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‘The Milly Project’ film CLE program successful in Hannibal

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The Young Lawyers’ Section of The Missouri Bar and Presiding Judge Rachel Bringer Shepherd hosted a third continuing legal education program based on the play, “The Milly Project,” Aug. 26 in Hannibal. The program brought together more than 50 individuals to view the film version of the play highlighting the real story of an enslaved woman named Milly Sawyers who battled Missouri’s judicial system and in 1835 finally won her freedom. 

Following the film showing, an intensive panel discussion was led by community leaders including historian and educator W.T. Johnson; lawyer Charnissa Holliday Scott; pastors Phil and Minnie Smith of Willow Street Christian Church; community leader Annie Dixon; Joel and Faye Dant, founders of Jim’s Journey: The Huck Finn Freedom Center in Hannibal; lawyer and author Terrell Dempsey; Dr. Patrick Hotle with Culver-Stockton College; and Jim McConnell, with The Missouri Bar Board of Governors. 

“The Hannibal premiere of ‘The Milly Project’ was a success. It was the first showing that was open to the public which yielded a great turnout of legal professionals and community members,” said Ashley Moore, District 9 YLS Council representative who, in conjunction with Bringer Shepherd, helped organize the event. 

 Moore added: “Judge Rachel Bringer and the Diversity Committee of YLS did a great job of putting everything together to bring this important story to the Hannibal community. The panel was filled with diverse backgrounds and each panelist offered a unique and valued perspective on how Milly’s story has an impact on both the legal and general community today that made for a rich discussion.” 

Lawyers earned 3.4 hours of ethics and elimination of bias MCLE credit for their participation in the event.  

Click here to view the trailer of the film. For information on how you can host a program featuring “The Milly Project” in your community, contact The Missouri Bar at MoBar@Mobar.org. Read more about the event in the Hannibal Courier Post here.