Initiatives

Activate Diversity Series - I

Activate Diversity:
Making “Good Trouble” with Your Ballot 

Watch the Recording 

Recorded October 29, 2020

A dynamic panel discussion on the history of voting rights in the United States, with focus on the 14th, 15th and 19th Amendments.

Moderator:

Elizabeth K. Meyers
Elizabeth K. Meyers & Associates
Santa Ana, CA

Speakers:

Lisa L. Atkinson
Law Office of Lisa Atkinson PLLC
Keaau, HI

Katherine Culliton-González
Chair, Civil Rights Section
Co-Chair, 2020 Initiative
Hispanic National Bar Association
Washington, DC

Kenneth L. Lawson
Co-Director, Hawai'i Innocence Project
William S. Richardson School of Law
Honolulu, HI

Desmond Meade
Executive Director, Florida Rights Restoration Coalition
Orlando, FL 

"I will lead and activate diversity by..."

As part of the 2020-2021 GPSolo Diversity Board's Activate Diversity series, we invite you to submit a brief, 30 second video completing the statement "I will lead and activate diversity by..." Please begin the video by stating your name, location, law firm, and area of practice (if applicable).

Videos must be received by January 29, 2021 and will be shown during the final event, Activate Diversity: Lead by Example on February 25, 2021.

Instructions on how to submit your video will be sent after completing this release form.

Lisa L. Atkinson

Law Office of Lisa Atkinson PLLC
Keaau, HI

Lisa L. Atkinson (Northern Cherokee/Osage) maintains an active private law practice while also serving, and having served in various judicial roles for over 40 tribal courts in Washington, Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, California, Utah, Nevada and Massachusetts over the past 19 years. Judge Atkinson served as a public defender, prosecutor, and presenting officer in more than ten (10) tribal courts, and has served as a mentor and trainer for many new tribal court judges. 

Judge Atkinson has served in several leadership and mentor roles within the ABA, including: Chair of the Tribal Courts Council, Secretary, Vice-Chair, and Chair-Elect of the National Conference of Specialized Court Judge, Co Vice-Chair of the GP Solo Diversity Board (having served two terms as Chair), Chair of the Legal Opportunities Scholarship Committee, and member of the Standing Committee on Diversity in the Judiciary. 

Judge Atkinson has presented on topics related to Indian Law at over twenty tribal/state/national/international events, including issues of training and practice in Tribal courts, Domestic Violence, the Indian Child Welfare Act, diversity in the legal profession, cultural appropriation, human trafficking, voting rights, and the Violence Against Women Act. 

Judge Atkinson currently sits on the Tribal Advisory Board for the National Judicial College, and the Grassroots Economic Development Group (in Hawaii). Prior service includes board members on the National American Indian Court Judges’ Association, the Washington State Minority & Justice Commission (a Washington Supreme Court appointment), Northwest Tribal Court Judges’ Association, Northwest Indian Bar Association, a nine-year term on the Board of Directors for the Northwest Justice Project, and a five-year term on the Washington Access to Justice Board (also a Washington Supreme Court appointment).

Judge Atkinson lives on the beautiful Big Island of Hawaii.

Lisa L. Atkinson

Lisa L. Atkinson

Speaker

Resources

Katherine Culliton-González

Chair, Civil Rights Section
Co-Chair, 2020 Initiative
Hispanic National Bar Association
Washington, DC

Email
LinkedIn
Twitter

Katherine Culliton-González is the Chair of the Civil Rights Section of the Hispanic Bar Association, and was the Chair of the Voting Section from 2012-2019. She is also the co-Chair of the President’s 2020 Election Initiative. Among other awards, Katherine graduated as valedictorian of the 1993 law class at American University and was a Fulbright Scholar in Chile. She has led strategic civil and human rights litigation and advocacy strategies, and she is the author of a series of law review articles in Harvard and Berkeley civil and human rights law journals, which have served to advance Latino civil rights. She is moderating this panel in her personal capacity. For identification purposes only: she is the Director of the Office of Civil Rights Evaluation of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, where she has served for three years and led a team in investigating and drafting a series of 12 comprehensive reports on a wide range of civil rights issues. Further information

Katherine Culliton-González

Katherine Culliton-González

Speaker

Hispanic National Bar Association

We are a nonprofit, nonpartisan, national membership organization that represents the interests of Hispanic legal professionals in the United States and its territories. We are also committed to advocacy on issues of importance to the 58 million people of Hispanic heritage living in the U.S. While we are proud of our nearly five decades of accomplishments, we are mindful that our mission is as vital today as it was the day of our founding in 1972.

