audience watching a presenter on stage

Law and Society Week

Law and Society Week 2020

Join us for the 21st anniversary of Law and Society Week, presented by the Fox Rothschild Center for Law and Society.

Many events qualify for continuing legal education (CLE) credits. Please note that there is no course fee; however, this conference is a single course provider, and self-reporting is necessary. Lawyers seeking CLE credit must return a copy of the necessary certificate(s) of attendance and a check for $1.50 per credit hour to PA CLE.

Unless otherwise indicated, pre-registration is not required, and all sessions are free and open to the public.

Schedule of Events

For location information and directions, view our map of Main Campus buildings and our Northeast Regional Center.

Date Event Details

Monday, February 24, 2020

Kick-off Event and Alumni Awards with Malika Rahman

9 - 11 a.m., Great Hall, Room S2-19

Join us for our 21st Annual Law and Society kick-off event. We are delighted to have Community College of Philadelphia alumna, former Deputy Sheriff and 2019 Sheriff of Philadelphia candidate Malika Rahman present on Gender Inequality in Law Enforcement: Attitudes, Perceptions and Marginalization. Research has shown that women often bring useful skills to law enforcement, such as empathy and problem solving. Malika’s presentation is based on findings from research and a COPS-funded grant on engaging college students in 21st century law enforcement. She will share reactions from these student focus groups and dialogue sessions. Discussion topics will include factors critical to attracting black women college students to law enforcement careers, such as career and promotion options, and factors that prevent women from pursuing law enforcement careers, such as sexual harassment, sexual misconduct and sexism.

We will also honor Malika with an alumni award for all of the good she has done for the Philadelphia community.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020


9 a.m. to 12 p.m., An invitation-only event designed for visiting high school students.

Designed for high school students, this event allows them to join us for an investigative day, where they will have the opportunity to experience facets of law-related careers at the College, including a demonstration on the ethical issues related to emerging technologies in the realm of criminal justice. Following the workshop, students will take a brief College tour as they participate in an interactive scavenger hunt through the Social Science and Justice Career Fair, where they will meet and talk with visiting representatives from law fields, including the FBI, police, crime labs and more.

Facilitator: Deirdre Garrity-Benjamin, assistant professor, Social Science and program coordinator, Geographic Information Systems

Social Science/Justice Career Fair

9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Bonnell Lobby

Come out and meet potential employers from local, city and state police; probation and parole; housing authority; paralegal recruiting agencies; law firms; and many more private and government agencies. Students are encouraged to bring their résumés and come dressed to impress!

Politics Café: Improving Media Literacy in an Era of Fake News and Political Distortion

9:40 to 11:10 a.m., Center for Business and Industry, Room C2-28

Recent polls suggest that Americans have lost faith in the news media. Gallup reported that the public’s confidence in the media has been as low as 32 percent in recent years. These numbers have been driven down by a number of prominent “fake news” stories that originated within various traditional media outlets then spread at hyperspeed through social media only later to be debunked. In addition, various cable news outlets package stories for viewers of particular ideological dispositions. These forms of “entertainment news” are highly popular, but they operate outside the rigorous standards of traditional journalism. In competition for ratings and clicks from niche viewers, various forms of selection bias, false balance, sensationalism and confounding bias have produced a high level of political distortion. The presenters will discuss the phenomenon of fake news, political distortion and possible methods for improving media literacy.

Panelists: Osvil Acosta-Morales, Ph.D., associate professor and department chair, History, Philosophy and Religious Studies; Gary Mullin, associate professor, Political Science; Ralph Faris, Ph.D., professor, Sociology; and Lance Roxas, Ph.D., assistant professor, Political Science

*Approved substantive CLE – 1.5 credits

Framed and Locked Up: Racial Disparities in the Justice System

11:20 a.m. to 12:50 p.m., Center for Business and Industry, Room C2-28

According to The Sentencing Project, “1 in every 10 black men in his 30s is in prison or jail on any given day.” Racial bias in the criminal justice system is pervasive and continues to plague the Philadelphia community at large, as well as affect our students’ life outcomes. In this panel, participants will watch clips from Ava DuVernay’s “When They See Us,” an award-winning miniseries that explores the racial inequalities within the justice system. Panelists will explore the themes of racial profiling, coercive interrogation tactics, racial disparities in legal representation, racial overcharging and oversentencing, prison culture and the challenges of re-entry.

Moderators: Debonair Oates-Primus, Ph.D., assistant professor, English and coordinator, the Diversity Fellowship program and Black Studies program; and Boi-Lucia Gbaya-Kanga, assistant professor, English

*Approved substantive CLE – 1.5 credits

2020 Census

1 to 2:30 p.m., Center for Business and Industry, Room C2-28

Join Noemi Mendez from the U.S. Census Bureau to discuss the importance of the 2020 Census. The data collected by the Census is so important that it is mandated as part of the Constitution. This session will focus on the legal umbrella of the Census Bureau, the data collected, and the importance of this data to equitable distribution of public funds and representation.

