How Organizations Choose Impact Litigation – Phil Telfeyan (Fri)

This workshop led by guest speaker Phil Telfeyan will highlight the criteria that organizations utilize in their evaluation of potential constitutional challenges they can support. Impact litigation groups like the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Equal Justice Under Law have limited resources, and that means difficult decisions must be made about which challenges are likely to have the greatest impact. Our own advocacy groups can learn from this decision-making process how to select challenges of their own.

Building Relationships in the Legislature – Mary Sue Molnar (Fri, Sat)

If you want to be effective, you must work with the law-makers chosen by the voters. This means getting to know them, and learning who your friends and enemies are, so that you can either amend or block bad legislation from passing and encourage good legislation to be introduced. Guest speaker and veteran advocate Mary Sue Molnar will give you some tools and practice in what to do and how to achieve more in your state’s legislature.

Tracking/Analyzing Proposed Legislation – Larry Neely (Fri, Sat)

So they’ve introduced another bad bill… At least, you think so. But how do you analyze what it really does and develop a rational and convincing response that will stop it from passing? Find out some analysis tips and try working up some talking points in this workshop led by veteran New Mexico legislative advocate Larry Neely and Maryland advocate Brenda Jones.

Eight Fundamentals to Launching an Affiliate – Robin Vanderwall (Fri, Sat)

Want to launch an affiliate organization in your state? Want to strengthen the one you already have? NCRSOL’s president, Robin Vanderwall, has assisted in the launch of several organizations. NCRSOL has grown steadily since its launch in Spring 2016 and has quickly engaged its resources in building membership and joining legal actions. Robin will share eight fundamental steps to establishing and growing a healthy, vital advocacy group.

Support Groups How-To – Panel  (Fri, Sat)

Support groups are a great way to get started when there are only a handful of advocates in a state. They are also a good tool for growth for more seasoned organizations. Come hear from seasoned support group leaders how to launch and maintain a healthy, long-running group, with a focus on using the Fearless model.

Low Hanging Fruit – Smaller Challenges Advocates Might File – Paul Dubbeling (Fri, Sat)

Attorney and guest speaker Paul Dubbeling will share his vision for how we can use winnable challenges (low-hanging fruit) to existing registration schemes as a means to begin dismantling the more onerous and difficult-to-challenge registration restrictions and requirements from state to state.

Fundraising 101: The Mechanics of Raising Money – Richard Mori and Robin Vanderwall (Fri, Sat)

Raising money for nonprofit organizations is not an easy task no matter what condition the economy is in. But it’s easier to manage if you learn about the different methods of fundraising and choose those that are best suited to your organization’s needs. Richard Mori and Robin Vanderwall will provide an overview of useful methods for raising the necessary funds to support your advocacy work. Drawing from their many years of experience in different spheres of the fundraising world, Richard and Robin will share their expertise and skills for the benefit of everyone who attends this workshop.

Parole, Probation, Supervised Release, and Registration: What’s the Difference? –“Dolly Madison”, Barbara Gail, Kevin Fuller (Fri, Sat)

This workshop will provide an overview and discussion of community supervision: What are the differences between probation & parole? What are the standards that apply? When is it appropriate to stand up for my rights and when should I toe the line? And how can I tell the difference? How do registration requirements change once supervision has been completed? These are just some of the things you can learn about in this workshop.

Recruiting and Engaging Members and Volunteers – Will Mingus, Scott Morgan and Tammy Lewis (Fri, Sat)

One of the toughest tasks an advocacy leader faces is finding and engaging people in contributing to our Cause, whether that is membership, volunteering, or event participation. Three successful Illinois Voices leaders will explore some tips for maximizing engagement with stakeholders in your state.

Storytelling for Change: Using Creative Non-Fiction to Influence Public Opinion – Phil Horner (Fri, Sat)

Phil Horner writes a blog called “Notes from the Land of Oz” for the Citizens for Criminal Justice Reform website ( “Statistics don’t change opinions,” Phil says, “stories do.” In this workshop, Phil will show how the genre of creative non-fiction can be an effective tool to tell stories that can begin to change public opinion.

