Events & CLE

Speaker Bios

Learn more about the child rights advocates who spoke at our symposium.

  1. Shéár Avory, Biden Fellow for LGBTQ Equality, Natl. Social Justice Advocate
    Shéár Avory is a multiracial, black and indigenous, non-binary femme young person of color and National Social Justice Advocate committed to the advancement of social, economic, racial, and gender justice and the empowerment of young people. Presently, they are a 2018 Biden Fellow for LGBTQ Equality and as a Community Portrait Research Annalyst of the What's Your Issue? National LGBTQ Youth Survey in fellowship with the Public Science Project of the City University of New York, they are ethically committed to documenting and archiving the lived truths, traumas, and resiliency of LGBTQ young people in an authentic nonexploitive or tokenizing portrayal, and using research to shift societal disparities with the foundational principle: 'No Research on Us without Us.'

    Throughout their tenure advocating for social justice, they have advocated for our movements in themselves to be intentionally inclusive and empowering of young people as the next generation continuing our ancestor's arduous thrive towards liberation. In doing so, they have unapologetically asserted themself to take a seat at numerous tables, speaking truth to power in representation of young people who remain silenced and unheard, reminding those at the vanguard of our movements for social change that young, transgender women and femmes of color began the intersectional movements for social, economic, racial, and gender justice that continues today.
  2. James Bell, Founding President, W. Haywood Burns Institute
    James Bell is the Founding President of the W. Haywood Burns Institute. Mr. Bell has been successfully working to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in the justice system in over 200 jurisdictions in the United States. The Burns Institute approach engages jurisdictions in a data driven collaborative approach to go beyond myth, anecdote and perceptions to unpack where, how and why disparities exists in the administration of justice. He works closely with judges, law enforcement, probation, attorneys, community organizations and families to engage the problems of race, ethnicity, religious minorities and immigrants to engage this difficult problem.

    Internationally, James has assisted the African National Congress, Chinese officials and policymakers on alternatives to incarceration and worked closely on restorative justice policies with officials in New Zealand and Australia. He has authored several articles and publications and appeared on national television discussing the topic of communities of color and justice.

    The Burns Institute is a recipient of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s Genius Award for Creative and Effective Leadership. Also, James is the recipient of a Kellogg National Leadership Fellowship, the Livingstone Hall Award from the American Bar Association, Attorney of the Year from the Charles Houston Bar Association, the Advocate of the Year from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the Moral Leadership Against Injustice Award of the Delancey Street Foundation and the Local Hero Award from the San Francisco Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award. He received his J.D. from Hastings College of the Law.
  3. Yorri Berry-Harris, Director of Youth Engagement, National Network for Youth
    Yorri Berry serves as the Director of Youth Engagement at the National Network for Youth (NN4Y) in Washington, DC. At NN4Y, she oversees a 20+ member National Youth Advisory Council who educate policymakers, service providers and community officials throughout the country about youth and young adult homelessness in America and advocate for solutions The program trains formerly homeless young leaders to define a policy agenda, partner with and educate organizational leaders and the general public to effect positive and productive changes to existing structures and policies. She has a decade of combined youth development, project management, youth development, program design, and organizational oversight experience in both the private and public sectors.