Episode 3 – An Ode to Public Defenders

On This Episode

This episode of Gideon’s Promise: The Podcast features a little twist! Gideon’s Promise Executive Director, Ilham Askia interviews President, Jonathan Rapping, about his first book, Gideon’s Promise: A Public Defender Movement to Transform Criminal Justice. This book centers public defenders in the broader struggle to transform criminal justice. Gideon’s Promise is coming to you on August 18th.


About The Guests

Ilham Askia is Executive Director of Gideon’s Promise. Almost every man in Ilham Askia’s family has been a victim of the criminal justice system. Askia’s father went to Attica Correctional Facility when she was five years old. She helped raise her younger brother who ended up in prison. Askia became a teacher to break the school-to-prison pipeline, but soon questioned how much of a difference she could make on the front end. This led to her joining Rapping to start Gideon’s Promise and, ultimately, to become the organization’s Executive Director, where she advocates for attacking the pipeline on the back end. In this capacity, Askia has oversight of the organization’s daily operations, annual budget, strategic plan, personnel, fundraising, board development, and regulatory compliance. Under Askia’s leadership Gideon’s Promise has won numerous awards including, but not limited to, Stephen B. Bright Public Defender Award, Emory University’s Martin Luther King Jr. Community Service Award, Southern Center for Human Rights’ Gideon’s Promise Award, The National Association of Sentencing Advocates and Mitigation Specialists Sentencing Project Award and the American College of Trial Lawyers Emil Gumpert Award. She was also awarded the WNBA Atlanta Dream Inspiring Woman Award and was named a 2019 NBA Atlanta Hawks most notable Atlantan.

Ilham Askia on Facebook 

Ilham Askia on Twitter 

You’ll Learn About

Key Themes in the Book

  • A Voice for the Voiceless
  • The Evolving Narrative of Justice
  • Routine Injustice

Gideon’s Promise: The Podcast can be found on SoundCloudApple PodcastsSpotifyYouTube and at the Gideon’s Promise Website.


Further Reading

Gideon’s Promise: A Public Defender Movement to Transform Criminal Justice (2020) by Jonathan Rapping (Pre-order).