BREAKOUT SESSION:

SOCIAL JUSTICE
Let's discuss how to make the world a better place that includes a fair and just world for everyone. How can we be empowered to build a just society that celebrates diversity and equality?

GILLIAN ATKINSON - WORKSHOP MODERATOR

Gillian Atkinson has proudly worked in the field of Higher Education for almost twenty years. She has successfully governed in a plethora of positions from Admissions to University Advising.  Gillian currently serves as the Director of Intercultural Engagement and Inclusion at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York. Within this role, Gillian has spoken to and trained over 8000 students about the importance of creating an inclusive, diverse and equitable campus, for all community members. Her favorite part of her career is seeing a student's growth over the years from a sometimes shy, unsure young person into mature confident world citizen.

Gillian earned an Associate of Science in Criminal Justice from Nassau Community College. A Bachelor of Business Administration from Nyack College and a Master of Business Administration from Dowling College. She is a single Mother with three phenomenal children -who, she calls, her three greatest Blessings.  In her spare time, Gillian enjoys walking with her friends, writing romantic fiction, and travelling the world with her family.

AMRITHA JACOB - WORKSHOP MODERATOR

Amritha is a rising senior from Long Island, New York who has a deeply rooted passion for intersectional activism and equity for all. Growing up she was heavily influenced by Indian and immigrant culture which shaped who she is today and many of her passions. She is currently serving as her school’s president of Model Congress, student District Curriculum Committee representative, a student body leader, and as a dedicated member to many other groups.

In her free time she cooks, travels, and spends time with her family and friends. She enjoys being out and about in new places, trying new things, because she believes the best way to learn is through experience. Having been involved with Girl Scouts through her troop for over ten years now, she has been able to dedicate her time to bettering herself and her home through volunteer work and learning about community building.

JOYCE SMITH - WORKSHOP MODERATOR

Joyce Smith is the Executive Assistant District Attorney for the Community Relations Division of the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office. 

In that capacity, she oversees five program offices including Recruitment, Immigrant Affairs, Victim Services and school-based programming, Community Affairs as well as the NCDA’s Community Partnership Program Office in Hempstead.  To further District Attorney Madeline Singas’ vision for proactive community engagement, she created eight advisory councils comprised of faith leaders, business owners, students, and affinity-group members from a wide range of leaders in the African American, Hispanic, South Asian and Asian communities of Nassau County.  Ms. Smith is currently working to expand these advisory councils into regional or community-based membership, which will afford additional opportunities for collaboration among the police, prosecutors and the communities they serve. Ms. Smith maintains an interest in developing new and unique opportunities to enhance NCDA’s community engagement efforts.  She has broadened the office’s participation in the annual National Night Out Against Crime events that take place at police precincts and parks around the country.  Ms. Smith is a member of the Hempstead Prevention Coalition that was created by the Family and Children’s Association to address substance abuse and addiction in Hempstead Village.  In addition, she is working closely with the County Executive’s team responsible for the development of the Nassau County Family Justice Center, which will provide important resources for families in crisis and survivors of intimate partner violence. 

Ms. Smith came to the Nassau D.A.’s office with a rich background in both criminal and civil justice.  Her prior service included four years as a staff attorney in the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights’ Office of the General Counsel; three years with the NYC Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence, where she served as Executive Director for the Bronx Family Justice Center, and then Deputy Chief of Staff for OCDV headquarters; and fourteen years with the Queens D.A., where she specialized in prosecuting domestic violence cases, eventually rising to the position of Unit Chief in the Special Prosecutions Division.  She is currently an Adjunct Professor for Hofstra University’s Maurice A. Deane School of Law and Nassau Community College, where she teaches various courses in the law and criminal justice.  She previously taught undergraduate criminal justice courses for Monroe College, University of Maryland, and the Community College of Baltimore County.  She has written or edited numerous scholarly works on police-community relations and law enforcement best practices.  Ms. Smith was raised in Hollis, Queens, and is a graduate of Adelphi University and Howard University School of Law.

 

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