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The Craft of Storytelling and Characterization in Defense of Women

Friday, February 9, 2024, 12:00 PM until 1:30 PM Central Time (US & Canada) (UTC-06:00)
Additional Info:
Panel Discussion
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Payment In Full In Advance Only
From the brilliant minds at the Cornell Center on Death Penalty Worldwide, introducing a new Training Series on Narrative Construction in Defense of Women and Gender-Non-Conforming People. There will be a total of 3 sessions offered virtually over the next several months. This series is presented in part by the Second Look Network, an effort of the Sentencing Project.

This 90-minute session covers the world of gender-biased stereotypes and narrative approaches to counter that, including the essential elements of storytelling applicable for lawyers and advocates, using techniques and methods from the craft of compelling stories and character development, in defense of women and gender-non-conforming people to shift perspectives and change hearts and minds. “Special guidance in narrative construction for female and gender nonconforming clients eligible for resentencing.”


Kelly Harnett is a one-woman army. She has been wrongfully convicted, however she fought relentlessly to an extent that is indescribable, for 13 years, 16 hours per day, studying the law on her own with no party to assist, making a promise to herself that she would eventually master this new language to eventually achieve liberty for many women including herself, see her mother three weeks before her death, and take her place as the woman who she is in the legal field.

Elmaz Abinader is a writer, teacher, and poet. She has taught English, literature, and writing at Mills College for decades, to both graduate and undergraduate students. Her most recent poetry collection, This House, My Bones, was The Editor’s Selection for 2014 from Willow Books/Aquarius.

Bahar Mirhosseni is a former public defender, a writer, and the Gender & Criminal Justice Fellow at the Cornell Center on the Death Penalty Worldwide. For the last three years she also has co-taught the UCLA Law School Pretrial Justice Clinic.