2018 Thomas G. Cannon Equal Justice Medal Winners

Barbara Graham

Barbara Graham is a champion of immigrants. She is one of the founders and the driving force behind the Legal Services for Immigrants Program at Catholic Charities of Milwaukee, which provides free legal help for immigrants who cannot afford a lawyer and reduced fee representation for those who have some ability to pay. The program opened in March 2000 with one attorney and one paralegal and has grown to five attorneys, two paralegals and almost 4,000 clients from over 50 countries. LSI’s work is devoted to immigrant victims of domestic violence and crime; persons seeking asylum and those desiring to reunite their families. Ms. Graham, a graduate of Marquette University’s Law School with a Master’s Degree in Journalism, also from Marquette, has won multiple awards for her immigration work. Fun fact: She holds a Grand Diplome from Cordon Bleu in Paris.

Debbie Lassiter

Debbie Lassiter is nationally known for her work with victims of human trafficking. She is the co-founder and CEO of the Convergence Resource Center, which provides support services for those rebuilding their lives after trauma, including, for instance, trauma that results from incarceration, sexual assault and human trafficking. She launched the Human and Sex Trafficking Support Initiative in 2012 and is a member of the Federal Human Trafficking Task Force and the Milwaukee Joint Human Trafficking Task Force and has lectured worldwide on trafficking issues. Dr. Lassiter, who holds a Doctorate in Divinity from St. Thomas Christian College, has been honored by the Department of Justice; is one of the 50 Heroes of Fortune 500 and is a consultant for many police departments and local and national organizations.

Tom Reed

Tom Reed has dedicated his professional career to helping those on the margins. A member of the Milwaukee Trial Office of the Wisconsin State Public Defender since 1982 and currently its Regional Attorney Manager, he is the vice chair of the Milwaukee County Community Justice Council; a member of the Board of Directors of the Milwaukee Chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Health Issues; a member of the Advisory Council of the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors Research Institute, and a Steering Committee Member of the Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force. His law degree is from Cornell Law School; he has been an adjunct professor at Marquette Law School for almost 20 years and is on the Board of Directors of the Milwaukee Bar Association.