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Onsite Program

2023 The Milly Project: Lessons from history

Total Credits: 2.2 MCLE, 2.2 Ethics, 2.2 Elimination of Bias, 2.0 Kansas Credit, 2.0 Kansas Ethics

Practice Area:
Elimination of Bias |  Ethics
Charles E. Whittaker U.S. Courthouse - Kansas City, Missouri



Sponsored by MoBarCLE & The Missouri Bar Young Lawyers' Section

Film Trailer:
“The Milly Project,” tells the story of an enslaved woman named Milly Sawyers who fought for and won her freedom in Springfield, Missouri before the Civil War. This film adaptation of the original play is written and directed by Kendra Chappell and details the many trials and tribulations of Sawyers, as taken from handwritten court manuscripts, only recently uncovered by local archivists. The play continues to be shown across the State, and now the film seeks to widen the reach of Sawyers’ story. In 2021, The Milly Project was nominated for 3 awards at the New York International Film Festival, including Best Screenplay (Winner), Best Social Justice Film (Winner), and Best Acting Ensemble.
11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. | Film Presentation, The Milly Project (2021)

12:30-12:40 p.m. | Break

12:40-1:30 p.m. | Panel discussion
Panelists:  Hon. Duane Benton
, United States Court of Appeals, 8th Circuit, Kansas City; Hon. Willie J. Epps, Jr., Federal Magistrate Judge, Western District of Missouri, Jefferson City; Kendra Chappell, Director and Producer, "The Milly Project"
Moderator: Christa B. Moss, United States Attorney's Office, Kansas City

Attendees must stay for the ethics discussion to receive credit for watching the movie.



Hon. William Benton's Profile

Hon. William Benton Related seminars and products

United States Court of Appeals - 8th Circuit

Judge Benton became a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit, in 2004. He previously served on the Missouri Supreme Court for 13 years (including two years as Chief Justice). He graduated from Northwestern University (with highest honors) and Yale Law School (serving as Law Journal managing editor).

Kendra Chappell's Profile

Kendra Chappell Related seminars and products

Kendra Chappell is a writer, collaborator, and theater director who is committed to the abundance and multiplicity offered in story. She is passionate about unbinding stories buried by privilege or convenience: the narratives that have too often been deliberately dismantled or omitted by the oppressor. 
With a BS in Education-certified in English and Theater, a Masters in Counseling, and a background in social work, Kendra previously served and created for 32 years as a public high school theater teacher, an adjunct educator for MSU, and as a guest director at Springfield Little Theatre. With the focus of arts integration and charity, Kendra has crafted theater with deaf and hearing impaired; generated mission through productions and funding for local, state, national, and international philanthropic organizations; and crafted ensemble executed excellence through trust and collaboration earning the most Missouri State High School Theater State Championships and the opportunities to perform at the International Theatre Festival in Edinburgh,Scotland. 
Kendra Chappell believes in healing theater, truth-telling, community, and hope.

Willie Epps's Profile

Willie Epps Related seminars and products

U.S. District Court

Willie J. Epps, Jr. is a Federal Magistrate Judge for the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri. He was appointed on July 17, 2017. He was born in Natchez, Mississippi and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. He received his A.B., Amherst College, 1992, his J.D., Harvard Law School, 1995, and his LL.M., Duke University School of Law, 2023.

Christa Moss's Profile

Christa Moss Related seminars and products

United States Attorney's Office

Christa Moss, Missouri Bar Board of Governor for the Southern District, currently serves as a Civil Assistant United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri.  She was formerly a law Clerk for the Federal Chief Magistrate Judge, David Rush, as well as a civil defense litigator in a mid-size firm in Tulsa, OK, and an Assistant City Attorney for the Kansas City, MO, City Attorney's Office. Christa received her Bachelor’s degree from Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Ok, and earned her J.D. from the College of William and Mary in 2012. Christa is an alumna of the Missouri Bar Leadership program and previously served on the Missouri Bar YLS Board. She is actively involved in the state and local bars as well as community activities, serving on a number of civic and non-profit boards. 



Cancellation Policy

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Charles E. Whittaker U.S. Courthouse

400 E. 9th Street, Kansas City, Missouri 64106, United States