Messaging and Strategic Alliances – Laurie Jo Reynolds and Will Mingus (Sat, Sun)

Having an effective message is one of the most difficult tasks in any type of social reform, and having the wrong message can be disastrous for any movement. An effective message can change the conversation from one of “us vs them” and instead focus the conversation on common values. Working with other organizations is an invaluable part of changing hearts and minds. Illinois Voices will share its strategy on messaging and strategic alliances.

“Selling” an Incremental Approach to Change – Moderated discussion (Sat, Sun)

Seasoned advocates have learned the frustrating truth that change does not come easily or quickly. But we are constantly faced with new advocates and members and donors who want immediate results. How can we acknowledge their desire for that “silver bullet,” while also being honest about the hard road ahead? You won’t get easy answers at this workshop, but we will put our heads together and work on some possible messages.

Fearless Demo Group (Fri, Sun)

These sessions led by experienced group leaders give participants a taste of how a Fearless support/advocacy group works. There will be a brief introduction describing meetings and protocols, then time to “practice” sharing, Fearless-style!

Self-Care for Advocates – Cindy Prizio & Richard Mori (Sat)

Advocates are notorious for driving themselves fast and hard. There are always so many things left to do! But we can work best for the Cause if we also remember to take care of ourselves. This workshop led by two fellow advocates will outline how to do that.

How to Launch Constitutional Challenges – Glenn Gerding & Paul Dubbeling (Sat)

Drawing from their unique backgrounds in successfully challenging sex offender registration requirements, defense attorney Glenn Gerding (Packingham v. North Carolina) and plaintiff’s attorney Paul Dubbeling (Does v. Cooper) will walk us through the ins and outs of successful constitutional challenges either on behalf of a criminal defendant or as a citizen who believes a law is unconstitutional and unfair.

Recent Challenges Advocates Should Know – Barry Porter (Sat)

This workshop led by New Mexico attorney Barry Porter will walk us through some important challenges that impact fundamental rights such as the Fifth Amendment and the right to reside where one chooses. The cases that will be discussed are: (1) United States v. Von Behren dealing with self-incrimination; (2) Duarte v. City of Lewisville which amounts to banishment from an entire city; and (3) John Freitas, et. al v. Peter Kilmartin which would retroactively force registered citizens from their homes.

Georgia Removal Process – Tim Crouch and Brandon Thomas (Sat)

Georgia is one of the few states with a removal process for some registrants. In this workshop, Georgia attorney Barry Crouch will walk people through Georgia’s removal process and answer questions from attendees. Georgia attorney Brandon Thomas will discuss fighting registration on other grounds such as a pardon or being required to register for a non-sexual offense. Mr. Thomas will also discuss the issues of federal SORNA, because you may still be required to register in another state if you travel outside Georgia after winning release from GA registration requirements.

Georgia: Reducing Harm of Conviction – Kurt Martin (Sat)

This workshop is specific to Georgia law and is intended to help you understand the various legal options available to minimize the harm of an arrest or a conviction. For example, Georgians who plea under the first offender act are not convicted or sentenced, and if they finish first offender probation successfully, their cases may be dismissed and closed without any conviction. This allows their records to later be restricted or expunged from certain kinds of criminal history reports. Also, some records can be sealed or shielded from public access. Finally, we consider the possibility of getting a pardon in Georgia. This workshop will go though the various options and explain how to determine which may be best for you.

Finding a Place to Worship – Rev. Olin M. Ivey, Ph.D. (Sun)

This workshop by retired United Methodist minister Olin Ivey will have two components. The first portion will assist those wanting to find a church home that will welcome you into the family. Some churches do claim to be welcoming but they require that registered citizens be always be chaperoned while on church property and limit the person from fully participating. The second component of the time will include a brief worship service with singing.