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2023 Race Matters Seminar

Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza, Cincinnati, OH - 12 General Credits

Agenda Faculty CLE Hotel Exhibitor/Sponsor Scholarships Pricing Register Online Register by PDF Materials

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Race Matters in our criminal legal system.

As part of being effective advocates for our clients, criminal defense practitioners face the challenge of confronting the difficult issues presented by race in America, and its court system. Race affects what happens in every criminal case, beginning with the initial police encounter on the street and the media attention, to pre-trial litigation, and throughout a trial. 

NACDL invites you to experience this powerful and illuminating annual event, which originated in Detroit in 2017, before traveling to Los Angeles, Charleston (Virtual), Chicago, and Montgomery.  This year’s seminar will be hosted in Cincinnati, OH, "The Queen City,” at the iconic Netherland Plaza Hotel. 

This program was created to intentionally challenge you to push the envelope on your understanding of and willingness to attack racial bias in the criminal legal system. It is designed to help criminal practitioners identify and confront issues of racial bias in our courts, in the media, within the law enforcement community, by prosecutors, and yes, even within the defense team. Attendees will hear from a variety of trial lawyers, top academics, civil rights lawyers and activists, and experts who will offer their personal perspectives, relevant data, strategies, and ideas on why race matters in every criminal case.

We hope you will join us to learn and enhance your ability to achieve new successes for your clients.


Directly across the Ohio River from Kentucky, Cincinnati has struggled with issues surrounding race for two centuries. Cincinnati stood as a welcoming point and beacon of hope for slaves fleeing the south on “The Underground Railroad” as the river served as a major line between enslavement and freedom, making it a pivotal landmark. Cincinnati also played a major role in abolition, and these efforts are commemorated at monuments and museums throughout the city, such as the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center and the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center.

Activities and Sites: 
While attending the conference, there will be ample time and opportunity to visit museums, historic sites, patronize BIPOC owned businesses, and enjoy the architecture and amenities that abound.

Notable Historic Sites: 
•    National Underground Railroad Freedom Center [Get Tickets]
•    Harriet Beecher Stow House [Get Tickets]
•    Allen Temple AME Church 
•    Black Brigade Monument 
•    Taft Museum 
•    United American Cemetery 
•    Union Baptist Cemetery 
•    Wright House Bed and Breakfast

Recreation & Activities: 
•    Cincinnati Reds vs. New York Mets - May 10-12 [Get Tickets]
•    Cincinnati Zoo  
•    Skyline Chili 
•    Cincinnati Contemporary Art Center 
•    Great American Ballpark 
•    Paycor Stadium 
•    The Banks 
•    American Sign Museum 
•    Smale Riverfront Park


The program agenda and faculty are subject to change.

Wednesday, May 10, 2023
3:30 pm Early Registration & Exhibit Hall Open
3:30 pm Group Gathering / Excursion Opportunity - Join up with old and new friends and take a trip to the nearby National Underground Railroad Museum and Freedom Center, or, attand a Cincinnati Reds Baseball game against the visiting New York Mets. Learn more or get tickets [here] 
Thursday, May 11, 2023
7:00 am Registration, Exhibits & Continental Breakfast
8:00 am Opening Remarks – NACDL President Nellie King (West Palm Beach, FL)  
8:15 am Welcoming Remarks – Program Co-Chairs, Ana Paula Funes-Baker (Houston, TX), Alice Fontier (New York, NY), William Gallagher (Cincinnati, OH), Todd Pugh (Chicago, IL), Ryan Ragland (Cincinnati, OH), Juval Scott (Charlottesville, VA), and Tony Thedford (Chicago, IL)
8:25 am Where We’re At: Collaborative Agreement 2002-2022 – Alphonse (Al) Gerhardstein (Cincinnati, OH) and Iris Roley (Cincinnati, OH)
9:25 am Policing as Trauma: Litigating Race, Stereotype Threat and the Traumatic Effects of Policing in Communities of Color – Kristin Nicole Henning (Washington, DC)
10:25 am Networking & Refreshment Break
10:45 am Race-Based Trauma: Attorney Facing – Lisa M. Wayne (Washington, DC)
11:45 am Race-Based Trauma: Client Facing – Lori James-Townes (Stoney Beach, MD)
12:45 pm Lunch break on your own
2:15 pm Bolstering Equal Protection Claims with Data: Best Practices and Caveats – Prof. Catherine M. Grosso (East Lansing, MI) and Prof. Barbara O'Brien (East Lansing, MI)
3:15 pm Ensuring the Traffic Stop, or Stop of the Person was Proper – Alec Fitzgerald Hall (Tampa, FL)
4:15 pm Adjourn for the day
6:00 pm

