Gideon Day (Public Defense Day) resources for 2018 are now on the MyGideon homepage. 

Gideon Day (Public Defense Day) is an NAPD-supported initiative, but the concept and all of its energy comes from the thousands of public defense advocates-members who give this association life. For NAPD members, every day is public defense day, and each year, the members of the NAPD community collectively represent millions – yes, you read that right! – millions of poor people.

Imagine what a public defender sees? What they hear? What they experience standing beside their clients? Imagine the intellectual and emotional intelligence held within this association… All day, every day, with millions of clients and the ripple effect of relationships with client families, client communities, client service providers and others… 

On the 55th anniversary of the Gideon decision, we should pause. We can celebrate our successes, acknowledge the strength and brovery of our struggle, or issue a call for work still to be done. Take an hour in the office on Monday, March 19th, or take all week – to give weight to the amazing work that public defenders and public defense professionals do in pursuit of justice for everyone.
When you log into the NAPD website, you can click the MyGideon tab and you will see some resources for the day. Our theme is “Insisting, Resisting, Persisting” and there is a graphic there for your use. There is also a list of 4 movies and a short Gideon clip that may be great to watch as an office, or to foster community discussion. There are or will be discussion guides for all films by the weekend.
Sunday – the 18th, and the actual Gideon anniversary – isn’t a great day for an office party, but it IS a great day for media. Though it’s fast approaching, there are two templates on the MyGideon homepage for op-eds to hopefully make it easier. If you’re a leader of an organization, consider writing yourself, or if you have a client or community partner who would make a compelling argument for why Gideon Day matters, there’s a template there for that opportunity as well.
Organizations around the country are doing their own celebrations and we hope to share what you’re doing locally with the national community. So if you have a cake, or pose for an office photo, or get your Governor to proclaim Gideon Day (shout out to WV!), please share it with us. Take advantage of the opportunity to get your issues in the light, to recirculate your annual report, to tout the achievements of your office despite the challenges. If you have something to share, please send it to us! We can add it and create an archive to inspire in years ahead.
We’re excited for all the progress we’ve made, and we are grateful to have this amazing community for all the work that remains to be done. Gideon Day (Public Defense Day) approaches! We can’t wait to see what you do!