Keynote Speakers

Sociology and Mass Exoneration

Friday, October 8 10:20-12:00pm ET

Joshua Tepfer, J.D. Sociology BA

Lead counsel in Cook County’s first ever mass exoneration, which remains ongoing. To date, 56 convictions of 42 individuals have been overturned because of a decade of misconduct by disgraced Sergeant Ronald Watts and his tactical team. Fifteen officer s disciplined by the City and State’s Attorney because of the litigation.

Building Equitable Community and Economic Development

Thursday, October 14 1:00-2:00 pm ET

Nikki Lanier

Nikki Lanier is senior vice president and regional executive of the Louisville Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. The Louisville Branch is focused on community development and education, as well as regional economic research and policy input. The branch covers western Kentucky, metro Louisville and southern Indiana.

In her role as senior vice president and regional executive of the Louisville Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, Ms. Lanier has raised the profile of discussions of racial equity and empowerment through small business development. Her passion and commitment to building shared prosperity has made hers a welcome and influential voice amid the challenges we face.

In 2021, Ms. Lanier was named by Louisville Business First as one of the region’s Power 50. In addition, she was inducted into the publication’s Forty Under 40 Hall of Fame and has appeared on their Women of Influence and Notable Financial Executives lists. Ms. Lanier has also been honored with the Presentation Academy’s Tower Award, the Robert C. Burks Distinguished Business and Leadership Award and has been recognized as one of the 10 Most Influential Women of Louisville. While she did not major in sociology, she operates at the sites of some of sociology’s most important applications: building diverse, inclusive, equitable, and resilient communities.