Speaker Bios

Opening Remarks- Professor Kami Chavis

Professor Kami Chavis is the Associate Provost and Professor of Law at Wake Forest University. She is also the Director of the Criminal Justice Program at Wake Law. After receiving her Juris Doctor from Harvard University, she worked in private practice before joining the US Attorney’s office in Washington, DC. She specializes in police accountability, prosecutorial accountability, and stakeholder participation in developing sustainable criminal justice reform. She serves as the Faculty Sponsor for The New Law and Order: Working Towards Equitable and Community Centered Policing in North Carolina.


Policing: A Historical Context

This lecture will provide a historical overview of policing in the United States and address the roots of racial tension between police and the communities they serve.  The lecture will also offer perspectives on solutions for unbiased policing and improved community relations.

Professor Thomas Nolan is an Associate Professor in Criminology at Merrimack College and a 27-year veteran (and former lieutenant) of the Boston police department. He received his Education Masters and Doctorate at Boston University, and is a former analyst for the Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties at the Department of Homeland Security in DC. He serves as the director of graduate programs, and focuses his research on police subculture.


Community Policing in the 21st Century

Community policing is a model of policing that promotes strategies to form partnerships between communities and law-enforcement agencies to promote problem solving and increase public safety. However, there are many definitions of “community policing,” and while most police departments acknowledge adhering to this form of policing, this model is implemented in a wide variety of ways with varying rates of success.  This panel will explore the realities and aspirations of modern policing in America, and panelists will discuss the impact that common police practices have had in certain communities. This panel will provide real-world examples of cities attempting to implement community policing and the challenges they have experienced, while providing advice for improving interactions and strengthening relationships between police and the communities they serve.

Professor Craig B. Futterman is a Clinical Professor of Law at the University of Chicago Law School and a Resident Dean in the College. He founded and has served as the Director of the Civil Rights and Police Accountability Project of the Mandel Legal Aid Clinic since 2000. Before his appointment to the Law Faculty, Professor Futterman was a Lecturer in Law and Director of Public Interest Programs at Stanford Law School. He previously joined Futterman & Howard, Chtd., a boutique law firm concentrating in complex federal litigation. There, Professor Futterman specialized in civil rights and constitutional matters, with a special focus on racial discrimination, education, and police brutality. Before that, he served as a trial attorney in the Juvenile Division of the Cook County Public Defender’s Office. Professor Futterman received his Juris Doctorfrom Stanford Law School and graduated with the highest distinction from Northwestern University with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Economics.

Professor Michael Pinard is the Francis & Harriet Iglehart Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Clinical Law Program at University of Maryland Law School. He has published several articles on criminal process, race and criminal justice, and the collateral consequences of criminal convictions. After receiving his Juris Doctor from NYU School of Law, Professor Pinard served in the New York City Appellate Defender’s Office and the Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem. Before teaching at University of Maryland, he was a teaching fellow at Yale, an associate professor at St. John’s University School of Law in Queens, New York, at Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, Missouri, and at his alma mater, NYU School of Law. He sits on several advisory boards and champions criminal justice reform through legislative advocacy.

Bree Newsome is an artist who drew national attention in 2015 when she climbed the flagpole in front of the South Carolina Capitol building and lowered the confederate battle flag. The flag was originally raised in 1961 as a statement of opposition to the Civil Rights Movement and lunch counter sit-ins occurring at the time. The massacre of nine black parishioners by a white supremacist at Emanuel AME Zion Church in Charleston reignited controversy over South Carolina’s flag. Bree’s act of defiance against a symbol of hate has been memorialized in photographs and artwork and has become a symbol of courage, resistance and the empowerment of women. Bree currently lives in Charlotte, NC, where she continues her work as an artist and grassroots community organizer.

Captain Natoshia Miles began her career with the Winston-Salem Police Department in 1993. In her most recent assignment as District 1 Commander, she is responsible for overseeing a patrol district and managing approximately 110 officers. During her 24+ years of service, she has worked in a variety of capacities, implemented programs, and formed additional partnerships in the community. Captain Miles holds a Master of Arts Degree in Management and Leadership and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration. She is also a graduate of the Police Leadership and Development Institute and North Carolina State Administrative Officers Management Program.

Assistant Chief Celisa Lehew currently serves as the Assistant Chief of Police in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Born and raised in Northern Ontario, Canada, she embraced the winter wonderland. Assistant Chief Lehew received a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Lake Superior State University and a Master’s Degree in Justice Administration from Methodist University. She is also a graduate of West Point Leadership Academy, Piedmont Leadership Academy, and the FBI LEEDA Leadership Trilogy. She joined the Town of Chapel Hill Police Department as a police officer in 2004. Since then she has served in a variety of uniformed patrol and investigative capacities.