Moderator: Deirdre Garrity-Benjamin, assistant professor, Social Science and program coordinator, Geographic Information Systems

*Approved substantive CLE – 1.5 credits

A Diverse City, Divided: The Impact of Philadelphia’s Racial Residential Segregation in Our Classrooms and Beyond

2:40 to 4:10 p.m., Center for Business and Industry, Room C2-28

Did you know that Philadelphia is among the most racially and ethnically diverse cities in the nation? But did you also know that Philadelphia has been consistently in the top five most segregated cities in the nation for a number of years? In this data-driven, highly interactive presentation, we will examine the patterns of racial residential segregation in Philadelphia and the paradox of being simultaneously diverse but segregated. Then we will consider the cause, and most importantly, the consequences of racial residential segregation in relation to our students, faculty and the institution as a whole. This session counts toward the Diversity Certificate.

Presenter: Faye Allard, Ph.D., associate professor, Sociology

*Approved substantive CLE – 1.5 credits

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Judicial Affairs Conference

9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Winnet Student Life Building, Great Hall, Rooms S2-19 and S2-3

Registration required. This year, the symposium will focus on best practices for achieving student success with an emphasis on Title IX, LGBTQIA and campus policy issues. The event will provide attending faculty and guests the opportunity to hear from local experts on prevalent legal and policy issues. Ebony Staton Weidman, Southeast Regional Director for U.S. Senator Bob Casey, will deliver the keynote address, followed by the College’s Director of Public Safety, Randolph Merced. He will deliver a compelling presentation for faculty on best practices for managing disruptive and dangerous student behavior in the classroom.

The symposium will also feature professional college public safety associates, counselors and legal experts who will lead captivating discussions on Pennsylvania hazing and human trafficking laws, effective responses to threats, sexual violence on college campuses, the opioid crisis, and much more. Attendees will be given the unique opportunity to participate in breakout sessions, encouraging an open discussion on the topics at hand.

*Approved substantive CLE – 3.5 credits

How Many Slaves Work for You?

9:10 to 10:10 a.m., Center for Business and Industry, Room C2-28

There are approximately 47 million children in the world today trapped in modern day slavery. Another 168 million children are forced to work instead of going to school. Learn about child labor and the kidnapping, trafficking, and enslavement of children who are forced to work for products people purchase each and every day, such as the clothes we wear, the electronics we buy, and even the chocolate bars and candies we enjoy. Prepare to be shocked, alarmed and informed.

Presenter: Ari Bank, assistant professor, English

*Approved substantive CLE – 1.0 credits

Philadelphia Veterans Treatment Court: Helping American Veterans on the Homefront

10:20 to 11:20 a.m., Center for Business and Industry, Room C2-28

Tim Wynn, current mentor coordinator of the Philadelphia Veterans Treatment Court, will discuss his own personal story of transitioning home after release from the military and how he became involved in the criminal justice system. He will explain the history of veterans courts and how they began in 2008 in Buffalo, New York. Once a defendant in the Philadelphia veterans treatment court, Tim now has a role in the same court that saved his life. You will hear how these courts play a vital role in saving the lives of veterans and ensure that no one is left behind.

Presenter: Timothy Wynn, USMC Veteran of Iraq War and mentor coordinator, Philadelphia Veterans Treatment Court

*Approved substantive CLE – 1.0 credits

First Amendment Separation of Church and State: Recent Supreme Court Cases and Trends

11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Center for Business and Industry, Room C2-28

Two phrases in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution deal with religion. The first is called the Establishment Clause, and it forbids Congress from making a law that establishes an official religion. The second is the Free Exercise Clause, which forbids Congress from “prohibiting the free exercise of religion.” Although on the surface these two phrases seem clear, they often lead to conflicting interpretations, and might at times seem to conflict. This session will present an overview of the evolution of the Supreme Court’s models for considering Church/State cases under the First Amendment, and will examine the approaches taken by the Robert’s Court in recent cases, such as Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia v. Comer, and American Legion v. American Humanist Association.

Presenter: David Prejsnar, assistant professor, Religious Studies

*Approved substantive CLE – 1.0 credits

Disenfranchisement, Voting Rights and Visions of Restorative Justice

12:40 to 1:40 p.m., Center for Business and Industry, Room C2-28

The Reconstruction Amendments established the right of all American adults to be free from involuntary servitude, to due process and equal protection, and for adult males to exercise the right to vote ... with a few exceptions. Despite these amendments, felony disenfranchisement, prison slavery and other cudgels of white supremacy have been implemented to limit the voting rights of millions of Americans. The presenters will identify historical barriers to voting and policies of disenfranchisement, and will discuss methods of restorative justice and protecting voting rights.

