a committed activist working on social justice issues. As Co-Director
of www.inquest.org.uk a unique charity that provides expertise
on contentious deaths and their investigation with a particular
focus on custodial death. Deborah leads the policy, legal and
strategic work for social change and has considerable expertise
in working to prevent the deaths and ill treatment of people
in all forms of detention, and in campaigning for more effective
learning and state and corporate accountability. She is regularly
consulted by government, parliamentarians, regulation, inspection
and investigation bodies, coroners, human rights lawyers, NGO's
and international human rights groups. She given written and
oral evidence to numerous parliamentary inquiries and has been
appointed as an expert on a variety of committees and reference
groups including the Independent Advisory Panel on Deaths in
Custody. She has expertise in specialist areas including coronial
reform, policing, human rights compliant investigations, traumatic
bereavement, family liaison, juvenile and youth justice, race
and gender and criminal justice.
work around the deaths of women in prison was instrumental in
persuading the government to set up the review of women with
vulnerabilities in the criminal justice system 'The Corston
report' and she was an active member of its reference group.
She is co-author of 'Dying On the Inside: Examining Women's
Deaths in Prison' an in-depth analysis of women's deaths and
their broader social and political context. It argues for the
abolition of prison for women and for investment in community
She has delivered
conference papers nationally and internationally and is the
co-author of three seminal books on custodial deaths and author
of numerous articles and publications. She has advised on radio
and TV documentaries and collaborated on theatre productions
on social justice issues and is a regular media commentator.
She is also the Chair
of trustees for www.womeninprison.org.uk, a trustee of Theatre
Company www.cleanbreak.org.uk and www.emmahumphreys.org
Author & Activist
Through her activism and scholarship over the last decades,
Angela Davis has been deeply involved in our nation's quest
for social justice. Her work as an educator - both at the university
level and in the larger public sphere - has always emphasized
the importance of building communities of struggle for economic,
racial, and gender justice.
Davis' teaching career has taken her to San Francisco State
University, Mills College, and UC Berkeley. She also has taught
at UCLA, Vassar, the Claremont Colleges, and Stanford University.
She spent the last fifteen years at the University of California,
Santa Cruz where she is now Distinguished Professor Emerita
of History of Consciousness, an interdisciplinary Ph.D program,
and of Feminist Studies.
is the author of nine books and has lectured throughout the
United States as well as in Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia,
and South America. In recent years a persistent theme of her
work has been the range of social problems associated with incarceration
and the generalized criminalization of those communities that
are most affected by poverty and racial discrimination. She
draws upon her own experiences in the early seventies as a person
who spent eighteen months in jail and on trial, after being
placed on the FBI's "Ten Most Wanted List." Davis
has also conducted extensive research on numerous issues related
to race, gender and imprisonment. Her most recent book is The
Meaning of Freedom and Other Difficult Dialogues.
a founding member Critical Resistance, a national organization
dedicated to the dismantling of the prison industrial complex.
Internationally, she is affiliated with Sisters Inside, an abolitionist
organization based in Queensland, Australia that works in solidarity
with women in prison.
other educators, Professor Davis is especially concerned with
the general tendency to devote more resources and attention
to the prison system than to educational institutions. Having
helped to popularize the notion of a "prison industrial
complex," she now urges her audiences to think seriously
about the future possibility of a world without prisons and
to help forge a 21st century abolitionist movement.
