascular disease burden in these communities. Dr. Bell also serves as the Coordinating Center director for the SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth Study, a multi-center study funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention with support from the NIDDK. The SEARCH study is designed to estimate the population prevalence and incidence of diabetes in youth by type, age, gender and ethnicity, and to develop practical approaches to diabetes classification. Dr. Bell received a minority investigator R03 from the NIDDK to estimate the prevalence of self- reported chronic health behaviors and chronic conditions among Lumbee Indians, and received a minority investigator supplement to the Strong Heart Study to examine dietary factors related to diabetes and insulin resistance in the Strong Heart cohort.

Lisa Pruitt J.D., Ph.D.

Professor of Law, UC Davis School of Law

Professor Pruitt is a Professor at the University of California, Davis School of Law. She received her B.A. in Journalism and J.D. from the University of Arkansas and her Ph.D. from the University of London.

She worked abroad for almost a decade in settings ranging from international organizations to private practice. Pruitt worked with lawyers in more than 30 countries, negotiating cultural conflicts in several arenas. A common theme of her research interests is how law and legal institutions manage and respond to cultural difference and cultural change. Pruitt's recent scholarship is about the intersection of law with rural livelihoods, thus bringing her focus to that which is popularly perceived as quintessentially local. Her work considers a range of ways in which rural places are distinct from what has become the implicit urban norm in legal scholarship. Pruitt reveals, for example, how the economic, spatial, and social features of rural locales profoundly shape the lives of residents, including the junctures at which they encounter the law. Her most recent work considers how rural spatiality inflects dimensions of gender, race, and ethnicity. In it, Pruitt challenges the association of the rural with the local by revealing the ways in which rural lives and rural places are enmeshed with national and global forces including legal ones.

Celia Pistolis J.D.

Assistant Director of Advocacy and Compliance, Legal Aid of North Carolina

Celia is Assistant Director of Advocacy and Compliance with Legal Aid of North Carolina, Inc, a statewide non-profit law firm providing free legal services to low income persons. She is a member of the NC Bar Association, the NC Advocates for Justice and the NC Association of Women Attorneys. Currently, Celia serves as an advisory member of the NC State Bar's Authorized Practice Committee and has done so for more than seven years. In 2001, the NC Bar Association recognized her as the Outstanding Legal Services Attorney of the Year. She has provided training and written on various consumer law topics, including debtor exemptions and consumer finance company loans. She is a double Tar Heel, having received a BA with Honors in Classics and her JD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Fran Ansley J.D, L.L.M.

Professor Emeritus, University of Tennessee, Knoxville College of Law

Professor Ansley is Professor Emeritus at the University of Tennesee, Knoxville College of Law. Since retiring from teaching in 2007, she has continued both her active scholarship and community engagement, focusing largely on immigrants’ rights and labor rights and the relationship between the two. Professor Ansley's articles have appeared in a number of law reviews, including California, Colorado, Cornell, Georgetown, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee. She co-edited a 2009 book on Latino immigration to the Southeastern United States, and she has contributed chapters to several interdisciplinary books on issues of race, gender, poverty, and workers’ responses to globalization.

Professor Ansley has a special commitment to lawyering for and with organizations that are working to bring about grassroots, bottom-up social change. She has provided pro bono representation, done legal and empirical research, and worked as a community legal educator with a range of such groups throughout her career. Professor Ansley received a 2008 Heroes Award from the Latino Task Force of the Community Economic Development Network of East Tennessee, the 2007 Great Teacher Award from the Society of American Law Teachers, the 2007 Danny Mayfield Champion of Change Award from Community Shares of Tennessee, and she received from the College of Law the 2006 Harold C. Warner Outstanding Teacher Award, the 2003 Carden Award for Outstanding Achievement in Scholarship, the 1994 Marilyn V. Yarbrough Faculty Award for Writing Excellence, and the 2002 and 1993 W. Allen Separk Awards for Superior Achievement in Scholarship.

