Rakeem Washington is an instructor with Portland State University teaching a dual-credit course entitled “Race and Social Justice” and is also the Director of Access and Re-Entry at Portland Community College. After graduating from Lewis and Clark Law School in 2008, Rakeem worked as a staff attorney for the Juvenile Rights Project, a public defense law firm representing children and parents in child welfare, school discipline, and juvenile delinquency cases. Witnessing the racial disparities that exist in the intersection of the foster care, educational, and criminal justice systems, Rakeem shifted focus towards equity work. He has continued those efforts with Portland Public Schools, the Oregon Judicial Department, and the Portland Observer Newspaper advocating and highlighting the stories of some of Oregon’s most vulnerable populations. Recognizing that healthy communities make healthy individuals, Rakeem continues to work towards empowering the voices and increasing the visibility of underserved and disenfranchised individuals and populations.
Kasia Rutledge is a capital defense attorney and anti-oppression trainer. For over 18 years, she has developed and trained organizations, law firms, individuals, academic institutions, currently and formerly incarcerated people, and not-for-profits in equity, anti-racism, and holistic justice based programming. While currently a capital defense lawyer defending people facing the death penalty, for almost 10 years prior to that as a public defender, she was privileged to represent poor people accused of major felonies including murder, rape, kidnapping, and prostitution. Kasia fights to protect her client’s rights using a client- centered focus, storytelling, and education of the public about the struggles of the people she is honored to represent. She is working to develop holistic, equity based, sustainable public defender training programs. She is on the Board of Directors for the Oregon Justice Resource Center, the Portland National Lawyers Guild and the Lewis and Clark Law School Public Interest Law Project. Instead of sleeping, she loves to make complicated difficult meals, camp and be out in nature, and mentor students from middle school through law school.
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ETC…believes in the power of growth and transformation that generates healthy environments.