Simpson University Invites Community to Forum with Judge, Public Defender, and Probation Officer

For Immediate Release


REDDING, Calif. - The community is invited to join Simpson University students, faculty and staff for a panel discussion Nov. 2 featuring Shasta County Superior Court Judge Stephen Baker; Shasta County Public Defender Jeffrey Gorder; and Yolo County Supervising Probation Officer Zachary Grounds.

The panel will be held in LaBaume-Rudat Hall, room 204, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. It is the third and final forum held this fall in conjunction with the university’s On the Same Page common reading program, which is in its second year.

Simpson University students, faculty and staff are reading Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson this year. The best-selling Just Mercy is a nonfiction exploration of criminal justice in America. Specifically, it looks at the history of the death row system and how it is administered in the South.

Simpson English professor Nicole Kenley said that Just Mercy was selected because it “investigates themes of justice, race, class, activism, and grace, and asks provocative questions about the way these themes apply to our legal system.” This text provides an opportunity to discuss many pressing contemporary issues in a grounded, relevant way, she said.

This is the third On the Same Page forum held at Simpson University this fall. An Oct. 12 discussion featured Dr. Todd Allen, founder of The Common Ground Project, a community-based nonprofit in Pennsylvania that promotes understanding of the civil rights movement; and an Oct. 21 forum was led by Randy Grounds, a California Parole Board commissioner.

Learn more about On the Same Page at



Simpson University, established in 1921, is a Christian university offering undergraduate, graduate, and teaching credential programs. The university celebrated its 25th year in Redding and the completion of a Science and Nursing Center in 2014. Academic programs include ASPIRE, a degree-completion program geared toward working adults with both on-campus and online course offerings, including degrees in psychology and organizational leadership. For information about the university, or to arrange a campus visit, call 1-888-9-SIMPSON or visit


Contact: SU Public Relations
(530) 226-4737