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2021 Race Matters Seminar

Swissotel Chicago, Chicago, IL - 14 Credits

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

NACDL's 4th Annual Seminar "Race Matters IV" will be held on September 1-3, 2021 at Swissotel Chicago Hotel in Chicago, IL.

Race Matters in our criminal legal system. It affects what happens from initial contact with police on the street to the end of the case and everything in between. As part of being effective advocates for our clients, criminal defense lawyers face the challenge of confronting the difficult issues presented by race in America. This 4th Annual event is designed to help practitioners identify and confront issues of Racial Bias in our courts, the law enforcement community, by prosecutors, and yes, even the defense team. Attendees will hear from a variety of trial lawyers, academics, and experts who will offer their personal perspectives, strategies, and ideas on why Race Matters. Participants will leave with both a greater understanding of the issues and innovative tools to apply this knowledge. This seminar has been created to intentionally challenge you to push the envelope on your understanding of and willingness to attack racial bias in the criminal legal system.


The program agenda and faculty are subject to change.

Wednesday, September 1, 2021
3:30 pm Early Registration & Exhibit Hall Open
Thursday, September 2, 2021
7:15 am Registration & Exhibits & Continental Breakfast
8:05 am Opening Remarks – NACDL President Martin Sabelli (San Francisco, CA)  
8:15 am Welcoming Remarks – Program Co-Chairs, Ana Paula Funes-Baker (Houston, TX), Todd Pugh (Chicago, IL), Tony Thedford (Chicago, IL), and Nan Whitfield (Boston, MA)
8:25 am Implicit Bias: Trial Strategies – Hon. Judge Sophia Atcherson (Chicago, IL), Tony Thedford (Chicago, IL), and Nan Whitfield (Boston, MA)
9:25 am An American Summer: Making Sense of Violence in Our Cities, Both Interpersonal and by the Police, Through Storytelling – Alex Kotlowitz (Chicago, IL)
10:25 am Networking & Refreshment Break
10:45 am Framing Your Questions to Identify Implicit or Political Bias – Robert Hirschhorn (Highland Village, TX)
11:45 am Memory: Cross Racial Identification – Iris Blandón-Gitlin, Ph.D. (Fullerton, CA)
12:45 pm Lunch break on your own
2:15 pm Batson Challenges – Lisa Wayne (Denver, CO)
3:15 pm Community Organizing & the Movement to End Money Bail – Sharlyn Grace (Chicago, IL)
4:15 pm Exhibits, Networking & Refreshment Break
4:30 pm Does the Race of the Lawyer Matter? 
MODERATOR: Nan Whitfield (Boston, MA);
PANELISTS: Ana Funes-Baker (Houston, TX), Mona Igram (Lowell, MA), Kristina Yi (Chicago, IL), and Carol Ojo (Los Angeles, CA)
5:30 pm Adjourn for the day
Friday, September 3, 2021
7:15 am Registration, Exhibits & Continental Breakfast
8:15 am Morning Announcements – CLE Program Chairs
8:25 am Race & Policing  – Ronald S. Sullivan, Jr. (Cambridge, MA) and Cariol Horne (Buffalo, NY)
9:25 am Race and the Trial Penalty  – Martin Sabelli (San Francisco, CA)
10:25 am Networking & Refreshment Break
10:45 am Muslim Bias in Terrorism Cases – Thomas Anthony Durkin (Chicago, IL)
11:45 am Race, Mitigation & Federal Sentencing – Christina Farley-Jackson (Chicago, IL) 
12:45 pm Lunch break on your own
2:00 pm Modern Changes in 4th and 5th Amendment Litigation: Do BodyCams Help? – Todd Pugh (Chicago, IL)
3:00 pm Why Race Matters in Trauma & Mental Health: Educating Jurors, Judges & Prosecutors – Dr. Orson Morrison, Psy.D. (Chicago, IL) 
4:00 pm Networking & Refreshment Break
4:15 pm Making Money: Diversity = Green  Building a Diverse Law Firm  Victor Henderson (Chicago, IL)
5:15 pm Seminar Adjourns


CLE Information

NACDL is an accredited provider of CLE in all states requiring mandatory CLE Training. NACDL will apply for at least 14 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, and UT require additional fees by the attendee in order to receive credit.


Swissotel Chicago 
323 E. Wacker Drive
Chicago, IL 60601

Phone Reservations: 1-888-73-swiss or (888-737-9477)
Online Reservations:
Group Rate: $125 + tax (Expires Wednesday, August 11, 2021).
Rooms/discounted group rates are not guaranteed if the block has been filled prior to the cut-off date. Please mention group code 0921NACD_003 or "NACDL 2021 room block" to receive applicable discount rate. 

Questions? Contact Director of Events Akvile Athanason at or call (202) 872-8600 x630.

Sponsorship and Exhibits

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:

Exclusive PLATINUM, Gold, Silver, and Bronze Sponsors:

still available...

Agenda Boards Sponsor:

still available...

Tote Bag Sponsor:

Lanyards Sponsor:

still available...


CaseFile Connect


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 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 August 8, 2021.



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
Regular, Life, and Sustaining Members $299
Associate, Professor, "New Lawyer" and International Members $279
Non Members (includes 1 year membership)  $628
ALL Public Defenders $199
ALL Illinois Lawyers (Residents Only) $199
ALL Regional Lawyers (IA, IN, KY, MI, MN, MO, WI) $209
Law Student $75
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
Written Materials Only $150
Audio Recording of Seminar (Non-Attendee) $150
Pre-Order Video DVD Recording of Seminar $299

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.

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