Contact: Elizabeth Coplan
University of Washington School of Law



White House Champions of Change Honoring Ron Whitener

SEATTLE – The White House and its Access to Justice Initiative are sponsoring a Champions of Change streaming video event that includes inspirational justice stories. More than 100 law schools are tuning in to this historic conversation about what lawyers can do to close the justice gap. Professor Ron Whitener, Director of the UW Law Tribal Court Criminal Defense Clinic & the Native American Law Center is being honored as a champion of change.

Attorney General Eric Holder will field questions that have been submitted electronically. The 16 Champions of Change have devoted their time and expertise to providing much needed legal services to people who cannot afford them.

  • Laura Able, Acting Co-Director, Brennan Center Justice Program, New York, NY
  • Martha Bergmark, President/CEO, Mississippi Center for Justice, Jackson, MS
  • Todd Belcore, Staff Attorney and Equal Justice Works Fellow, Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, Chicago, IL
  • Deborah Ellis, Assistant Dean for Public Service, New York University School of Law, New York, NY
  • Paula Sela Gomez, Executive Director, Brownsville Community Health Center and David Gray Hall, Executive Director, Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, Brownsville, TX (Shared Champion Award for Medical/Legal Partnership)
  • Nan Heald, Executive Director, Pine Tree Legal Assistance, Portland, ME
  • Lillian Johnson, Executive Director, Community Legal Service, Phoenix, AZ
  • Addison Parker, Former Litigation Director, Appalachian Research and Defense Fund of Kentucky, Prestonsburg, KY
  • Michael Pinard, Professor and Director of Clinical Programs, University of Maryland Francis Carey School of Law, Baltimore, MD
  • Deborah Rhode, E.W. McFarland Professor of Law, Stanford Law School, Stanford, CA
  • Tom Saenz, President and CEO, Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, Los Angeles, CA
  • Brad Smith, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Microsoft Corporation, Seattle, WA
  • David Stern, Executive Director, Equal Justice Works, Washington, DC
  • Jo-Ann Wallace, President/CEO, National Legal Aid and Defender Association, Washington, DC
  • Ron Whitener, Director, Tribal Court Defense Clinic, University of Washington Law School, Seattle, WA

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