By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – On Monday, February 18, criminal justice expert Bryan Stevenson will discuss “Complex Dialogues” in the Garvey Center Main Auditorium , 2501 E. Memorial Road, on the Oklahoma Christian University campus in Edmond. Doors open at 5 p.m. The lecture will begin at 6 p.m.
Stevenson, author of Just Mercy, is the founder and Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) in Montgomery, Alabama. A widely acclaimed public interest lawyer, Stevenson has dedicated his career to helping the poor, the incarcerated and the condemned.
A Professor of Law at the New York University School of Law, Stevenson has led EJI to win numerous major legal challenges.
Tickets are complimentary, but are required. The event in the Main Auditorium is sold out, but overflow seating is available in the Judd Theatre, where the event will be live-streamed. Overflow tickets are available online by clicking here.
A series of Complex Dialogues Panel Discussions will take place from 1 – 4:30 pm. Monday afternoon beginning in the Garvey Center Main Auditorium.
At 1 p.m., Dr. Sid Brown, Oklahoma County Criminal Justice Director will welcome the audience, followed by speaker Ryan Gentzler, Policy Analyst, from the Oklahoma Policy Institute. His topic will be, “Open Justice Oklahoma: Using Data to Understand Oklahoma’s Criminal Justice System.”
A discussion on “What the Criminal Justice System Could Learn From Universities” will be moderated by Jim Roth, Dean of the Oklahoma City University School of Law. Panelists will include: Dr. John Clark III, Criminal Justice Professor, Northeastern Oklahoma State University; Dr. Rashi Shukla, Professor, University of Central Oklahoma School of Criminal Justice; Maria Kolar, Appellate Attorney, Homicide Direct Appeals Division, Oklahoma Indigent Defense System; and Stephen Galoob, Associate Professor at the University of Tulsa.
At 2 p.m., “Challenges & Opportunities for Oklahoma’s Criminal Justice System” will be moderated by Steven Buck, Executive Director, Oklahoma Office of Juvenile Affairs. Panelists for the discussion include: The Honorable Timothy Henderson, District Judge; Robert Ravitz, Chief Public Defender, Oklahoma County; Representative Jason Lowe, Oklahoma House of Representatives; Aisha McWeay, Executive Director, Still She Rises Tulsa; and Gayland Gieger, Assistant District Attorney, Oklahoma County.
Ryan Kiesel, Executive Director, ACLU of Oklahoma will share his views at 2:40 p.m. on “Criminal Justice Reform: What’s Next?” At 3 p.m. the audience will hear from crime victim advocate, Christy Sheppard, LPC.
At 3:10 p.m., there will be a discussion on, “113 Million People: The Devastating Impact of Incarceration on Families.” Speakers will include Amy Santee, Senior Program Officer at the George Kaiser Family Foundation and Felicity Rose, Director of Research and Policy for Criminal Justice Reform, FWD.us.
A panel discussion will follow moderated by Mimi Tarrasch, Women in Recovery Program Director. Panelists include: Tara Kuhn, Paries Cannnady, and Jimmy Johnson.
At 4:05 p.m. Oklahoma State Senator George Young, (D-Oklahoma City) will introduce a discussion titled, “Number 1 is Dead Last: Oklahoma’s Plan for Criminal Justice Reform.” Also speaking will be Kris Steele, Chairman and Executive Director, Oklahomans for Criminal Justice Reform and Felicity Rose.
At 4:30 p.m. there will be a half hour break.
Doors will reopen at 5 p.m. for general seating for the public lecture by Bryan Stevenson, which will begin at 6 p.m. Following the lecture, at 7:15 p.m. Stevenson will sign his book, “Just Mercy.”
This community forum is the Oklahoma Christian University’s second statewide convening of leaders for a discussion of the state’s criminal justice system and its needs for reform.