Susan Marie Dotson-Smith

Assistant Clerk of Court, Buncombe County NC

“Smitty” is the Assistant Clerk of Court for Buncombe County. She is the primary hearing officer for Steve Cogburn, Clerk of Superior Court. Prior to her current position, Ms. Dotson-Smith practiced law in Buncombe County for over fifteen years. Her state court practice concentrated on mediation and on cases and matters before the Clerk. Her federal practice concentrated on bankruptcy law. She received her A.B. from Duke University and her J.D. from Wake Forest School of Law. In 2008 she was honored with the“Outstanding Service Award” by the 28th Judicial District Bar and the “Champion of Justice” recognition by the North Carolina Bar Association Foundation. In September, she received the North Carolina Association of Women Attorneys’ Gwyneth B. Davis Award in honor of her commitment to improving the rights of women under the law and the welfare of women attorneys. She serves on the N.C. Courts Commission, the NCBA 4-ALL Task Force, is active in her church and supports several local non-profits in a variety of ways.

Linda Stout

Founder, Spirit in Action

Linda grew up poor in North Carolina, a thirteenth generation Quaker. Linda’s first job at the age of ten was working in tobacco and after high school, becoming a textile mill worker, and later a secretary where she began to get more involved in work for change. Linda went on to become a community organizer with a keen awareness about the need to speak the language of people who didn’t know ...the language of social change and organizing. Her awareness of her own roots and of the people she wanted to reach let her create along with many others from the community Piedmont Peace Project. Linda was appointed the Public Policy and then Bunting Fellow at Radcliff/Harvard. There she wrote her first book, Bridging the Class Divide: and Other Lessons for Grassroots Organizers, with foreword by Howard Zinn (Beacon Press 1997).

Now, with Spirit in Action, the organization she founded in 2000, Linda follows her passion to make movements for change welcoming to people of all backgrounds working from a place of heart and values. She helps bring people together to build trust so that all voices are heard as part of creating a collective vision for the future. Her newest book, Collective Visioning, was published in 2011 by BK press.

Brian Dingledine

Author, Rolling Thunder and various CrimethInc. publications

Brian Dingledine is an author and community organizer native to Chapel Hill, North Carolina since the 1970s. He writes and edits for Rolling Thunder, a biannual journal covering popular social movements, as well as a wide range of books and other publications from the notorious underground publisher CrimethInc. In addition to organizing on the national level in the anti-globalization and anti-war movements, he has been a key participant in Carrboro's Really Really Free Markets and Occupy Chapel Hill. He has traveled the Americas and Europe speaking on grassroots resistance to capitalism, appearing everywhere from Duke University to the School of Fine Arts in Athens, Greece and the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, but chiefly outside the academy at social centers and union halls.

Martin Saavedra

Professor of Urban Politics, Virginia Tech

Martin Saavedra is a PhD candidate in the ASPECT Program at Virginia Tech, an interdisciplinary program based on social sciences. He holds a Law Degree by the Buenos Aires University, Law School where he taught Jurisprudence and a MA Degree in Political Science, Virginia Tech University. His main research interests include political economy, legal philosophy, gender and race studies. He currently teaches Urban Politics in the Political Science department at Virginia Tech.

Debbie Goldstein

Chief Operating Officer, Center for Responsible Lending

Debbie Goldstein provides day-to-day leadership for all CRL branches, assists the CEO and President in strategic decision-making, coordinates the annual operations plan and budget, and oversees CRL fundraising and Board relations. In 2002, Debbie assisted local organizations and lawmakers in drafting and advocating for legislative remedies to address exorbitant fees on subprime mortgages in New Jersey and played a critical role in negotiating the New Jersey Home Ownership Security Act. She also advised the sponsors of the Massachusetts Predatory Home Loan Practices Act of 2004, and worked with lead organizations in the state of Massachusetts to support enactment of the legislation.

UNC School of Law | Van Hecke-Wettach Hall | 160 Ridge Road, CB #3380 | Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3380 | 919.962.5106
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