A Legal Perspective on Race, Civil Rights, and Social Justice
As CMC's 2015 Martin Luther King commemorative speaker, Paul Henderson, legal analyst, commentator, and former prosecutor, will address race and justice in America and discuss recent events and legal decisions that have attracted national notoriety and caused significant and widespread social unrest.
Prior to his current position as deputy chief of staff & public safety director for San Francisco's Mayor Ed Lee, Henderson spent nearly 20 years as a prosecutor. He also served as the chief administrator at the San Francisco District Attorney's Office, the highest position ever held by a LGBT or African-American male attorney at the office.
In spite of the demands of this "day job," he remains an activist on criminal justice reform, civil rights, and social justice causes. Nominated for the American Association's Stonewall Award in 2014, Henderson is admired for his "tireless efforts to smartly end all forms of violence, promote meaningful real opportunities for high risk youth and their families, and build bridges between the historic San Francisco LGBT and diverse communities of color."
Henderson also has been recognized for introducing numerous cutting-edge programs of national consequence including, a modified approach to 3 strikes, juvenile drug court, juvenile domestic violence court, drug possession court, community justice court and a neighborhood DA program. Over the years these programs have served as model initiatives of national recognition that have contributed to the reform of the criminal justice system.
He has also implemented several initiatives geared toward increasing diversity within the law enforcement system in San Francisco. Under his guidance, the District Attorney's Office instituted a robust internship program that takes in over 350 interns annually from a large pool of applicants. Since instituting this program in 2003, the diversity of the DA's employees (women, people of color, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people) has increased 85%.
Paul Henderson's talk is co-sponsored by the President's Leadership Fund.