Gideon’s Promise to Host Training for Public Defenders at Morehouse College


Atlanta, GA — June 11, 2018 — Gideon’s Promise, a public defender advocacy organization, will kick off its 2018 Summer Training Institute July 27 – July 29 at the Shirley A. Massey Executive Conference Center at Morehouse College, 830 Westview Drive, S.W., Atlanta, GA 30314.

The weekend of programs and activities will serve as Gideon’s Promise’s biennial gathering to provide training, leadership development and mentoring to public defenders from across the county. Comprised of three concurrent programs, the Summer Training Institute was developed to support public defenders at various career levels. New lawyers, supervisors, chief defenders, trainers and law students considering careers in public defense will learn strategies and tactics to improve delivery of public defense services in their areas and decrease burnout and high turnover rates common in the profession. The Gideon’s Promise curriculum will be taught by a faculty of seasoned attorneys from the organization’s national roster of partner public defender offices and law schools. Guest speakers and a barbeque will round out the weekend.

Under the direction of Gideon’s Promise Executive Director Ilham Askia, the Summer Training Institute moved from its previous location at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, Mississippi to Morehouse College. The relocation was executed in conjunction with the school’s Office of the President and Director of Moot Court and Instructor Winfield Ward Murray. Additionally, ten pre-law students from Morehouse and neighboring Spelman College will receive internships to assist in the management of the Summer Training Institute and participate in the programming and networking taking place on campus.

“We are very excited for Morehouse College to host our 2018 Summer Training Institute,” says Gideon Promise Founder and President Jonathan Rapping. “The institution’s inspired legacy in the battle for civil rights dovetails nicely with our organization’s work to strengthen public defenders in this country. I strongly believe that criminal justice is this generation’s civil and human rights struggle and empowered public defenders are essential to transforming the culture of pubic defense in America” he continued.

After the initial weekend, the Gideon’s Promise Summer Training Institute will move to the Post-Office Cowork, where it will conclude on August 11. For more information on the Gideon’s Promise Summer Training Institute or the organization’s other programs and activities, please visit, email [email protected] or call 404.525.4505.

Gideon’s Promise, a non-profit 501(c)(3) public defender advocacy organization that provides training, leadership development and mentorship to improve the quality of legal representation for the clients and communities they serve. Founded in 2007 by Jonathan Rapping, the organization has grown from a single training program for sixteen attorneys in two public defender offices in Georgia and Louisiana to a national enterprise with 1,000 participants in 104 partner, statewide and affiliate public defender offices across 29 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The organization’s initial three-year program for new public defenders has expanded into a comprehensive program model that supports public defenders at all levels of their career.