10th Annual Pisgah Legal Justice Forum Oct. 1st

Pisgah Legal Services’ 10th Annual Justice Forum will be held online for the first time on October 1st. Clint Smith, Ph.D., is the featured speaker, and he will be speaking via Zoom about racial justice. The Advance Online Reception begins at 6:00pm, followed by the Online Forum at 7:00pm.

Tickets to the Pre-Event Virtual Reception are $25/person and will include a poetry reading by Clint Smith and a musical performance by local musician Kat Williams. The Forum is free. Advance registration is required. To register or purchase tickets, visit www.pisgahlegal.org/justiceforum or call Ally Wilson at 210-3444.

Clint Smith uses his experience as an award-winning poet and teacher to share personal stories of justice, community, and education. He illuminates how we can all find the courage to create change, overcome challenges, and unite ourselves through the power of the collective voice.

His two TED Talks, The Danger of Silence and How to Raise a Black Son in America have been viewed more than seven million times. He was named to the 2018 Forbes 30 Under 30 list as well as Ebony Magazine’s 2017 Power 100 list.

Smith is a 2014 National Poetry Slam champion, an Individual World Poetry Slam Finalist, a Cave Canem Fellow, a Callaloo Fellow, and has served as a cultural ambassador for the U.S. Department of State.

His first full-length collection of poetry, Counting Descent, won the 2017 Literary Award for Best Poetry Book from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association, and was a finalist for an NAACP Image Award. His other writing has been published in The New YorkerThe GuardianBoston ReviewAmerican Poetry ReviewHarvard Educational Review, and he has just joined The Atlantic as a staff writer.

Smith earned his Ph.D. in Education at Harvard University, a B.A. in English from Davidson College and is an alumnus of the New Orleans Public School System.

Since 1978, nonprofit Pisgah Legal Services has provided free civil legal aid to help people with low incomes seek justice and meet their basic needs. Pisgah Legal provides a broad array of legal services in 11 WNC counties, and offers health and immigration law services in 18 counties. Last year PLS served more than 18,000 people across the mountain region.

PLS has offices in Asheville, Burnsville, Brevard, Hendersonville, Marshall, and Rutherfordton and has added staff in 2020 to serve the people of Macon and Jackson counties. Pisgah Legal has 32 attorneys on staff and relies heavily on the pro bono legal services of approximately 300 volunteer attorneys.

This is the 10th year Pisgah Legal Services has hosted this this annual event to call for justice, draw attention to the plight of people struggling to make ends meet in WNC and to continue the conversation about pressing local and national issues. Former speakers include: Jose Antonio VargasMatthew DesmondMarian Wright EdelmanPeter Edelman and Sister Simone Campbell.