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Unlocking Opportunity for People with Records and Their Families

A Two-Day Convening for Advocates

The Center for American Progress, the National Employment Law Project, and Community Legal Services logos

With criminal justice reform efforts stalled in Congress, states have been leading the charge, advancing second chance policies to enable people with records and their families to get back to work and move on with their lives.

The Center for American Progress, the National Employment Law Project, and Community Legal Services invite you to join an interactive and idea-sharing, two-day convening for advocates on what states can do to remove barriers to opportunity for people with records and how we can continue supporting already successful efforts.


Monday, October 23, 2017

8:30 am – Registration and breakfast

9:30 am – How States Are Leading the Way on Removing Barriers for People with Records
Gov. Dannel Malloy (D-CT)
Winnie Stachelberg, Center for American Progress

10:15 am – Bringing About Reform from Inside the Corrections System
Heidi Washington, Michigan Department of Corrections
Ed Chung, Center for American Progress

10:45 am – Envisioning the Future of the Reform Agenda
Roy Austin, Former White House Domestic Policy Council
Bill Cobb, American Civil Liberties Union
Holly Harris, Justice Action Network
Maurice Emsellem, National Employment Law Project
Rebecca Vallas, Center for American Progress
Jasmine Heiss, Coalition for Public Safety

11:45 am – Changing the Narrative: People with Records in the Media
Lottie Joiner, USA Today contributor
Glenn Martin, JustLeadershipUSA
Lauren Weiner, Precision Strategies
Christine Owens, National Employment Law Project

12:55 pm – Clean Slate: From the Pennsylvania State House to the Halls of Congress
Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester(D-DE)
Pennsylvania State Rep. Jordan Harris
Pennsylvania State Rep. Sheryl Delozier
Rebecca Vallas, Center for American Progress

2:05 pm – News You Can Use: Research Roundup for Advocates
Alan Barber, Center for Economic Policy Research
Christian Henrichson, Vera Institute
Michael Mitchell, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
Rachel West, Center for American Progress
Jared Bernstein, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

3:40 pm – Breakout Sessions
Expungement “Aftercare”: What Comes Next Once the Record is Cleared?
Engaging Key Stakeholders to Reform Background Check Licensing Barriers
Ferguson’s Aftermath: Successful Advocacy to Reform Fines and Fees

5:30 pm – Reception

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

8:00 am – Breakfast and registration

8:40 am – Lived Experiences Defining the Advocacy Agenda
Tarra Simmons, Public Defender Association
Teresa Hodge, Mission: Launch, Inc.
Megan French-Marcelin, JustLeadershipUSA

9:45 am – First Breakout Sessions
Transformative Practices: Promoting Access to Record Clearing Around the Country
Tools for Launching Successful Occupational Licensing Reform Campaigns
Enforcing Background Check Protections

11:20 am – Second Breakout Sessions
The Great Equalizer: Clearing the Way to Education and Training
Taking the Case to the Courts & Boards to Challenge Licensing Barriers
How to Bring Clean Slate to Your State

1:00 pm – Lunchtime discussion between Peter Edelman, author of Not a Crime to Be Poor: The Criminalization of Poverty in America, and Greg Kaufmann,


The Westin Georgetown, Washington D.C., M Street Northwest, Washington D.C., DC, United States

Additional information

Breakfast and lunch will be provided during the conference. If you have any dietary restrictions, please contact after you register for the event.

Accessibility: Closed-captioned-enabled video will be posted following the conclusion of the event. If you require ADA-related accommodations for your in-person attendance at this event, please email as soon as possible so that we may assist you.