The Movement for Black Lives: Justice for Michael Brown 4 Years Later

Monday, April 23, 2018 - 6:00pm
Ash Center for Democratic Governance & Innovation, HKS Black Student Union, HKS Arts & Culture Caucus, IOP Politics of Race and Ethnicity (PRE)


A Conversation with
Benjamin Crump
Attorney for families of Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, and Stephon Clark
Lezley McSpadden
Mother of Michael Brown
Jason Pollock
Documentary Filmmaker, Stranger Fruit
Jasmine Rand
Attorney for families of Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin
Khalil Muhammad (Moderator)
Professor of History, Race, and Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School
Suzanne Young Murray Professor, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies
Ashley Spillane (Moderator)
Roy and Lila Ash Student Fellow, Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation

4:00pm: Public screening of Stranger Fruit, a documentary about the killing of Michael Brown - Rubenstein 306

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Through his legal prowess and advocacy in the Trayvon Martin case, the Martin Lee Anderson Boot Camp case, and the Robbie Tolan US Supreme Court Case, Attorney Benjamin Crump has created a significant legal legacy that ensures that the promise found in our nation’s constitution is indeed real in every state, municipality and neighborhood. His legal acumen as both litigator and advocate has ensured that those most frequently marginalized are protected by their nation’s contract with its constituency.

Lezley McSpadden is the mother of Michael Brown, the slain Missouri teenager who was killed by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson following an altercation at a convenience store in the suburban St. Louis city in August 2014.
In the wake of the slaying, local and nationwide protests, demonstrations and riots occurred, sparking the expansion of the Black Lives Matter movement. Following the Ferguson riots, McSpadden made numerous media appearances, speaking candidly and vocally on her mistrust for police and government officials and advocating reform including the resignation of the Ferguson police chief and mayor and Missouri Governor Jay Nixon in addition to the disbanding of the Ferguson police force. She marched on Selma, Alabama in March 2015 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the voting rights march.

Jason Pollock is a filmmaker, writer and Founder of Boom Content. Boom Content is Pollock's creative agency, which operates in NYC, LA, DC, and STL.
Pollock has been a featured speaker at many high schools, universities, and major events including the 'Aspen Ideas Festival', Inc. Magazine's 'Inc. 500 Conference', the 'Life Is Beautiful Festival', and Martha Stewart's 'Made In America' event.
His innovative work has been featured in the New York Times, Variety, Hollywood Reporter, Mashable, more. Pollock was ranked in a report in the New York Times as one of the 'top 140 most influential people on Twitter', listed by PC Magazine as one of the 'Top 100 People to Follow', and listed on Levo League's '100 Transforming Millenials' of 2015. Jason has also been a featured writer and contributor to the Huffington Post since 2006.
Pollock and his agency, Boom Content, has worked as producer for a number of major celebrities and brands including Ashton Kutcher, Michael Moore, Oprah Winfrey's Harpo Productions, David Letterman's Worldwide Pants, Rock The Vote and the Global Citizen Festival in Central Park.
As a filmmaker, Pollock's first feature documentary film, 'The Youngest Candidate,' follows four teens running for public office in America. The film was co-produced by Oscar winner Lawrence Bender and David Letterman's Worldwide Pants.
'The Youngest Candidate' had its world premiere in 2009 at the Los Angeles Film Festival, and its national television premiere on the Documentary Channel in 2010. In 2008 and 2012, Pollock also launched multi-city speaking tours around America's schools to get out the youth vote.
Prior to making his own films, Pollock worked with director and producer to Michael Moore from 2003 - 2006.Throughout this time Pollock aided Moore with several high profile films such as: 'Dude Where's My Country', 'Fahrenheit 9/11' and 'Slacker Uprising'. Pollock coordinated a 60 cities in 30 day tour for Moore on his Slacker Uprising Tour in 2004. In 2005 Pollock became of one of the 5 original founders of Michael Moore's Traverse City Film Festival.