Professor Ron Wright is the Needham Yancey Gulley Professor of Criminal Law at Wake Forest University School of Law. His research focuses mainly on criminal procedure and sentencing, and he serves as a board member and advisor for several criminal justice reform groups. After receiving his Juris Doctor at Yale University, he spent several years at an attorney with the Department of Justice. He and his wife Amy have two children. Professor Wright is serving as the moderator for the Community Policing in the 21st Century Panel.


Identifying and Addressing Implicit and Explicit Bias in Policing

Implicit bias refers to attitudes and beliefs that individuals possess and act upon despite their lack of awareness.  Individuals do not consciously control these attitudes and beliefs. As it relates to race in America, studies show that people of color are often unconsciously associated with negative stereotypes of criminality, dangerousness, and dishonesty, for example. Police officers are not immune to these implicit biases. This session will explore how bias can impact law enforcement decisions, the impact that biased policing has on community relationships and juvenile justice, and explore solutions for more equitable policing.

Professor James Drennan is an Adjunct and Former Albert Coates Professor at the UNC School of Government, and has been a member of the faculty since 1974. He received his Juris Doctor at Duke University. His teaching focuses on judicial ethics, criminal sentencing, and judicial leadership.

Chief James Moore serves the City of Rocky Mount and is a law enforcement veteran with nearly 29 years of experience with the Rocky Mount and Wilmington Police Departments, including one year as the City of Wilmington’s interim Human Resources Director. During his tenure, he served in Patrol, Investigations, Special Operations and Support Services functions. He pioneered initiatives that have become models for other law enforcement agencies in building community trust and justice. Chief Moore serves as a Commissioner on the North Carolina Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission; a Commissioner on the North Carolina Commission on Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the Criminal Justice System; a Board Member for the North Carolina Association of Chiefs of Police; an Advisory Board Member for the North Carolina State University Public Safety Leadership Initiative; a member of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation Community Leadership Council; and a Past President of the North Carolina Police Executives Association. He is a graduate of the Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government, Senior Executives in State and Local Government Course; the FBI National Academy; the Secret Service’s Dignitary Protection School; the Administrative Officers Management Program at NC State University; and the Public Executive Leadership Academy at the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Government. He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Chief Moore is a trainer in the Green Dot Violence Prevention Strategy and the Surviving Verbal Conflict Verbal De-escalation Training Program. He was a panelist on UNC-TV’s Black Issues Forum program titled, “Policing and the Black Community” and a panelist at a Duke Law School, “Teach-In on Policing, Civil Rights and Race.” He was presented an award and honored by Omega Psi Phi Fraternity during the 46th Annual Legislative Conference of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation for dedication and commitment to law enforcement and upholding the Fraternity’s Cardinal Principles

Professor Frank Baumgartner is the Richard J. Richardson Distinguished Professor of Political Science at UNC-Chapel Hill. He received his bachelor’s, master’s, and PhD at University of Michigan. He has taught at University of Iowa, Texas A&M, Penn State, and has been a visiting professor in the US and abroad. His research focuses on public policy, race and criminal justice. He serves as a co-director for the Policy Agendas Project. He has recently written on the use of the death penalty in North Carolina and racial profiling during traffic stops in North Carolina. His wife, Jennifer E. Thompson, is also an advocate for judicial reform and the author of Picking Cotton.

Doctor Steve Gunkel serves as an Associate Teaching Professor in the Department of Sociology at Wake Forest University. His primary teaching responsibilities include many courses within Crime and Criminal Justice Concentration for the sociology major: Deviance, Criminology, Corrections, Family Violence, and White-Collar Crime. His research areas have focused broadly on issues related to crime, stratification, and inequality and has appeared in Social Problems, Sociology Compass, Journal of Criminal Justice, Sociological Spectrum, and Social Research Methods. He taught in a variety of settings before coming to Wake Forest University: Tacoma Community College, Indiana University, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, University of Nebraska-Omaha, and Doane College. Most recently, he was the Director of the Criminal Justice Program at Greensboro College. He holds degrees in Sociology from Washington State University (BA and MA) and Indiana University (PhD). He served on the Executive Council of the North Carolina Sociological Association (NCSA) from 2010-2013. He is the Past President of the NCSA.

