Understanding the Issues of Police Accountability and Reform: August 26

Join us for our inaugural Conversation on Wednesday, August 26 with UChicago Law Professor Sharon Fairley and ACLU Policing Policy Advisor Paige Fernandez.  NIU Law Professor Paul Cain will moderate.

Understanding the Issues of Police Accountability and Reform

Wednesday, August 26, 2020
5:30 – 7:00 p.m. CST
Virtual Event on Zoom


About this Event
The NIU College of Law Race and the Law Conversations will provide a platform with expert panelists who will engage in much needed conversations on a wide range of racial and social justice issues including, but limited to, racial inequality, police brutality, and mass incarceration. Join us for our inaugural that will discuss police accountability and reform with Professor Sharon Fairley and ACLU Policing Policy Advisor Paige Fernandez. NIU Law Professor Paul Cain will moderate.


Sharon Fairley
Professor from Practice
University of Chicago Law School

Sharon R. Fairley is a Professor from Practice at the University of Chicago Law School where she has been teaching law since 2015. Ms. Fairley immersed herself in the world of civilian oversight of law enforcement in December 2015,  when, following the controversial officer-involved shooting death of Laquan McDonald, she was appointed to serve as the Chief Administrator of the Independent Police Review Authority, which, at that time, was the Chicago agency responsible for police misconduct investigations.  In that role, Ms. Fairley implemented a series of reforms and she was also responsible for creating and building Chicago’s new Civilian Office of Police Accountability. Prior to her work in civilian oversight, Ms. Fairley served as the First Deputy Inspector General and General Counsel for the City of Chicago Office of the Inspector General.  Ms. Fairley also served eight years as a federal prosecutor with the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois, investigating and trying criminal cases involving illegal firearms possession, narcotics conspiracy, bank robbery/murder, murder for hire and economic espionage, among other criminal acts.  Ms. Fairley holds a B.S. degree in mechanical and aerospace Engineering from Princeton University, an M.B.A. degree in marketing from The Wharton School of Business, and a J.D. degree from the University of Chicago Law School.

Paige Fernandez
Policing Policy Advisor
ACLU National Political Advocacy Department

Paige Fernandez is the Policing Policy Advisor in the ACLU’s National Political Advocacy Department. Fernandez develops and implements comprehensive strategies that advance the ACLU’s affirmative vision for reducing the role, power, presence, and responsibilities of the police in U.S. communities. She also develops and leads nationwide advocacy around police practices.

Fernandez’s approach to policing advocacy places communities at the forefront of the work, a practice rooted in her grassroots experience. Prior to joining the ACLU, she co-founded and directed multiple chapters of Together We Stand, a nonprofit aimed at dismantling racism, discrimination, and police brutality. She also has a master’s degree in Public Policy from Oxford University and a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College.

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