This year’s conference includes a special focus on Racial Justice, Diversity, and Inclusion Programming. Workshops that will address this overarching theme include [RJ] after the session title.
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Wednesday, October 31 • 5:30pm - 7:00pm
Annual Meeting of Members - A Discussion on Racial Justice, Diversity, and Inclusion

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At the Meeting of the Members, NLADA will release its Racial Justice Action Plan, which builds on past statements and efforts by NLADA and its community to advance racial justice, diversity, and inclusion within its ranks and for the community it serves. The action plan commits NLADA and its members to: (1) speak with clarity about poverty and racial equity; (2) improve our internal governance to reflect the racial equity we seek to secure in our communities; and (3) support a purpose-driven practice that employs strategic advocacy to advance racial justice in our communities. The panel discussion will provide examples across all of these strategies. The session will conclude with an interactive discussion around implicit bias tests. We encourage participants to take the Harvard Implicit Association Test on Race, which you can find here, in advance of the session. (You will not be asked to report your results to anyone.)

avatar for Maha Jweied

Maha Jweied

Senior Fellow, National Legal Aid & Defender Association
Maha Jweied is senior fellow with the National Legal Aid & Defender Association. Until January 2018, she served as the acting director of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office for Access to Justice, the primary office in the Executive Branch championing indigent defense and civil... Read More →


Te’iva Johnson Bell

Assistant Public Defender, Public Defender Office of Harris County (TX)
Te’iva Johnson Bell, assistant public defender, joined the Felony Trial Division of the Public Defender Office of Harris County in September 2011. Mrs. Bell has been licensed to practice law since May 2005. Before joining the PDO, Mrs. Bell worked as a criminal defense attorney... Read More →

Tracy Figueroa

Attorney - Disaster Assistance Group Coordinator, Texas RioGrande Legal Aid
Tracy Figueroa obtained her law degree from Washington University School of Law in St. Louis and served as a law clerk to Judge Hayden W. Head, Jr. of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Corpus Christi Division.  She joined Texas RioGrande Legal Aid in 2002... Read More →
avatar for Regina Kelly

Regina Kelly

NLADA Board of Directors, Client Advocate, Hearne, TX
A mother of four by age 24, Regina Kelly worked multiple jobs to support her family and provide a safe environment in the midst of the tough neighborhood in which they lived. Despite her efforts, she became entangled in an ironic twist of fate when she was arrested at work right before... Read More →
avatar for Kimberly Merchant

Kimberly Merchant

Director of Racial Justice Institute, Shriver Center on Poverty Law
Kimberly Merchant is the first-ever racial justice network director, where she leads and provides strategic oversight for the Racial Justice Institute of the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law and its expanding advocacy network. Merchant has more than 20 years of experience... Read More →

Wednesday October 31, 2018 5:30pm - 7:00pm CDT
Galleria Ballroom I-II Westin Galleria, 3rd Level