Director of NAACP's Criminal Justice Project to be honored at annual Rosa Parks luncheon

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Christina Swarns, director of the NAACP's Legal Defense & Education Fund's Criminal Justice Project, will be the guest speaker and honoree at Rowan University's fifth annual commemorative luncheon for Rosa Parks on Monday, Feb. 22, at 10:50 a.m. in the Eynon Ballroom of the University's Chamberlain Student Center.

Christina Swarns, director of the NAACP's Legal Defense & Education Fund's Criminal Justice Project, will be the guest speaker and honoree at Rowan University's fifth annual commemorative luncheon for Rosa Parks on Monday, Feb. 22, at 10:50 a.m. in the Eynon Ballroom of the University's Chamberlain Student Center.

Tickets for the luncheon are $30 ($10 for students) and must be reserved by Feb. 15. To reserve tickets, contact Corann Okorodudu at 856-256-4793 or okorodudu@rowan.edu.

A graduate of Howard University and the University of Pennsylvania Law School, Swarns is the author of "The Uneven Scales of Capital Justice: How Race and Class Affects Who Ends up on Death Row" and "Don't Resurrect the Death Penalty," two articles that appeared in American Prospect and the Amsterdam News respectively in 2004.

As director of the Criminal Justice Project, she represents individuals charged and/or convicted of criminal and capital offenses, prepares amicus briefs to various courts, including the United States Supreme Court, and assists in the coordination of nationwide strategies for criminal justice reform.

She formerly led the Legal Defense Fund's Race and Criminal Justice Reform Initiative, where she worked to innovate new litigation strategies for challenging criminal justice laws and policies that detrimentally affect African Americans.

Swarns is a former supervising assistant federal defender in the Capital Habeas Corpus Unit of the Philadelphia Federal Defender. She also worked as a staff attorney at the Legal Aid Society, Criminal Defense Division, in Manhattan.

A member of the Bars of New York, Pennsylvania, the United States Supreme Court, among others, Swarns was one of the attorneys who represented Nicholas Yarris, the first Pennsylvania prisoner whose death sentence was overturned due to DNA evidence. She is a member of the boards of the Death Penalty Information Center and New Yorkers Against the Death Penalty.

Sponsored by Rowan's Africana Studies program, the commemorative luncheon for Rosa Parks honors the legacy of the mother of the Civil Rights Movement, who died in 2005. Swarns will be honored at the luncheon for her civil rights work in the legal community.

 

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