Reinventing the Rules

Discover the Latest Innovations and Lessons Learned in Rule of Law and Legal Empowerment Projects

Upcoming Event: The Role of Youth in Access to Justice

To read a recap of the event, click here.

This Thursday, I’ll be moderating an event I have been dreaming about organizing for the last year! On October 17th, 2013 from 6:00-7:30 pm in Washington, DC, the International Law Committee to the United Nations Association National Capital Area (UNA-NCA) will be hosting an event on ‘The Role of Youth in Access to Justice.’ As a result of my own experiences and my work at ABA ROLI, I’ve come to strongly believe in the necessity of focusing on youth in rule of law reform and I am pleased to present four incredible panelists who will speak about just that. On Thursday, you’ll hear from two young professionals from Ethiopia and Kenya who have worked on access to justice initiatives in Africa, Ghana’s Ambassador to the US, and the CEO of Social Impact Lab, a company that uses mobile technology to improve dispute resolution mechanisms and access to justice. If you’re in town, please RSVP and hear what this amazing panel of speakers have to say on the topic. You can find more information below!

The Role of Youth in Access to Justice

In many developing and post-conflict countries, youth constitute over 60% of the total population. Access to justice can be particularly important for youth, who are disproportionately affected by issues such as corruption, trafficking, lack of legal identification, child labor, and unlawful detention. This panel will highlight an array of perspectives ranging from youth to technology gurus aiming to increase the youth’s access to justice. 

When: October 17, 2013

6:00 – 7:30 pm

Where:  United Nations Information Center
1775 K St Washington, DC 20006

  • The Honorable Daniel Ohene Agyekum, Ambassador, The Republic of Ghana (to the US)
  •  Sean Martin McDonald, CEO, Social Impact Lab Community Interest Company
  • Cherer Aklilu Shaffo, JD, Specializing in Gender Equality, Health Law, and Human Rights
  • Valentine Khaminwa, Compliance Coordinator, Equal Rights Center


  • Christina Williams, Founder, Reinventing the Rules

Please Register>>
When registering, please remember to log on first (right-hand side of the page).

Speaker Bios:

Daniel Ohene Agyekum, Ambassador, The Republic of Ghana

Ambassador Ohene Agyekum first joined the Ghana Foreign Service in 1965. He has served in numerous countries including Israel, Canada, and Denmark. During his tenure in Ottawa, he led Ghana’s delegation in negotiations that led to the adoption of the Montreal Protocol on the Substances that deplete the Ozone Layer.

From December 1999-December 2000, he also became the Minister in Chieftaincy Affairs and State Protocol. Ambassador Ohene Agyekum was appointed to his current position by His Excellency, Professor John Evans Atta Mills, President of the Republic of Ghana in January 2009. He earned an International Certificate in Diplomacy, a post graduate Diploma in Public Administration at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration, and a BA Honours degree in History from the University of Ghana.

Sean Martin McDonald, CEO, Social Impact Lab Community Interest Company

The Social Impact Lab Community Interest Company are the makers of FrontlineSMS, FrontlineCloud and the FrontlineSMS:Legal Project. FrontlineSMS has been downloaded more than 100,000 times in 135 countries and was recently named the #1 Technology NGO in the world by the Global Journal.

McDonald joined FrontlineSMS in 2010 and leads the day-to-day operations, strategic growth, business development, and project-driven applications of the software toolset. He has a diverse background in non-profits, technology companies, government, international development agencies, and international legal services.

He also currently serves on the Board of Directors of International Peace Park Expeditions, the Social Impact Lab Foundation, and the Social Impact Lab Community Interest Company. He is affiliated with Harvard University’s Berkman Center and an advisor to UNDP, the Clinton Global Initiative, TechChange, and Digital Democracy. Sean is a lawyer, barred in New York. He holds a JD and an MA in International Peace and Conflict Resolution from American University. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Magazine Journalism at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Cherer Aklilu Shaffo, JD

Cherer Aklilu Shaffo is an attorney with over six years of experience specializing in gender equality, health law, and human rights. She has served in various positions promoting understanding and advocacy on access to justice, gender equality, and female empowerment.

In Ethiopia, she served as a Coordinator for the Women and Children’s Rights Division for the Jimma University Legal Aid Centre. At the Jimma University School of Law, she also supervised students participating in legal clinics as they worked on cases related to domestic violence, reproductive rights, and family law. Shaffo holds an LLM in Global Health Law from the Georgetown University Law Center, and earned an LLB from Bahir Dar University and an MA from the Central European University.

Valentine Khaminwa, Compliance Coordinator, Equal Rights Center

Valentine Khaminwa is the Compliance Coordinator at the Equal Rights Center – a civil rights advocacy firm in Washington DC. Her work experience includes positions at Zimbabwe Women Lawyers’ Association, the Office of the UN Independent Expert on Minority Issues and the Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law. Valentine has a passion for investigating and writing on various human and civil rights issues. A Kenyan national, Valentine holds an LLB (Honors) from Oxford Brookes University in England and an LLM in International Law from American University, Washington College of Law.


Christina Williams, Founder, Reinventing the Rules

Christina Williams is the founder of Reinventing the Rules, a website dedicated to covering the latest trends and lessons learned in the rule of law sector. In 2007, she co-founded a grassroots organization in the US and worked with youth and civil society organizations to raise awareness of the humanitarian and human rights crisis in Sri Lanka.

She has taught English to female youth in war-torn regions of Sri Lanka and worked in a rural village in South Africa to empower young people to become entrepreneurs. Williams holds a JD from The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law, a BA in International Studies from The Johns Hopkins University, and is a member of the Maryland State Bar.

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This entry was posted on October 14, 2013 by in Youth and tagged , .

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