Group Networking Event at Findlay Market, 1801 Race Street, Cincinnati, OH

Join old friends and meet new ones at a networking reception featuring artwork from black artists.

Co-Sponsored by our friends at:

Friday, May 12, 2023
7:00 am Registration, Exhibits & Continental Breakfast
8:00 am Morning Announcements – Program Co-Chairs, Ana Paula Funes-Baker (Houston, TX), Alice Fontier (New York, NY), William Gallagher (Cincinnati, OH), Todd Pugh (Chicago, IL), Ryan Ragland (Cincinnati, OH), Juval Scott (Charlottesville, VA), and Tony Thedford (Chicago, IL)
8:10 am Overcoming the Presumption of Guilt – Eric Davis (Houston, TX) 
9:10 am Beyond Guilt – David Singleton (Cincinnati, OH) 
10:10 am Exhibits, Networking & Refreshment Break
10:30 am Body Mapping: A Method for Contextualizing Racial Issues in Mitigation – Dr. Julie Urbanik (Kansas City, MO) 
11:30 am Operation Lonestar – Amrutha N. Jindal (Lubbock, TX)
12:30 pm Lunch break on your own
2:00 pm Repeat Offender Claims: Bail & Detention Reform – Alice Fontier (New York, NY)
3:00 pm Oppressing the Oppressed:  The Impact of Race on Pregnancy and Reproductive Health Prosecutions Post-Dobbs – C. Melissa “Missy” Owen (Charlotte, NC)
4:00 pm Seminar Adjourns until 2024
4:00 pm Group Gathering / Excursion Opportunity - Join up with old and new friends and take a trip to the nearby National Underground Railroad Museum and Freedom Center.


Eric Davis (Houston, TX) *NACDL MEMBER
Alice Fontier (New York, NY) *NACDL MEMBER
Alphonse (Al) Gerhardstein (Cincinnati, OH)
Prof. Catherine M. Grosso (East Lansing, MI)
Alec Fitzgerald Hall (Tampa, FL)
Kristin Nicole Henning (Washington, DC)
Lori James-Townes (Stoney Beach, MD)
Amrutha N. Jindal (Lubbock, TX)
Prof. Barbara O'Brien (East Lansing, MI)
C. Melissa “Missy” Owen (Charlotte, NC) *NACDL MEMBER
Iris Roley (Cincinnati, OH)
David Singleton (Cincinnati, OH)
Dr. Julie Urbanik (Kansas City, MO)
Lisa M. Wayne (Washington, DC) *NACDL MEMBER

CLE Information

NACDL is an accredited provider of CLE in all states requiring mandatory CLE Training. NACDL will apply for at least 12.00 credit hours in every state requiring pre-approval. Approved hours for each state will be identified at the seminar. Some states, IL, GA, NC, NE, NM, PA, TN and UT require additional fees by the attendee in order to receive credit.


Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza
35 W 5th Street
Cincinnati, OH 45202

Phone Reservations: 1-800-Hiltons (1-800-445-8667) or 1-888-750-9224
Online Reservations: 2023 NACDL Race Matters Hotel Reservations
Group Rate: $170 + tax (Expires April 19, 2023). Please mention "NACDL" to receive applicable discount rate. 
Rooms/discounted group rates are not guaranteed if the block has been filled prior to the cut-off date. 

