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NFCJ Gala 2021

The NACDL Foundation for Criminal Justice (NFCJ), NACDL's 501(c)(3) charity arm, is holding its annual gala - and we are going live and in-person!

So dust off your party gear -
Get ready to have some fun -;
And help raise money for a very important cause!

The Evening of October 7, 2021
Washington, DC.

Mark your calendars now.

During the event, NACDL and the NFCJ will honor Nkechi Taifa, criminal justice advocate and Principal and CEO of The Taifa Group LLC, with the Champion of Justice – Legal Award.

In addition, NACDL and the NFCJ will present National Justice Correspondent for National Public Radio Carrie Johnson with the Champion of Justice - Journalism Award.

Included in the evening's activities will be a special presentation by the NFCJ to Norman L. Reimer, NACDL and NFCJ Executive Director for the past 15 years as he passes the torch on to a new executive director.

Champion of Justice Awards are bestowed upon those individuals who -- through legislative, journalistic or humanitarian pursuits -- have staunchly preserved or defended the constitutional rights of individuals in the United States and have endeavored to ensure justice and due process for persons accused of crime.

For more information on our honorrees, see below.

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About our honorees

Nkechi Taifa

Nkechi Taifa Nkechi Taifa is an attorney, activist, academician and author. A passionate and visionary professional, she enjoys decades of experience as an accomplished justice system reform strategist and advocate. Taifa excels at advancing creative, cutting edge approaches that encourage out-of-the-box thinking and action. The wealth of her experiences has allowed her to pursue justice from different vantage points – as a litigator, lobbyist, academician, advocate, policy analyst, community activist, convener, and grant-maker.

Nkechi is President and CEO of The Taifa Group LLC. She convenes the Justice Roundtable Coalition, and serves as Senior Fellow for the Center of Justice at Columbia University. Over her career Taifa has worked for the Open Society Foundations, ACLU, Women’s Legal Defense Fund, Howard University School of Law, National Prison Project and Washington Office on Africa. She has taught popular seminars on Law, Race and Justice and has litigated high-profile civil and criminal cases as a private practitioner in DC and federal court.

Taifa served as Commissioner and Chair of the District of Columba Commission on Human Rights and currently serves on the governing board of the Corrections Information Council and the National African American Reparations Commission. She has testified before the U.S. Congress, the United States Sentencing Commission, the Council of the District of Columbia, the American Bar Association Justice Kennedy Commission, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the U.S. Helsinki Commission.

Nkechi Taifa’s primary area of focus is justice, including sentencing, policing, prisons, voting, reentry, clemency, racial justice, political prisoners and reparations. She is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including Essence Magazine’s 2019 WOKE 100 Black Women Advocating for Change; the Wiley Branton Award from both the National Bar Association and Washington Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights; Washington Council of Lawyer’s President’s Award; Equal Justice Award from the UDC School of Law; and numerous awards and honors from Howard University School of Law.

A native Washington, Taifa received her B.A. from Howard University and J.D. from George Washington Law School. She is the author of a best-seller memoir, Black Power, Black Lawyer: My Audacious Quest for Justice, as well as several children’s books. Authentic and unapologetic, Nkechi Taifa is a captivating motivational speaker who has mesmerized diverse audiences across the country with her high energy and creative style.

Carrie Johnson

Since 2000, Carrie Johnson has covered a wide variety of stories about justice issues, law enforcement, and legal affairs for NPR's flagship programs Morning Edition and All Things Considered. Earlier in her career, she worked at The Washington Post and Legal Times.

Her work has been honored with awards from the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, the Society for Professional Journalists, SABEW, and the National Juvenile Defender Center. She has been a finalist for the Loeb Award for financial journalism and for the Pulitzer Prize in breaking news for team coverage of the massacre at Fort Hood, Texas. Johnson served as a fellow at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University in 2019-2020.

Norman Reimer

Norman L. Reimer is Senior Policy Consultant at the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL). Prior to serving in this role, he was the Association's Executive Director from 2006 until July of 2021. NACDL is the preeminent organization in the United States advancing the mission of the nation’s criminal defense bar to ensure justice and due process for all and to advocate for rational and humane criminal justice policies. As executive director, Norman Reimer led a professional staff based in Washington, D.C. serving NACDL’s approximately 9,000 direct members and 90 local, state and international affiliate organizations with up to 40,000 members.  Through Norman’s vision and leadership, NACDL and the NACDL Foundation for Criminal Justice saw an unprecedented period of expansion, including fundraising, resulting in more than doubling the size of staff and the annual budget, thus enabling the organization to launch numerous reform initiatives.

Prior to assuming this position Norman Reimer practiced law for 28 years, most recently at Gould Reimer Walsh Goffin Cohn LLP. A criminal defense lawyer throughout his career, with expertise in trial and appellate advocacy in both state and federal jurisdictions, Mr. Reimer is also a recognized leader of the organized bar, and a spokesperson on behalf of reform of the legal system.

About NFCJ

The Annual Gala supports the NACDL Foundation for Criminal Justice which preserves and promotes the core values of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the American criminal legal system.

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