Know Your Systems: Navigating the New Normal

Wednesday, October 7th 2020

10:00 AM - 12:30 PM


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Attorneys and trainers from the Defender Association will lead an interactive workshop on navigating the current crisis in the criminal justice system. Now more than ever with uncertain court openings, virtual hearings, and shifting policies and procedures, our communities need to be informed and engaged in the system to uphold a fair process and just outcomes for all.  In this training, participants will learn ongoing practices, current challenges, and the power that individuals and groups have within the system.

Also featured after the workshop will be artist conversations from Day 2 of our Art as Resistance Gallery, with art elevating the perspectives of individuals, families and communities impacted by mass incarceration


Workshop Facilitated by

Kavita Goyal, MSKavita Goyal, MS

Community Partnership Coordinator, Defender Association of Philadelphia

Kavita Goyal serves as the Community Partnership Coordinator at the Defender Association of Philadelphia since 2017.  In this role, Kavita helps the Defender develop meaningful collaborations with community groups and provide interactive trainings for individuals and organizations to support people involved in the justice system.  Kavita’s work includes partnering with the Participatory Defense movement in Philadelphia and nationally.

Prior to her work at Defender, Kavita has served as Associate Director at the Nonprofit Executive Leadership Institute and as Program Director for school-based mentorship and educational programs at the Center for Humanistic Change.  She earned her MS in Education at the University of Pennsylvania and has over 20 years experience as an educator, nonprofit manager, and community organizer.


Mary DeFusco, Esq.

Director of Training, Defender Association of Philadelphia

Mary DeFusco, Esq., serves as Director of Training for the Defender Association of Philadelphia.  She is responsible for the training of all new attorneys, as well as the continuing legal education of experienced public defenders.

Since joining the Defender Association of Philadelphia, DeFusco served as deputy chief in the Municipal Court Unit for eight years and as a trial attorney for five years.  She received her B.A., cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania, and her J.D. from Temple University School of Law.  

DeFusco serves as a Lecturer in Law at both Temple University School of Law and Villanova University School of Law.  She also teaches for the National Institute for Trial Advocacy and for the National Defender Training Project in Dayton OH.  

DeFusco, who resides in the area with her family, was honored by the Criminal Justice Section of the Philadelphia Bar Association for contributions to the cause of justice and the advancement of legal education; and, by the Public Defender Association of Pennsylvania for service to the cause of indigent defense.


Kate Parker, Esq.

Director of Policy and Practice, Defender Association of Philadelphia

Kate Parker currently serves as the Director of Policy at the Defender Association of Philadelphia. She joined Defender in September of 2019, as the Director of Government and Community Affairs where she was involved in engaging community partners and lawmakers to bring about systemic change. 

Prior to joining Defender, Ms. Parker served as the Policy Director for the Delaware Center for Justice, a non-profit criminal justice advocacy and direct service organization. There she championed legislation to reduce racial disparities in the criminal legal system by targeted measures to improve pretrial decision-making and conditions of youth confinement, limit the circumstances for which youth could be tried as adults, eliminate inequities in drug sentencing structures, and combat the criminalization of non-payment of court fines and fees. 

Prior to her advocacy efforts, Kate served as an Assistant Deputy Public Defender in NJ where she was assigned to the adult trial team and as an Evaluation Associate at the University of Delaware’s Center for Community, Research in Service where she used qualitative and quantitative data analysis to make recommendations to improve cultural competence in the statewide children’s mental health delivery system. She graduated from Rutgers’ Camden law school, holds her Masters’ in Urban Affairs and Public Policy, from the University of Delaware and is licensed to practice law in PA, NJ, and Delaware.


Location Details


Spotlight On

Karam Mounzer, MD

Dr. Mounzer identified two major gaps in the care of patients with HIV/hepatitis C (HCV) co-infection, and the complexity of multidrug-resistant HIV treatment. He is involved with many clinical trials focusing on drug development and better understanding of HIV immunopathogenesis with the Wistar Institute. He is involved in teaching and mentoring.

Learn More about Spotlight On
Dr. Karam Mounzer

Dr. Mario Cruz

Dr. Mario CruzDr. Cruz is a board certified pediatrician who serves as the Medical Director for our Pediatrics and Adolescent Health Center. He has presented and/or published in the fields of community violence and domestic violence prevention, quality improvement, behavioral health, curriculum development and mentorship. In 2019 he received the Greater Philadelphia Social Innovation Award for Innovations in Healthcare.

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