Deputy Public Defender Honored for Work in Schools

San Francisco—Jacque Wilson, a longtime deputy public defender in San Francisco, has been honored for his pro bono work on racial and educational justice in Modesto’s public schools.

Wilson was honored by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area alongside his twin brother, Jacq Wilson, a private attorney in San Francisco. The Wilsons’ nonprofit organization, Advocates for Justice (AFJ), received the Living the Dream Award Friday during LCCR’s 50th Anniversary Celebration and Martin Luther King Jr. Awards Dinner. The event, which feature Van Jones as keynote speaker, was held at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco.

Jacque Wilson said he was honored to receive the award for something that has been a longtime passion.

“I feel lucky that I get to fight for justice in San Francisco every day as a public defender and then advocate for kids in Modesto with my brother. That’s truly living the dream for me,” he said.

The brothers formed the AFJ mentor program to substantially reduce suspensions and expulsions in Modesto City Schools, to eliminate disparities in education, and to put to end the school-to-prison pipeline in their hometown community. Jacque also runs the San Francisco Public Defender’s Court Watch program, which allows youth to watch court proceedings and discuss issues in the criminal justice system with public defenders.

“Jacque’s commitment to justice extends far and wide,” said San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi. “In addition to his work dismantling Modesto’s school-to-prison pipeline and the hundreds of high school and college students he has mentored through my office’s Court Watch program, he supervised the Bail Clinic, a successful collaboration between our office and the University of San Francisco School of Law.”

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