Professor Kristin Henning is the Agnes N. Williams Research Professor of Law and Director of the Juvenile Justice Clinic and Initiative at Georgetown. Her scholarship on race, adolescence and juvenile justice appears in journals such as the Cornell Law Review, California Law Review, and NYU Law Review and in books such as POLICING THE BLACK MAN (Random House, 2017) and PUNISHMENT IN POPULAR CULTURE (NYU Press 2015). Henning was formerly the Lead Attorney for the Juvenile Unit of the DC Public Defender Service and worked closely with the Juvenile Indigent Defense Action Network to develop and co-author the Juvenile Training Immersion Program, a national training curriculum for juvenile defenders. Professor Henning was elected to the American Law Institute in 2015 and serves as an Adviser to ALI’s Restatement on Children and the Law. She is the Director of the Mid-Atlantic Juvenile Defender Center and is the immediate past President of the Board of Directors for the Center for Children’s Law and Policy. Professor Henning has also served as an expert consultant to the US Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division and an investigator in several state assessments of the access to counsel for accused juveniles. She is currently the Reporter for the ABA Task Force on Standards for Dual-jurisdiction Youth. Professor Henning received her B.A. from Duke and J.D. from Yale and has received several awards, including the 2015 Award for Youth Justice from the DC Lawyers for Youth and 2013 Robert E. Shepherd, Jr. Award for Excellence in Juvenile Defense by the National Juvenile Defender Center.

James Williams recently retired from serving as a public defender for Chatham and Orange counties.  Mr. Williams is the founder of the N.C. Public Defenders’ Committee on Racial Equality and serves on the board of the N.C. Commission on Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the Criminal Justice System.

Keynote- Professor David M. Kennedy is a professor of criminal justice at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City and the director of the National Network for Safe Communities at John Jay. Professor Kennedy and the National Network support cities implementing strategic interventions to reduce violence, minimize arrest and incarceration, enhance police legitimacy, and strengthen relationships between law enforcement and communities. These interventions have been proven effective in a variety of settings, have amassed a robust evaluation record, and are widely employed nationally. Professor Kennedy’s work has won two Ford Foundation Innovations in Government awards, two Webber Seavey Awards from the International Association of Chiefs of Police, and two Herman Goldstein Awards for problem-oriented Policing. He was awarded the 2011 Hatfield Scholar Award for scholarship in the public interest. He helped develop the “Operation Ceasefire” homicide prevention strategy, High Point Drug Market Intervention strategy, the Justice Department’s Strategic Approaches to Community Safety Initiative, the Treasury Department’s Youth Crime Gun Interdiction Initiative, the Bureau of Justice Assistance’s Drug Market Intervention Program, and the High Point Domestic Violence Intervention Program. Professor Kennedy is the author of Deterrence and Crime Prevention: Reconsidering the Prospect of Sanction, co-author of Beyond 911: A New Era for Policing, and has published a wide range of articles on gang violence, drug markets, domestic violence, firearms trafficking, deterrence theory, and other public safety issues. His latest book, Don’t Shoot, One Man, a Street Fellowship, and the End of Violence in Inner-City America, was published by Bloomsbury in September 2011.


NC District Attorney Roundtable

A panel of four elected District Attorneys from across the state of North Carolina will discuss the challenges faced by prosecutors in attempting to administer justice in light of the racial and ethnic disparities apparent in the criminal justice system. The elected District Attorney’s role as chief law enforcement official in his or her jurisdiction, including a discussion of the prosecutor’s role in promoting good policing and creating an equitable criminal justice system will be explored. Current initiatives, policies, and practices in District Attorney’s offices aimed at addressing disparities will also be a focus of this panel.

Roger Echols is the District Attorney for the 14th Prosecutorial District, Durham County.  He received his Bachelor’s degree in Economics at UNC-Chapel Hill and his Juris Doctor at the University of Tennessee College of Law.

Robert Evans is the District Attorney for the 7thProsecutorial District, Nash County. After receiving his Juris Doctor at University of Pennsylvania, he practiced in Rocky Mount for several years before being appointed as a district court judge. He has served on several philanthropic committees, and has been extremely active in associations within the legal profession. He is married to Marilyn Harrison (Evans) and is a father of two daughters: Deidre Evans and Anise Evans.

Ashley Hornsby Welch is the elected District Attorney for the 30th Prosecutorial District of North Carolina since January 1, 2015. The 30th District encompasses the 7 western counties of the State. Prior to being elected, she served as an Assistant District Attorney in both the 29th and 30th Districts from 2003-2014. She received a Bachelor in Arts in History from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2000 and her Juris Doctor from William and Mary in 2003. She is a western North Carolina native.