Presenters: Karl Baker, member and officer, the Philadelphia and Pennsylvania American Civil Liberties Union and national board of the ACLU, and former National Affiliate Affirmative Action Officer; and Benjamin Nixon, CCP student and Democracy Fellow, Campus Vote Project.

*Approved substantive CLE – 1.0 credits

Documentary Viewing: “13th

6:30 to 9:45 p.m., Northeast Regional Center, Room 249

The 13th Amendment was passed in the wake of the American Civil War to eliminate involuntary servitude. It contains one very notable loophole that has pushed a legalized form of slavery into modern times. Join Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society for a viewing of the Netflix documentary “13th” and learn more about the shocking depth and constitutionality of prison slavery, felony disenfranchisement and the extension of Jim Crow laws into the 21st century.

*Approved substantive CLE – 1.0 credits

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Building Trust in the News Media

9:40 to 11:10 a.m., Center for Business and Industry, Room C2-28

Join us for a panel discussion with individuals from Resolve Philadelphia and guests for a discussion on trust in the news media. Research released earlier this year by the Knight Commission on Trust, Media and Democracy reported out what many already knew to be true: there is a public crisis around the lack of trust that individuals and communities have in journalism. Hear this topic approached from several different perspectives as the audience engages in the conversation through live polls and real time digital Q&A. Discussion participants will walk away with concrete actions they can take to increase their engagement with journalists and ways to help hold local news outlets accountable for accurate and effective news and information delivery.

*Approved substantive CLE – 1.5 credits

Police and Our Communities: Bridging the Gaps

11:20 a.m. to 12:50 p.m., Center for Business and Industry, Room C2-28

An experienced panel of individuals from the City of Philadelphia’s Police Department will engage in a dynamic discussion about current efforts they have in place to work with communities. The presentation will highlight opportunities and forums for community members to be heard, explain why getting the community involved is vital to the safety of the community, what we as a CCP community can do to strengthen the relationship with our local police departments, and how to report incidents of misconduct.

Moderator: Judy Cruz-Ransom, visiting lecturer, Criminal Justice

*Approved substantive CLE – 1.5 credits

Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church: A Response by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia

1 to 2:30 p.m., Center for Business and Industry, Room C2-28

Over the past 15 years, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia has put into practice a wide range of reforms to protect young people. This workshop will address sexual abuse of minors by Catholic priests, how statute of limitations work, the impact on victims/survivors, and the reforms put in place to protect children and young people.

Presenters: Leslie J. Davila, director, Office for Child and Youth Protection and John P. Delaney Jr., Esq., director, Office of Investigation

*Approved substantive CLE – 1.5 credits

Navigating the Music Industry—An Independent Artist’s Primer

2:40 to 4:10 p.m., Center for Business and Industry, Room C2-28
The music industry is an ever-changing and unpredictable world for the most seasoned of professionals. This discussion will attempt to pull open the curtain and reveal the navigational tools and industry awareness necessary for every independent artist and producer in this dynamic landscape.

Presenter: Paul J. Geissinger, associate professor and chair, Music; director, Spring Garden Records; and producer/DJ

Friday, February 28, 2020

Mock Oral Argument in the Case of New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. New York

11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Center for Business and Industry, Room C2-28

In the 2008 District of Columbia v. Heller decision, the Supreme Court ruled that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to have a handgun at home for self-defense. In an ensuing case, justices made clear that this right also applies against state and local governments. However, they have, until now, declined to say anything more about how far states and cities can go in restricting gun rights. Earlier this year, the New York State Pistol and Rifle Association requested, and was granted, review of the New York City’s ban on transferring licensed, unloaded guns anywhere outside the city limits, providing an opportunity for the Court to set some legal standards in gun rights cases. Come witness mock oral arguments for this highly significant Second Amendment case! 

In their third annual edition of this panel, Elizabeth Canapary, J.D., assistant professor of Criminal Justice and coordinator of the Criminal Justice and Paralegal programs, will argue in defense of New York; and Lance Roxas, Ph.D., assistant professor of Political Science, will argue on behalf of the New York State Pistol and Rifle Association.

*Approved substantive CLE – 1.0 credits

Campus Locations

Bonnell Building

Located on 17th Street on the east side of the street, between Callowhill and Spring Garden streets. The Bonnell Auditorium is located on the ground floor of the building, to the right of the Bonnell main entrance.

Center for Business and Industry

Located at 18th and Callowhill streets. Events held in this building are on the second floor.

Winnet Student Life Building

Located on 17th Street on the west side of the street, between Spring Garden and Callowhill streets. The building is yellow brick with a rounded exterior. Events held in this building are on the second floor.

Northeast Regional Center

Located at 12901 Townsend Road, 19154. Signs at the Center will indicate the room.


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