"We Are All Criminals" Founder Emily Baxter Kicks Off 2019 Statewide Conference

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As we enter the long-awaited summer months, State Support staff are working behind the scenes to prepare for this fall’s Legal Services Statewide Conference: Addressing Disparity: A Way Forward. The conference will be held Wednesday, October 23 to Friday, October 25, 2019 at Arrowwood Resort and Conference Center in Alexandria, MN. Conference participants will learn about the effects of racial, economic and other disparities on our clients and ourselves and how to address them in our professional and personal lives.

The conference will kick-off on Wednesday evening, October 23, with special guest Emily Baxter, founder and executive director of We Are All Criminals (WAAC), a non-profit organization and storytelling project about privilege and dignity, helping us think about criminality with more nuance, going beyond just good guys and bad guys by challenging perceptions of what it means to be “criminal.”

Before founding WAAC , Emily served as the director of public policy at the Council on Crime and Justice and as an assistant public defender at the Regional Native Public Defense Corporation representing members of the Leech Lake and White Earth Bands of Ojibwe charged with crimes in Minnesota State court. Emily is a former fellow at the University of Minnesota Law School where she began developing WAAC through an Archibald Bush Leadership Fellowship in 2012. She now lives in Durham, NC.

Emily’s kick-off session will be a conversation about crime, privilege, punishment, and second chances. One in four people in the US has a criminal record; four in four have a criminal history. Through stories, statutes, and statistics, we’ll examine the disparate impact of the criminal and juvenile justice systems on people of color and poor people across the country. The presentation will include first-person narratives and photographs. Read more at We Are All Criminals.

Save the Dates for the Legal Services Statewide Conference!

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Legal Services State Support is pleased to announce that plans are underway for the 2019 Legal Services Statewide Conference: Addressing Disparity: A Way Forward. The conference will be held at Arrowwood Resort and Conference Center in Alexandria, MN from Wednesday, October 23 to Friday, October 25, 2019. Conference participants will learn about the effects of racial, economic and other disparities on our clients and ourselves, and how to address them in our professional and personal lives. Sessions and practice groups will be available across a range of poverty law topics, along with standard, ethics and elimination of bias CLE credit.

Stay tuned to State Support’s blog for a monthly peek at our special guests and session details, as well as a full conference schedule later this summer.

Registration Commences for October Statewide Conference!

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State Support is excited to announce that registration opens today for the 2017 Legal Services Statewide Conference: Connecting With Our Community.  The conference will be held at Arrowwood Resort and Conference Center in Alexandria, MN from Wednesday, October 25 to Friday, October 27, 2017.  Conference-goers can expect to learn more about innovative service delivery models, how to better serve our diverse client populations, and how effective self-care translates into more sustainable and effective advocacy. Attendees can earn up to 13.75 hours of Minnesota CLE credit, including standard, elimination of bias, and ethics credits.

Zoua Vang, storyteller, strategist, and advocate, will officially kick off the conference with a special keynote presentation, "Our Community, Our Stories," on Wednesday evening, October 25. Vang's personal story inspires and profoundly illustrates why what we do matters. As a professional advocate, she will help us understand how to share and celebrate the work we do on behalf of clients every day.

On Thursday morning, October 26, the community will come together for a conversation between the two newest associate justices on the Minnesota Supreme Court. Justices Margaret Chutich and Anne McKeig will discuss their backgrounds and respective journeys to the bench, and share some reflections about their first years on the Minnesota Supreme Court. The conversation will include their thoughts on access to justice issues and legal aid's role in Minnesota's civil justice system and the delivery of legal services.

A highlight of this year's offerings will certainly be a one-of-a-kind interactive session led by The Theater of Public Policy (T2P2). Described by the Star Tribune as "CSPAN being swarmed by the cast of SNL," The Theater of Public Policy explores big ideas using improv comedy.

To register for the conference, and find out more about breakout sessions, speakers, and social activities, visit our conference page and click on the Register tab. Then, just select your participant type. Please encourage your colleagues to register - in 2015 the conference attracted over 200 attendees!  See you at Arrowwood!