University of California
Gina Dent (Ph.D., English & Comparative Literature, Columbia
University) is Associate Professor of Feminist Studies, History
of Consciousness, and Legal Studies at University of California,
Santa Cruz. She served previously as the Director of the Institute
for Advanced Feminist Research and as the Principal Investigator
for the UC Multicampus Research Group on Transnationalizing
Justice. She is the editor of Black Popular Culture (
New York: The New Press, 1998) and author of articles on race,
feminism, popular culture, and visual art. Her forthcoming book
Anchored to the Real: Black Literature in the Wake of Anthropology
(Duke University Press) is a study of the consequences-both
disabling and productive-of social science's role in translating
black writers into American literature. Her current project
grows out of her work as an advocate for human rights and prison
abolition-Prison as a Border, on prisons, popular culture, and
the conditions of knowledge. She has offered courses in critical
race studies and black feminisms in Brazil (Universidade Federal
da Bahia), Colombia (Universidad Nacional de Colombia), and
Sweden (Linköping University) and lectures widely on these
and other subjects. In June 2011, she was a member of a delegation
of indigenous and women of color feminists to Palestine and
speaks often from that experience.
Dr. Erica R. Meiners
Author & Activist
Based in Chicago, I am in involved with a number of initiatives
working for justice.
With others, I am a starter, and still a teacher and a coordinator,
of an alternative high school for men and women who have been
incarcerated, St. Leonard's Adult High School. In 2009, I co-authored
the first LGBTQ audit of teacher education programs in the U.S.
Visibility Matters. I collaborated to develop Women and Prison:
A Site of Resistance and TAME: Teachers Against Militarized
I am the author of
a number of books: Right to be hostile: Schools, prisons and
the making of public enemies (Routledge 2007), Public acts:
Disruptive readings on making curriculum public with Francisco
Ibáñez-Carrasco (Routledge 2004), and my new book
with Therese Quinn, is Flaunt It! Queers organizing for public
education and justice. I also write articles in a range of publications
including AREA Chicago, ReThinking Schools, International Journal
of Qualitative Studies in Education, Meridians, and Upping the
Anti. Check out my article in the latest issue of Radical Teacher.
I blog about resistances, Canadiana and pop cultures for MS
Work with allies
in Chicago about the lives and organizing of undocumented youth
is out, including a piece in Social Justice Journal, and Academe.
I will be a sister at the Simone de Beauvoir Institute in Montreal,
continuing work on fear, childhood and protection. I am also
facilitating/participating in a Communiversity through Project
NIA and the Chicago Freedom School.
My day job is a Professor of Education and Women's Studies at
Northeastern Illinois University - a public, urban institution
in Chicago where I am also a union member of UPI. I am into
making jam, trying to keep my bees alive, all kinds of music,
and long distance running.
Dr. Sharon McIvor
Activist & Academic
Dr. Sharon McIvor is an indigenous activist and academic. She
is a member of the Lower Nicola Indian Band located outside
of Merritt B.C. She has a law degree from the University of
Victoria, a Masters of Laws degree from Queens University and
an Honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of Victoria.
. McIvor is an Instructor, Indigenous Studies, at Nicola Valley
Institute of Technology, Merritt, British Columbia.
She writes and speaks
on women's rights in the context of Aboriginal self-government.
McIvor has worked in the areas of prison reform, violence against
women (including aboriginal women), disability rights, aboriginal
rights and equality rights. She was a member of the Wilson Task
Force on the Status of Women in the Legal Profession and the
Task Force on federally Sentenced Women. McIvor chaired the
Committee that designed and built the Okima Ochi Healing Lodge,
a federal Penitentiary designed for Aboriginal Women, in Saskatchewan.
She has played a
key leadership role in the Native Women's Association of Canada
for many years and is a member of the Feminist Alliance for
International Action (this NGO successfully requested that the
CEDAW Committee institute an Inquiry into missing and murdered
aboriginal women in Canada) and the BC CEDAW coalition. McIvor,
as plaintiff in the McIvor v. Canada case has successfully challenged
the ongoing discrimination in the Indian Act which has forced
the Federal Government to amend the Indian Act (the "McIvor"
amendments). The "McIvor" Amendments added approximately
45,000 newly recognized Indians to the Indian Registry. McIvor
has, as counsel, appeared in the Supreme Court of Canada on
numerous occasions. She also takes her advocacy to the United
Nations and Inter America Commission on Human Rights at an international
Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies
Kim is mother to Michael and Madison. She is a lawyer and teacher
by training and has completed post graduate work in the area
of forensic mental health.