A limited number of rooms at government per diem rate are currently available for NACDL Public Defender Members. For more information, please contact Director of Events Akvile Athanason at

Sponsorship and Exhibits

Disclaimer: NACDL does not necessarily endorse or guarantee the quality, applicability, or discounts of the products and/or services of its exhibitors. Users of these products and/or services do so at their sole discretion and NACDL assumes no responsibility for them.

For information on exhibiting or sponsorships, please contact NACDL's Sales and Marketing Manager Jason Petty at or call (202) 465-7637.

Sponsor/Exhibit Prospectus

NACDL would like to thank the following sponsors, exhibitors, and affinity partners for their support and contributions:


still available...

GOLD Sponsor:

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SILVER Sponsor:

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BRONZE Sponsor:

still available..

Event Sponsors:

Wi-Fi Sponsor:

still available...

Seminar Materials Sponsor:

still available...

Lanyards Sponsor:

still available...

Tote Bag Sponsor:


CaseFile Connect
Cincinnati Bar Association


NACDL offers a variety of scholarships for this event ranging from partially discounted to fully funded. Each type of scholarship has different application requirements. To apply for any of the following scholarships, please follow the instructions for that specific scholarship.

OPTION 1: Needs Based Scholarships

Based on need, scholarships are available to NACDL members for up to 50% off the standard seminar fee of $299. Approved recipients are responsible for the remainder of the tuition fee, which is $150 (all other expenses are not included). The reduced scholarship fee includes seminar tuition, admission to all evening social events, and downloadable seminar materials. Travel, hotel, and other costs are not included.

To Apply: Prepare and e-mail or fax a letter of no more than two pages explaining the reason why you believe you should receive the grant to: NACDL Director of Events Akvile Athanason, at
All applications must be submitted before registering for the seminar and received by April 12, 2023.


OPTION 2: Public Defense Scholarships

As a result of generous grant funding, NACDL is able to offer scholarship assistance to public defense providers to attend this NACDL training program. Scholarships will be awarded in the form of full or partial reimbursement of the registration costs of the program. Limited travel reimbursement stipends may also be awarded to qualifying individuals to help defray the costs of travel and lodging.
Completed public defense scholarship applications should be emailed to: 

Apply for a Public Defense Scholarship  


Register Online Register by PDF Materials

Members of NACDL enjoy exclusive registration rates for our seminars along with all the benefits from joining.

Registration Fees
NACDL MEMBERS: Regular, Life, and Sustaining Members $299
NACDL MEMBERS: Associate, Professor, "New Lawyer" and International Members $279
Non Members (includes 1 year membership)  $458
ALL Public Defenders $199
ALL Ohio and Kentucky Lawyers (Residents Only) $219
ALL Regional Lawyers (IN, MI, PA, WV) $249
Groups of 4 or more PDs (must register at the same time; 1 payment; no changes or cancellations allowed). To register a group, please visit: $179
Non-Attendee Materials / Recordings
Non-Attendee Written Materials $150
Non-Attendee  Audio CD $299
Non-Attendee Written Materials and Audio CD $299
Attendee Audio CD $150
Video DVD (Pre-Sale) $299

CANCELLATIONS: There is a $75 cancellation fee. Cancellations must be received in writing via e-mail by 5:30 pm E.T. Friday, May 5, 2023, to receive a refund, less the cancellation fee. No refunds can be issued after the cancellation deadline.

Code of Conduct

NACDL endeavors to foster a working, learning, and social environment free of harassment, discrimination, intimidation, and insult. To that end, NACDL has adopted a Code of Conduct for Affiliated Persons that applies to all attendees and participants of any kind at all NACDL sponsored events.

Learn More