Kenneth L. Lawson

Co-Director, Hawai'i Innocence Project
William S. Richardson School of Law
Honolulu, HI

Email
Twitter

Ken started his legal career as an associate in one of Ohio’s oldest and largest law firms. He eventually started his firm, which grew to 12 lawyers. Over those 18 years, he was lead counsel in more than a hundred criminal trials, including many murder and capital cases. He also litigated numerous civil rights and police misconduct cases in both federal and state courts and had an active appellate practice. Ken’s civil-rights litigation primarily focused in the area of excessive police force and wrongful deaths. Ken Lawson represented dozens of black, brown, and white families in civil rights lawsuits who lost loved ones who were unarmed and died in police custody.

Ken won numerous cases that were considered by many to be “unwinnable." These and many of Ken’s other cases were followed closely by the media, and he made frequent appearances on CBS, ABC, CNN, CNBC, MSNBC, Court TV, and numerous radio shows. Some of these related to his cases but he also was frequently asked to comment on legal issues in other newsworthy cases.

Ken’s high-profile clientele included NFL star Elbert “Ickey” Woods, star NFL and professional baseball player Deion Sanders, and entertainer Peter Frampton. More important to Ken, he represented many “everyday” people, including a single mother whose juvenile son, incarcerated in an Ohio prison for adults, had died after being stabbed 16 times by the leader of a racist hate group, the Aryan Nation. Approximately one-fourth of Ken’s cases were done pro bono.

Kenneth L. Lawson

Kenneth L. Lawson

Speaker

Hawai'i Innocence Project

The Hawai'i Innocence Project is a law clinic and non-profit with a mission to free prisoners who are factually innocent but who have been wrongfully convicted. Through the work of our volunteers, attorneys, and law students, we strive to not only exonerate the innocent but to also reform the justice system to prevent innocent people from being convicted of crimes they didn’t commit.

Desmond Meade

Executive Director, Florida Rights Restoration Coalition
Orlando, FL 

Email
Twitter

Desmond Meade is a formerly homeless returning citizen who overcame many obstacles to eventually become the President of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition (FRRC), Chair of Floridians for a Fair Democracy, a graduate of Florida International University College of Law, a Ford Global Fellow, and a published author of “Let My People Vote.”

Recognized by Time Magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2019, Desmond led the FRRC to a historic victory in 2018 with the successful passage of Amendment 4, a grassroots citizen’s initiative which restored voting rights to over 1.4 million Floridians with past felony convictions. Amendment 4 represented the single largest expansion of voting rights in the United States in half a century and brought an end to 150 years of a Jim Crow-era law in Florida. Named Floridian and Central Floridian of the Year 2019, Desmond presently leads efforts to empower and civically re-engage local communities across the state, and to reshape local, state, and national criminal justice policies.

A sought-after speaker, Desmond has testified at the United Nations and Congressional hearings He has appeared on numerous shows such as Al-Jazeera, Democracy NOW, MSNBC with Joy Ann Reid, FOX News with Dana Perino and Tucker Carlson, Samantha Bee, and All In with Chris Hayes. He is a guest columnist for the Huffington Post in which one of his articles about the death of Trayvon Martin garnered national attention. Desmond has been featured in several newspaper and magazine articles and was chosen as a “Game Changer” by Politic 365, as well as being recognized as a “Foot Soldier” on the Melissa Harris-Perry Show on MSNBC.

Desmond is married and has five beautiful children.

Desmond Meade

Desmond Meade

Speaker

Florida Rights Restoration Coalition

Florida Rights Restoration Coalition is a grassroots, membership organization run by Returning Citizens (Formerly Convicted Persons) who are dedicated to ending the disenfranchisement and discrimination against people with convictions, and creating a more comprehensive and humane reentry system that will enhance successful reentry, reduce recidivism, and increase public safety.

Elizabeth K. Meyers

Elizabeth K. Meyers & Associates
Santa Ana, CA
Elizabeth K. Meyers

Elizabeth K. Meyers

Moderator