Kim is the Executive Director of the Canadian Association of
Elizabeth Fry Societies (CAEFS), a federation of autonomous
societies that work with, and on behalf of, marginalized, victimized,
criminalized and institutionalized women and girls, throughout
Canada. Kim is also a part-time professor at the University
of Ottawa, Faculty of Law, where she teaches courses on prison
law, and defending battered women on trial.
Kim is an expert on the federal prison system, and on the conditions
and treatment of criminalized women in Canada, and has also
worked with youth and men during her 30 years of working in
and around the legal and penal systems. She is the recipient
of a number of awards in recognition of her work on equality
and human rights. She was honorary doctorates awarded by the
University of Ottawa, Carleton University, and Sir Wilfrid Laurier
Justice Now USA
Cassandra Shaylor is an attorney and activist based in Oakland,
CA. She is the co-founder of Justice Now, an abolitionist organization
and training center focused on people in US women's prisons.
Her academic work focuses on issues of women in prison, abolition,
and the intersections of race, sexuality and gender in the prison
industrial complex. Over the years she has been active with
numerous anti-prison and abolitionist organizations, including
organizing with the California Coalition for Women Prisoners
and co-founding Critical Resistance.
Aboriginal Family Violence Prevention and Legal Service in
Antoinette Braybrook is the CEO of the Aboriginal Family Violence
Prevention and Legal Service in Victoria. Antoinette is an Aboriginal
woman who was born in Victoria on Wurundjeri country. Antoinette's
grandfather and mother's line is through the Kuku Yalangi, North
Queensland. Antoinette graduated Bachelor of Laws at Deakin
University in 2000 and was admitted as a legal practitioner
in Victoria in 2004. Antoinette is a member of the Victorian
Aboriginal Justice Forum, the peak coordinating body responsible
for overseeing the development, implementation and direction
of Koori initiatives under the Victorian Aboriginal Justice
Agreement and the Indigenous Family Violence Partnership Forum
as well as other committees and forums. Antoinette
also currently holds the position of National Convenor for the
National Family Violence Prevention Legal Services Forum which
comprises 13 organisations responsible for delivery of the FVPLS
Program servicing 31 high-need regional and remote areas in
North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency
Priscilla Collins is Eastern Arrernte from Central Australia
and mother of 6 children. Priscilla is the CEO of the North
Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency which provides high-quality
and culturally appropriate legal aid services for Indigenous
people in the Top End. She is fully engaged in pursuing the
rights of Indigenous people through law and policy reform.
As the Deputy Chairperson of National ATSILS, Cilla aims to
work towards gaining justice for Indigenous people and keeping
their culture, tradition and law strong. Cilla won Northern
Territory Businesswoman of the year for the 2011 community and
government sector. She holds a Master of Arts in Producing and
is included in the 2008-2012 edition of Who's Who of Australian
Previously Cilla was the CEO of the CAAMA Group, the largest
Indigenous owned and operated multimedia organisation in Australia.
She managed the commercial enterprises of the CAAMA Group through
Radio Broadcasting, Remote Indigenous Broadcasting, Independent
Music Label, Film and Television Production Company, Shops and
Cilla actively promoted Indigenous culture, language, dance
and music worldwide and worked with the Australian Indigenous
Communications Association in establishing the National Indigenous
Television Service. She was also the Executive Producer and
Creator of the first Indigenous children's television series
called Double Trouble produced for a commercial network, Channel
9, and Disney. "Double Trouble" was nominated for
an AFI in 2008 for "Best Children's Drama".
Previously she was a Board Director on Indigenous Business Australia
and Chairperson of the Indigenous Australian Indigenous Communications
Association, Board Director of Imparja Television, National
Indigenous Television Service and Indigenous Screen Australia.