Founding attorney Jasmine Rand, Esquire, has dedicated her life to fighting for justice on behalf of her clients and ensuring that the law recognizes and upholds human rights and dignity.
Jasmine Rand is the founding attorney of RAND LAW, L.L.C. a Miami-based civil litigation firm located in Coral Gables.  Rand has posted numerous multimillion dollar recoveries in catastrophic personal injury and wrongful death cases against large corporations and their insurance companies for incidents involving rape, death, paralysis, and serious bodily injury.  Perhaps best known for her representation of the families of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida and Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri; Rand excels in the civil rights arena and has fought police brutality throughout the nation against police departments ranging from NYPD to the LAPD.  In addition to her dynamic legal practice, Rand has written law school curriculum and is an adjunct law professor at the University of Miami, School of Law, and also teaching faculty in Harvard Law School’s Trial Advocacy Workshop.
Rand frequently uses media as a form of advocacy and has been featured as a legal analyst on CNN, MSNBC, HLN, and Fox, on shows such as: Anderson Cooper 360, Nancy Grace, the O’Reilly Factor, Hard Ball with Chris Mathews, Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien, Dr. Drew, Jane Velez-Mitchell, and has appeared in Spanish on Telemundo. Internationally, Rand has appeared on NTN24 out of Bogota, Colombia, the Fuji evening news in Japan, on the Smile Jamaica and Ian Boyne’s Profile on TVJ in Jamaica, and has done radio appearances in Australia, Japan, and Jamaica. 
Nationally recognized for her achievements in the legal profession, in 2013 Rand was recognized by IMPACT and the National Bar Association as one of the Nation’s Best Advocates Top 40 Lawyers Under 40 in the United States.  Rand was named as a finalist for the Distinguished Honoree of the Year Award in 2014 by the Wilkie D. Ferguson, Jr., Bar Association in Miami, Florida.  The Lawyers’ Committee For Civil Rights Under Law founded by President John F. Kennedy recognized Rand in 2012, with the national Distinguished Civil Rights Advocate Award for, “Fulfilling the legal profession’s highest ideal in advancing equal justice for all.”  

Khalil Gibran Muhammad is professor of History, Race and Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School and the Suzanne Young Murray Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies. He is the former Director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, a division of the New York Public Library and the world’s leading library and archive of global black history. Before leading the Schomburg Center, Khalil was an associate professor at Indiana University.
Khalil’s scholarship and teaching examines the broad intersections of race, democracy, inequality and criminal justice in modern U.S. History. He is a contributor to a 2014 National Research Council study, The Growth of Incarceration in the United States: Exploring Causes and Consequences, and is the author of The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America (Harvard), which won the 2011 John Hope Franklin Best Book award in American Studies.
Much of his work has been featured in a number of national print and broadcast media outlets, including the New York Times, New Yorker, Washington Post, National Public Radio, Moyers and Company, MSNBC and C-Span. He has appeared in a number of feature-length documentaries, including Slavery by Another Name (2012) and the Oscar-nominated 13th (2016). Khalil was an associate editor of The Journal of American History and prior Andrew W. Mellon fellow at the Vera Institute of Justice. He holds two honorary doctorates and is on the boards of the Vera Institute of Justice, The Museum of Modern Art, The Barnes Foundation, The Nation magazine, and the advisory boards of Cure Violence and The HistoryMakers.
A native of Chicago’s South Side, Khalil graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in Economics in 1993, and then joined Deloitte & Touche, LLP, as a staff accountant until entering graduate school. He earned his Ph.D. in U.S. History from Rutgers University.

Ashley Spillane is a social impact strategist whose expertise bridges the political, technology and entertainment industries. She has over a decade of experience developing and implementing organizational and campaign strategies that drive measurable impact.
As the head of organizations like Rock the Vote, The Atlas Project, and Democratic GAIN, she forged large-scale cause marketing partnerships with companies including iHeartRadio, Microsoft, Verizon, USAToday, Twitter, and Tinder. As a frequent writer, commentator, and speaker, Ashley has appeared on MSNBC, CNN, FOX, Bloomberg, NPR, and Al Jazeera. And she’s been tapped for her thought leadership by a wide-range of publications including the Washington Post, Elite Daily, Rolling Stone, Time, Glamour, Elle and US Weekly. Ashley was named a “Change Agent” by Marie Claire in 2014 and a “Rising Star” by Campaigns + Elections in 2012.