Reframing Policing and Criminal Justice


To celebrate Memorial Day and Veterans Day this year, let’s amplify the voices of veterans who speak truth to power and shed light on the breadth of the American experience. These renowned speakers utilize storytelling, journalistic acumen, and profound leadership to share powerful lessons about bridging the divides in our society.

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Jarrett Adams

Defense lawyer and author of Redeeming Justice

Jarrett Adams is a criminal and civil rights attorney who saw first-hand the failures of the justice system, especially for people of color. At the age of 17, he was convicted of a crime he did not commit and was sentenced to 28 years in maximum security. While incarcerated, Adams studied the legal system that wronged him and how his constitutional rights were violated. In 2007, after serving nearly 10 years and filing multiple appeals, Adams was exonerated with the assistance of the Wisconsin Innocence Project. Adams pursued a career in law to advocate for the wrongful convicted and undeserved. With his powerful story of hope, he is a sought-after motivational speaker who shares his moving story, advocates for criminal justice reform, and reminds audiences about the power of faith and hope.

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Ian Manuel

Advocate for criminal justice reform, poet, and motivational speaker

At age 13, Ian Manuel was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for attempted murder after his participation in a botched robbery. Incarcerated as a teenager, Manuel served 26 years in prison—18 of which were in solitary confinement—until Bryan Stevenson’s Equal Justice Initiative secured his release in 2016. In his new memoir, My Time Will Come, as well as his moving talks, Manuel shares his experiences under the harrowing circumstances of incarceration and solitary, and tells the story of how he managed—through his faith and poetry—to endure them and survive. A fierce advocate for criminal justice reform and improved services for incarcerated individuals, he encourages audiences to lead with empathy and rethink what justice and redemption really mean.

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Brittany K. Barnett

Award-winning attorney, entrepreneur, and author of A Knock at Midnight

Brittany K. Barnett is an award-winning attorney and entrepreneur. Renowned for working on Alice Marie Johnson’s legal team in a case that brought Kim Kardashian West to the White House, Barnett has devoted her career to transforming the flawed American criminal justice system and our understanding of incarceration. Her memoir, A Knock at Midnight: A Story of Hope, Justice, and Freedom, is an Amazon Editor’s pick and is nominated for an NAACP Image Award. The moving book takes readers through Barnett’s beginnings as a law student, to her encounter with a criminal drug case that changed the trajectory of her career. In illuminating talks, Barnett sheds valuable light on our prison systems from the perspective of her multiple roles as a lawyer, a non-profit founder, and an entrepreneur.

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Shaka Senghor

Author of Letters to the Sons of Society and Writing My Wrongs and leading voice on criminal justice reform

A nationally-recognized advocate for prison reform, Shaka Senghor is the author of the bestselling Writing My Wrongs and the founder and president of #BeyondPrisons. Drawing on his 19 years in prison, including seven in solitary confinement, Senghor speaks to the human impact of mass incarceration and makes clear that people are more than their worst mistakes. As a speaker, Senghor connects with audiences ranging from at-risk youth to communities eager to protect and uplift their most vulnerable members.

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Rosa Brooks

American law professor and author of Tangled Up in Blue