University of New South Wales
Dr Megan Davis is a Professor of Law and a Commissioner of the
NSW Land and Environment Court. Professor Davis is a Fellow
of the Australian Academy of Law and a member of the NSW Sentencing
Megan is a UN expert member of the United Nations Permanent
Forum on Indigenous Peoples and holds portfolios including Administration
of Justice and Gender and Women.
Professor Davis teaches, writes and researches in the areas
of Public Law (Constitutional Law) and Public International
Law and Indigenous Peoples and the Law.
In 2011, Megan was appointed to the Expert Panel on the Recognition
of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in the Constitution
and continues to be involved in legal discussions on the constitutional
issues relating to the referendum model.
In addition, for the past seven years Megan has researched and
worked in the area of Aboriginal women in particular Violence
Against Indigenous Women and sentencing, political representation
of Aboriginal women and the limitations of the human rights
system for Indigenous Women. Megan's doctoral thesis, to be
published in a forthcoming book, argues that the right to self-determination
as it is recognised in international law does not pay adequate
attention to the situation of Aboriginal women and explores
in particular one aspect of Martha Nussbaum's theory of capabilities,
a constitutional guarantee to equality.
Megan has extensive experience as an international lawyer at
the UN and participated in the drafting of the UNDRIP from 1999-2004
and is a former UN Fellow of the UN Office of the High Commissioner
for Human Rights in Geneva.
Megan is an admitted Legal Practitioner of the Supreme Court
of the A.C.T. although currently not practising.
Professor Davis was awarded the 2010 NAIDOC Scholar of the Year
and in 2013 awarded the National Australia Bank/Women's Agenda
Inspirational Ambassador Award. Megan supports the North Queensland
Cowboys and the Queensland Maroons.
Sisters Inside Inc.
Debbie Kilroy OAM, MLB, GDFMenH, GDLPrac, BSocWk is a former
prisoner and the CEO of Sisters Inside-an independent community
organisation in Brisbane, Australia that advocates for the human
rights of criminalised women. Kilroy is a strong, active advocate
for the implementation and monitoring of human rights within
women's prisons and works against discriminatory practices.
Kilroy has participated in several international meetings, including
the expert meeting to develop the UN Rules for the Treatment
of Women Prisoners and Non-Custodial Measures for Women Offenders
(Bangkok Rules) and the Commission on the Status of Women sessions
annually. She is the first person convicted of serious criminal
offences admitted to practice law in Australia. Her expertise
is in criminal defence law.
Novelist & Founding Member of Sisters Inside
Melissa Lucashenko is an award-winning novelist who lives between
Brisbane and the Bundjalung nation. Her writing explores the
stories and passions of ordinary Australians with particular
reference to Aboriginal people and others living around the
margins of the First World. Melissa's most recent book is Mullumbimby,
a contemporary novel of romantic love and cultural warfare which
was awarded the prestigious 2013 Queensland Literary Award for
Melissa is a founding member of Sisters Inside, a groundbreaking
organization which supports criminalized women in Queensland.
She is currently working on a novel of historical Queensland,
as well as on a theatrical production with NORPA in Lismore.
Her website is at www.melissalucashenko.com.au
Dr Anne Summers
Author & Journalist
Dr Anne Summers AO is a best-selling author, journalist and
thought-leader with a long career in politics, the media, business
and the non-government sector in Australia, Europe and the United
She is author of
several books, including the classic Damned Whores and God's
Police, first published in 1975, Ducks on the Pond, her autobiography
in 1999, The End of Equality, (2003) On Luck (2008) and The
Lost Mother (2009). Her new book The Misogyny Factor will be
published in early 2013. She writes on politics and social issues
regularly for a number of Australian newspapers including the
Sydney Morning Herald, the Age, and the Australian Financial
Review and she is the editor and publisher of a new digital
magazine Anne Summers Reports annesummers.com.au/asr/
BROCHURE - CONFERNECE
PROGRAM - KEYNOTE
CONFERENCE DINNER - WOMEN
WITH LIVED PRISON EXPERIENCE