7th Annual Shaping Justice Conference

Safeguarding Bodily Autonomy: Examining the Intersections of Health and Justice
Shaping Justice conference with keynote speaker Khiara M. Bridges
February 3, 2023
11:00 am - 6:30 pm
Sponsor(s)Public Interest Law Association, Program in Law and Public Service

Legal scholar Khiara M. Bridges will deliver the keynote address at the seventh annual Shaping Justice conference, “Safeguarding Bodily Autonomy: Examining the Intersections of Health and Justice.” Bridges will speak at 5 p.m. in Caplin Pavilion.

Aimed at inspiring students and lawyers to promote justice through public service, the student-run conference will also feature an awards ceremony to honor Laurel Sakai ’11 and Anne Swerlick ’77 for their roles in serving the public.

Event Details

7th Annual Shaping Justice Conference

11 a.m.

Doors Open

11:15-11:40 a.m.


Caplin Pavilion

11:40 a.m.

Welcome and Event Kickoff

Caplin Pavilion

  • SpeakersNina Herth ’24, Io Jones ’24 and Malcolm Law ’24, University of Virginia School of Law 

11:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Introductory Panel | Black​ness and Bodily Autonomy: A Historical Analysis of the Fight for Black Health Liberation

Caplin Pavilion

Presented by the Black Law Students Association

From the violations of enslaved women at the hands of white gynecologists to the Tuskegee Syphilis Study to forced sterilizations in prisons, Black bodily autonomy has historically been under systemic attack. This panel will explore the history of Black bodily autonomy violations in the United States and provide a throughline to modern progenies of these historical infringements on Black personhood. The panel will also discuss the forms in which Black people have processed and resisted these invasions of personal agency since the nation’s founding. Lastly, the panel aims to draw connections between past forms of resistance to contemporary advocacy with an eye towards building a future that guarantees equitable access to bodily autonomy for all Black people. 


  • Kim Forde-Mazrui, Mortimer M. Caplin Professor of Law, Director, Center for the Study of Race and Law, University of Virginia School of Law
  • Melissa Gomes, Associate Professor of Nursing, Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, University of Virginia School of Nursing
  • Kai Parker, Assistant Professor of African American Religious History, University of Virginia
  • Moderator: Kimberly Jenkins Robinson, Professor of Law, Professor of Education, School of Education and Human Development, Professor of Law, Education and Public Policy, Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy, University of Virginia

12:45-1:45 p.m.

Panel 1 | Youth Health Access: Gender-Affirming Care and Reproductive Justice


Presented by Child Advocacy Research and Education, Lambda Law Alliance and National Lawyers Guild

States have traditionally recognized the right of parents to make health care decisions on behalf of their children, based on the idea that minors generally lack the maturity to make informed health care decisions on their own. However, federal and state laws acknowledge that there are some situations in which parental consent is not reasonable or appropriate. Statutes allow certain minors to make their own decisions about their health care treatment in certain circumstances. For example, as of 2022, all 50 U.S. jurisdictions allow for minors of a certain age to give informed consent on their own to receive an STI diagnosis and treatment. The balancing of the rights of parents and the rights of minors in health care decision-making has become an area of growing controversy, as states pass laws restricting youth access to gender-affirming care and reproductive health care. This multidisciplinary panel will discuss this changing legal landscape, compare some of the various approaches states have taken to striking a balance between parental control and youth autonomy, and provide perspective about best practices for maximizing youth access to health care. 


  • Naomi Cahn, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy Distinguished Professor of Law, Nancy L. Buc ’69 Research Professor in Democracy and Equity, Co-Director, Family Law Center
  • Marilynn Goss, Judge, Richmond Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court, Presiding Judge, Richmond Juvenile Drug Treatment Court
  • Mary Sullivan, Community & State Advocate for Gender Expansive Children, Teens, & Young Adults
  • Moderator: Andrew Block, Associate Professor of Law, General Faculty, Director, State and Local Government Law Clinic

Panel 2 | Healing Indian Country: How Climate Change Implicates Indigenous Health Outcomes 


Presented by the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy, Health Law Association and Virginia Environmental Law Forum

Climate change threatens access to clean air, drinking water, housing and food without regard for equity. Indigenous communities are uniquely impacted by these threats to natural resources; without these resources, indigenous health outcomes suffer. In the face of this increasingly urgent health issue, scholars, organizers and engineers are working toward equitable solutions. Join panelists for a discussion about the problems that climate change creates for conservation efforts and indigenous health outcomes and learn about emerging solutions to these problems.


