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On March 23, 1964, race riots raged in downtown Jacksonville. Johnnie Mae Chappell was not involved; she was searching the roadside with friends near her home for her lost wallet. Four white men incensed by the riots were driving around looking to "get" a black person. One man shot towards Mrs. Chappell, who was struck in the stomach and killed. Three of the four men indicted were acquitted; the shooter served 3 years on a lesser charge.

The first annual Johnnie Mae Chappell Civil Rights Symposium honors Mrs. Chappell’s memory and helps provide a scholarship to a law student interested in civil rights law. The symposium will address Mrs. Chappell’s case; the difficulty of prosecuting and achieving convictions for hate crimes and how past crimes are being investigated today; the need for lawyer advocates on behalf of families of victims and affected communities to bring justice and accountability for the perpetrators of these crimes; and the evolution of hate-crime legislation and its effect on the prosecution of hate crimes. 4 CLE credits General and Bias Elimination have been approved by The Florida Bar.

Program Schedule

8:30 a.m. Check-in and Breakfast Service
9 a.m. – 9:15 a.m. Welcome and Introductions, Professor Ada Agusti Hammond
9:15 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Robert Spohrer and Retired Detective Lee Cody – Case Discussion
10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Professor Paula C. Johnson - “The Decisive Moment:  Facing Ourselves    and Facing Each Other on the Critical Path to Racial Justice.”
11:00 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. Break Service
11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. Professor Greg Pingree – Hate Crime Laws, Evolution and Effect on Prosecution of Hate Crimes
12:15 p.m. – 1 p.m. Panel Discussion and Q & A. Panel: Robert Spohrer, Lee Cody, Professor Paula C. Johnson, Professor Greg Pingree; Dr. Tammy Hodo. Moderator: Professor Ada Agusti Hammond.


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