Jim O’Neill serves as Forsyth County’s elected District Attorney.  Prior to his appointment, he served as an Assistant District Attorney under former District Attorney Tom Keith. Since taking over as the District Attorney of Forsyth County, Mr. O’Neill has instituted a prosecution program targeting sex offenders living within our community, as well as a new program designed to focus resources on prosecuting chronic criminal offenders.  Mr. O’Neill is a veteran prosecutor who started serving in the Forsyth County DA’s office in 1997. A graduate of Duke University, he earned his law degree from New York Law School.  Over the past 16 years, Mr. O’Neill has prosecuted some of the most serious and violent offenders in our community.  He has served in many leadership roles in the office, including chief motor vehicle prosecutor.  He was also Forsyth County’s first dedicated Domestic Violence prosecutor.

Jim Woodall is the elected District Attorney for Prosecutorial District 15-B, Chatham and Orange Counties. He was born in Smithfield, North Carolina. A double Tarheel, he received both his Bachelor of Arts and Juris Doctor from UNC-Chapel Hill. Woodall started his career in private practice before joining the district attorney’s office as an ADA in 1990, becoming the elected DA in 2005.


Activism & Policing: A Collaborative Model for Reform

With an appreciation that community activism can take different shapes, this panel will discuss ways for law enforcement to best communicate with, be accountable to, and partner with activists and communities organized around reforms. This panel will also examine the role of community accountability and advocacy on moving toward more equitable law enforcement practices.

Blanca Nienhaus is a grandma involved in her community, who believes that fairness should be mandatory for any human interaction. A dual citizen of the United States and Mexico, Nienhaus is as a resource for Alamance County immigrants, a writer and later editor of Spanish newspaper La Voz de Alamance, and founder of Latinos Unidos Promoviendo la Esperanza. She hosts workshops on finances and other skills, and puts Mexican immigrants in contact with the consulate in Raleigh. She works with the Burlington Police Department to build trust between officers and the Hispanic population.

Chief J. Jeffrey Smythe has been the police chief Burlington, NC for over four years and leads a stellar agency of 137 sworn and 35 civilian professionals as they protect and serve Burlington’s 50,000+ residents. He has been a police officer for over 31 years and has a Master’s Degree from Northern Arizona University. He is married with three children and absolutely loves working in Burlington.

Irving Allen has been a counselor, a coach, church youth director, and has been involved in many other community programs in Greensboro.  In 2013, Mr. Allen began to work more closely with city politics when he played a pivotal role in organizing young people against the curfew.  Mr. Allen has worked to build community and youth coalitions both in Greensboro and throughout the state of North Carolina. He has played an intricate role in organizing initiatives such as the Citizens Review Board, addressing police accountability in Greensboro, as well as the Teens Downtown youth program, and is one of the founding members of Black Lives Matter Gate City chapter. Most recently, Mr. Allen has launched The Books and Black Youth program, an initiative designed to target and improve literacy rates of black youth in the Greensboro community by normalizing and incentivizing reading in Northeast Greensboro.  With the City of Greensboro, Mr. Allen serves as a Human Relations Commissioner and serves on the Youth Advisory Board.

Deputy Chief James E. Hinson joined the Greensboro Police Department in 1991. He received his bachelor’s degree from North Carolina A&T University, and received a master’s degree in liberal studies from UNC-Greensboro.

Professor Mark Rabil is the Director of the Innocence and Justice Clinic and an Associate Professor of Law at Wake Forest University School of Law. A zealous advocate, Professor Rabil defended, fought for, and secured the release of wrongfully convicted Darryl Hunt. He was an assistant capital defender and adjunct trial practice professor before joining the faculty full time in 2013. He received his Juris Doctor from UNC-Chapel Hill.

Raul Pinto joined the North Carolina Justice Center as a Staff Attorney in the Immigrants Project in 2014. Prior to joining the Justice Center, Mr. Pinto worked as an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina.  At the ACLU of NC, his work focused on investigating violations of civil rights with an emphasis on immigrants’ rights, racial justice and community interaction with law enforcement.  Mr. Pinto also conducted extensive public education about constitutional rights to Spanish speaking audiences, as well as developing written materials in Spanish about protecting civil liberties. Mr. Pinto received his BA from Rutgers University and his law degree from the City University of New York School of Law.  He is licensed to practice law in North Carolina, New York and New Jersey.