  • A.C. Locklear II, Federal Relations Director, National Indian Health Board 
  • Edwin Martinez Martinez, Virginia State Conservationist, Usda-Natural Resources Conservation Service
  • Moderator: Alison Gocke, Associate Professor of Law, University of Virginia School of Law

2-3 p.m.


Purcell Reading Room

Presented by disAbility Law Center of Virginia and Legal Aid Justice Center

This workshop will provide concrete guidance and interviewing skills to optimize the legal relationship when working with clients with disabilities. The presenters aim to teach techniques to build a relationship of trust and mutual respect with clients, as well as to raise awareness of accessibility issues and the potential impact of disability on the attorney-client relationship.


  • Michaela Lieberman, Co-Director, Common Cause Medical Legal Partnership, Legal Aid Justice Center, Co-Director, Health & Disability Law Clinic, University of Virginia School of Law
  • Dana Traynham, Senior Attorney, disAbility Law Center of Virginia
  • Amy Walters ’09, Senior Attorney for Clinics, Legal Aid Justice Center, Lecturer, University of Virginia School of Law

3:15-4:15 p.m.

Panel 3 | Dobbs and Digital Justice: The Future of Reproductive Privacy 


Presented by If/When/How: Lawyering for Reproductive Justice at UVA Law and Law, Innovation, Security & Technology

An expert panel will discuss reproductive justice and data privacy in the wake of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. Panelists will explore pressing issues, such as the use of menstrual tracking apps, the history of criminalizing abortion and the implications of online medical data. Speakers include data privacy experts and reproductive justice advocates, with the conversation moderated by UVA Law professor Danielle Citron.     


  • Sara Geoghegan, Counsel, Electronic Privacy Information Center
  • Yveka Pierre, Senior Litigation Counsel, If/When/How
  • Margaret Foster Riley, Professor of Law, General Faculty, Dorothy Danforth Compton Professor, Miller Center, Professor of Public Health Sciences, School of Medicine, Professor of Public Policy, Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy, Director, Animal Law Program, University of Virginia
  • Moderator: Danielle Citron, Jefferson Scholars Foundation Schenck Distinguished Professor in Law, Caddell and Chapman Professor of Law, Director, LawTech Center, University of Virginia School of Law

Panel 4 | Protecting the Right to Health Care in Correctional Facilities and Detention Centers 


Presented by the Immigration Law Society, International Refugee Assistance Project and Virginia Law in Prison Project

People living in prisons and detention centers are wholly dependent on the state to provide them access to health care. Despite their constitutional responsibility to provide health care, the federal government and the states often neglect the needs of the people they hold within correctional and detention facilities. This panel will explore the unique challenges that people in prisons and detention centers face when it comes to getting adequate health care and discuss litigation efforts to vindicate their right to vital health services. 


  • Geri Greenspan, Staff Attorney, ACLU of Virginia, Lecturer, University of Virginia School of Law
  • Amber Qureshi, Staff Attorney, National Immigration Project, National Lawyers Guild
  • Azadeh Shahshahani, Legal and Advocacy Director, Project South
  • Sirine Shebaya, Executive Director, National Immigration Project, National Lawyers Guild
  • Moderator: Thomas Frampton, Associate Professor of Law, University of Virginia School of Law

4:30-5 p.m.

Public Service Awards

Caplin Pavilion

Presented by the Mortimer Caplin Public Service Center

5-5:45 p.m.

Keynote Address

Caplin Pavilion

  • Khiara M. Bridges, Professor of Law, University of California, Berkeley School of Law
  • ModeratorsMaya Artis ’24 and Biruktawit (Birdy) Assefa ’24, University of Virginia School of Law

Sponsored by the Center for the Study of Race and the Law

5:45-6:30 p.m.


Purcell Reading Room