As part of Kramer Levin's ongoing Diversity Speaker Series, the firm hosted a number of events.
In honor of African American History Month, Yale Law professor James Forman Jr. discussed the issue of over-incarceration in the black community. Participants in the Feb. 5 discussion received a copy of professor Forman's book Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America.
Professor Forman, who clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor after graduating from Yale Law School, served as a public defender in Washington, D.C., where for six years he represented juveniles and adults in felony and misdemeanor cases. In addition to Constitutional Law, professor Forman teaches a course called Race, Class, and Punishment. Last year, he took his teaching behind prison walls, offering a seminar called Inside-Out Prison Exchange: Issues in Criminal Justice, which brought together, in the same classroom, 10 Yale Law students and 10 men incarcerated in a Connecticut prison.
In honor of Women's History Month, Kramer Levin alumnus Scott Ruskay-Kidd, senior staff attorney for judicial strategy at the Center for Reproductive Rights, facilitated a discussion on legal issues and developments on the reproductive rights front. The March 22 program was co-sponsored by the Pro Bono and Women's Initiative committees.
In honor of Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month, Kramer Levin hosted a discussion with teacher and author Sam Mihara. After retiring from a career working at The Boeing Co. as a rocket scientist, Mihara developed presentations on mass imprisonment. A sought-after guest speaker, he has spoken at many schools and universities, including the law schools at Harvard, Columbia and Yale, and to the public. Over the past few years, he has spoken to more than 50,000 teachers and students throughout the country. The author of The Life and Times of Sam Mihara, Mihara received the Paul A. Gagnon Prize as the national history teacher of the year in April 2018. His May 24 talk was on his personal experiences at Heart Mountain, a desolate Wyoming Japanese detention camp, where he and his family were sentenced to mass imprisonment in 1942.
In honor of LGBTQ Pride Month, Kramer Levin hosted Rachel B. Tiven, the chief executive officer of Lambda Legal, the country's oldest and largest LGBT legal organization, on June 26. A leading strategist and spokesperson in the movement to achieve full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and people living with HIV, Ms. Tiven led a discussion titled "Masterpiece Cakeshop, the Muslim ban, and the establishment of a state religion in America."