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Sparer Symposium 2012

31st Annual Edward V. Sparer Symposium

 Friday, March 16, 2012

 Coming of Age Against the Odds:  Advocating for At-Risk Youth 

Schedule of Events


  • Michael A. Fitts, Dean and Bernard G. Segal Professor of Law, Penn Law School

9:15 a.m.      Youth Speaker, Juvenile Law Center’s Youth Speakers Bureau

9:30  a.m.    Overcoming the Odds: Strategies for Facilitating the Transition from Adolescence to Adulthood

  • Commissioner Anne Marie Ambrose, Esq., Philadelphia Department of Human Services
  • Barbara Best, Children’s Defense Fund
  • Kisha Bird, Center for Law and Social Policy
  • Dr. Michael Carrera, Children’s Aid Society
  • Judith Sandalow, Esq., Children’s Law Center

11:00  a.m.   Bringing Human Rights Home: A Transnational Conversation on Youth Empowerment

  • Grace Akallo, United Africans for Women and Children Rights
  • Kwame Fosu, Esq., Rebecca Project for Human Rights
  • Janine Kossen, Esq., Advocates for Youth
  • Elie Miller, Esq., Homeboy Industries, Inc.
  • Noel Ramirez, Dorothy Mann Center at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children
  • Imani Walker, Rebecca Project for Human Rights

12:30 p.m.     Lunch

12:45 p.m.     KEYNOTE ADDRESS:  Rachel Lloyd, GEMS: Girls Educational and Mentoring Services

1:30 p.m.       Age Matters, But How Much? From Miranda Rights to Decertification, A Conversation About Juvenile Justice Protections

  • Dr. Steven Berkowitz, Penn Center for Youth and Family Trauma Response and Recovery
  • Honorable Benjamin Lerner, Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas
  • Marsha Levick, Esq., C’71, Juvenile Law Center
  • Yumari Martinez, Esq., Vera Institute Center on Youth Justice
  • R. Daniel Okonkwo, Esq., DC Lawyers for Youth

3:00 p.m.     A Place to Call Home: Using Murals and Media to Address Housing Challenges Facing Philadelphia Youth

  • Professor Regina Austin, L’73, University of Pennsylvania Law School
  • Maisha Elonai, Esq., L’10, Philadelphia VIP: Volunteers for the Indigent Program
  • A Place Called Home Project Representative, Philadelphia Mural Arts Program

3:30 p.m.    Educate or Incarcerate? Policies and Programs that Keep Youth in the Classroom and Out of Prison

  • David Lapp, Esq., Education Law Center (Philadelphia)
  • Rachel Pereira, Esq., L’09, Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office
  • David Sciarra, Esq., Education Law Center (Newark)
  • Leticia Smith-Evans, Esq., NAACP Legal Defense Fund
  • Gregory Volz, Esq., Stoneleigh Foundation

5:00 p.m.    Reception