Speaker Profile

Thomas Harvey

Executive Director
ArchCity Defenders

Thomas B. Harvey is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of ArchCity Defenders, a non-profit civil rights law firm providing holistic legal advocacy to the poor and homeless in the St. Louis region and beyond. ArchCity Defenders uses direct services, impact litigation, and advocacy through policy and public relations as its primary tools to promote racial justice and protect civil and human rights. ArchCity Defenders works closely with local organizers and activists in support of their intersectional work and has been very active in protest representation. Thomas is the lead author of ArchCity’s paper on the systemic abuses in St. Louis County’s municipal court system published in August of 2014 that brought context to underlying factors in the protests following the murder of Mike Brown in Ferguson. The paper served as the template for the Department of Justice’s findings in Ferguson in March of 2015 and has sparked a national conversation about the way police and local courts worked in concert to criminalize Black lives and generate revenue, violated the clear mandates of the United States Constitution, and destroyed the public’s confidence in the legal system and government. Thomas also served on the organizing committee for the historic Law4BlackLives convening in Harlem’s Riverside Cathedral, he is active in the representation of Ferguson protesters, as well as litigation and advocacy directed at reducing systemic racism through the elimination of cash bail, debtors’ prisons, revenue-based policing, and unconstitutional court practices in Ferguson and throughout the St. Louis region.