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  • MN Justice Research Center

MNJRC's 2023 Re-Imagining Justice Conference -- Centering Humanity Over Fear

Program Details

Thursday, November 16th

  • 6 - 9 PM: In-person opening reception and keynote address at Plymouth Congregational Church,1919 LaSalle Ave S, Minneapolis

Friday, November 17th

  • 8 AM - 1 PM: virtual plenary and breakout sessions via Zoom

Break for lunch on your own

  • 3 PM - 5 PM: In-person closing plenary and networking at PAIKKA/Lake Monster Brewing, 550 Vandalia St, St. Paul, MN 55114

Register for the conference HERE

The MNJRC's annual Re-Imagining Justice Conference is an inspirational convening of a broad diversity of criminal legal system practitioners, scholars, advocates, impacted persons, and community members. Through keynotes, plenaries, and breakout sessions, we create the space to share and learn from efforts to bring the criminal legal system closer to a true justice system.

This year we will be "centering humanity over fear". We seek to address the pervasive fear rhetoric about crime and criminals and instead use our research and practice to better understand and support the humanity of all while repairing harm and holding individuals accountable to create safe communities.

The conference opens on Thursday evening, November 16th with an opening reception from 6 PM - 7 PM, with programming starting at 7 PM. The MNJRC is excited to announce this year's Re-Imagining Justice conference opening keynote, Briana Payton on the Campaign for Pretrial Justice. Briana Payton is with the Chicago Appleseed Center for Fair Courts and a member of the Coalition to End Money Bond and Illinois Network for Pretrial Justice. Through her work, she collaborates with organizers, impacted people, attorneys, and policy experts to advance pretrial justice practices, including the Pretrial Fairness Act, which made Illinois the first state in the country to end money bonds. Opening night activities will take place at Plymouth Congregational Church, 1919 LaSalle Ave in Minneapolis.

On Friday, November 17th, attendees will convene online for a morning of virtual programming, starting with a main stage plenary, "Centering the Humanity of Youth: Looking Across Systems to Support Young People". There will be three rounds of breakout sessions with four options each time from practitioners from around the country sharing their work on Building Safe and Just Communities, Creating a Just System, and Transforming Re-Entry.

Tickets are now available for general admission, legal professionals seeking CLE credits, student-priced, and social work CEUs. Limited scholarships and group rates are available by contacting the MNJRC at Tickets are also available for the opening night reception and keynote address only at a reduced price here.



Thursday, November 16th

In-person at Plymouth Congregational Church

6 PM - 7 PM: Opening reception with appetizers

7 PM: Program begins, featuring:

  • Artistic performance by Jamela Pettiford, singer

  • Welcome comments by Pastor DeWayne Davis

  • Keynote address on the Campaign for Pretrial Fairness by Briana Payton, Senior Policy Analyst for the Chicago Appleseed Center for Fair Courts

  • Fireside Chat, Briana Payton interviewed by Nadine Graves, Deputy Director for Community Legal Services at the Legal Rights Center


Friday, November 17th

Morning virtual programming over Zoom

8 AM: Opening and Main Stage Plenary: "Centering the Humanity of Youth: Looking Across Systems to Support Young People" with Subini Ancy Annamma, Associate Professor of Education at Stanford University; Malaika Eban, Executive Director of the Legal Rights Center, and Curtis Shanklin, Co-Director of the Minnesota Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) and Community Faculty at Metro State University*

9:30 AM: Breakout Session A

Room 1 - Beyond Mental Health Responders: A Holistic System for First Response*

Room 2 - Using Restorative Approaches to Respond to Gender-based Violence*

Room 3 - Time Saved vs. Time Served: We Resolve, a Participatory Defense Hub

Room 4 - In While Out: Navigating the Invisible Barriers to Reentry*

10:35 AM: Breakout Session B

Room 1 - Community-Based Alternatives to Policing*

Room 2 - Who Gets to Define Safety? St Paul Youths Impacted By Violence Have a Say

Room 3 - Procedural Fairness: A Strategy for Restoring Confidence in Courts#

Room 4 - Prioritizing Driver’s License Issues and Changes to Minnesota Statute*

11:40 AM: Breakout Session C

Room 1 - Beyond Policing: How Community Advocates are Reimagining Safe and Equitable Public Transit Systems

Room 2 - Tracing the Public Health Consequences of the Police Murder of George Floyd

Room 3 - Confronting MN Sex Offense Civil Commitment: Moving Away From Fear-based Policies, Toward Effective Community Violence Prevention*

Room 4 - From Catching Failure to Promoting Success: Transforming Community Supervision*

1 PM: Virtual programming concludes

*CLE eligible; #CLE pending

  • Break for lunch on your own

Friday, November 17th

Afternoon in-person programming at PAIKKA/Lake Monster Brewing

3 PM - 4 PM Closing Plenary: “Leadership on Public Safety in Challenging Times”, moderated by MPR Host Angela Davis, featuring Lt. Gov Peggy Flanagan, State Rep. Cedrick Frazier, and Ramsey County Attorney John Choi. Opening by St Paul Mayor Melvin Carter

4 PM - 5 PM: Networking at Lake Monster Brewing

550 Vandalia St

St. Paul, MN 55114

Food and drink are available for purchase

Don't forget to register! Tickets for this year’s conference are $75 for General Admission, $250 for CLE tickets, and $85 for MN Social Work Continuing Education credits. Student tickets, discounted rates for public interest lawyers, and limited scholarships are also available. Register HERE!

We can’t wait for you to join us!


Thank you to our Sponsors

Founding Sponsor: Thomson Reuters

Justice Champions

Justice Advocates

Justice Allies


Wilder Research

Master of Human Rights - University of Minnesota

Minnesota Department of Corrections

Justice Supporters

Dorsey & Whitney * MN Adult and Teen Challenge


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