2019 Second Step Presidential Justice Forum
Benedict College in Columbia, South Carolina
Candice Simone Petty, Esq.
Candice S. Petty, Esq. is the Executive Director of the 20/20 Bipartisan Justice Center, overseeing all operations, policy, strategic partnerships, programming, communications, marketing and corporate fundraising.
The daughter of an Oakland police officer who served in various leadership roles within the National Black Police Association, Candice has from a very young age been aware of criminal justice and law enforcement issues, sharing two perspectives: that of someone growing up in the police community, but also witnessing police brutality, racial profiling, and other challenges black people face in the judicial system. Reading The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander, an associate professor of law at Stanford Law School when Candice attended, cemented her deep passion for racial justice. An employment attorney by trade with 15 years of experience, Candice has shown a particular interest in the barriers to re-entry and gainful employment that recently incarcerated individuals face, specifically with her support of “Ban the Box” efforts.
Candice is a Northern California “Super Lawyer,” a past winner of the “Nation’s Best Advocates: 40 Lawyers Under 40,” by the National Bar Association and IMPACT, and is included on Lawyers of Color LLC’s Inaugural “Hot List,” recognizing lawyers under 40 that have excelled in their field. Additionally, Ms. Petty was appointed by the CEO of the National Diversity Council as Chair of the “2013 Most Powerful & Influential Women in California” Annual Awards Breakfast. In 2012, The Recorder, the leading legal newspaper in California, named her one of 2012’s “Lawyers on the Fast Track,” honoring California’s best attorneys in their first ten years of practice, and among its list of “Women Leaders in Law,” honoring the top 40 champion networkers who have shown creativity and effort in building relationships that create opportunities for their firms or organizations and for others.
Candice recently completed her term on the Board of Directors for the California Bar Foundation, whose mission it is to promote diversity in the legal profession and create a better and more equitable legal system for all Californians. In this role, Candice worked hard to ensure that substantial financial grants were provided for ex-prisoner re-entry programs. She is also the past President of Black Women Lawyers Association of Northern California, serving two consecutive terms.
Born and raised in Oakland, California by progressive parents, Candice has always been actively involved in her community. She is the Chair of the Advisory Board of the Mural Music & Arts Project, a Silicon Valley based non-profit targeting under-served communities by promoting youth development through the arts. Candice’s past Board involvements include being the Chair of the Board of Directors for Digital Media Instructional Technology Services, Inc. (DMITS), a non-profit that develops programs for building social, computer and academic skills among under-served LGBT youth, at-risk youth, veterans and seniors, as well as the Board of Directors for Next Step Learning Center, an adult literacy program serving older youth and adults in Oakland.
Candice received her law degree from Stanford Law School in 2004, where she was on the Executive Board of the Stanford Law & Policy Review and was President of the Black Law Students Association. Candice received her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of California at Berkeley in 2001.