The Ethics Project Founder and President, Christi Griffin, received her Juris Doctorate from St. Louis University School of Law in 1983 and began her private law practice as a ministry in 1984. She headed one of the largest consumer bankruptcy law firms in the State of Missouri until 2007. When faced with the realities of a broken legal system, Dr. Griffin proved with unequivocal evidence the degree of ethics that guided her law practice for 23 years.
Following her experience with the Missouri Bar and Missouri Supreme Court, disclosing the existence of broad misconduct on the part of the prosecutor, hearing officers, attorneys, and judges, Dr. Griffin began The Ethics Project to reduce wrongful prosecutions and convictions by educating the public about professional ethics. The now multiple award-winning organization has evolved to include consortiums of agencies and ministries who serve various populations affected by crime, including offenders, ex-offenders, children of incarcerated parents, abused women, victims and the community as a whole, Youth Gang Summits, Leadership Workshops, Youth Empowerment Forums, collaboration with Ilyasah Shabazz, daughter of slain human right leader, El Hajj Malik Shabazz (Malcolm X), Lynne Jackson, the great, great granddaughter of Dred and Harriet Scott and nationally acclaimed speaker, author and CNN contributor, Victor Woods. She has spearheaded Mother 2 Mother a conversation with Black Mother to White about the talk Black mothers have with their sons. That effort rapidly grew to include Father 2 Father, Man 2 Man and Face 2 Face, a Conversation with Legislators and Policy Makers about the challenges faced by African-American men in America. A special Parent 2 Parent filmed for PBS at the National Civil Rights Museum in April 2016, will be aired nationally in the spring of 2017. The Conversations have become a significant tool in bridging the racial divide in the St. Louis region.
Following a collaboration with U.S. Ambassador Andrew Young, former adviser to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Griffin established The Ethics Project’s Ambassador Andrew Young Award for Outstanding Ethics, Service, and Commitment to Family and Community. The award is given to members of the community who exhibit exceptional ethics in the execution of their efforts as well as an unequivocal commitment to their family and community.
Through collaboration with other agencies, thoughtful discussions and exploration of meaningful solutions, The Ethics Project seeks to minimize the impact of crime by reducing wrongful prosecutions, increasing collaboration between agencies and ministries throughout the country and through educational experiences for high school students. Following the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, Dr. Griffin was active in a number of initiatives to address the unrest and underlying issues. Hosting a breakfast with St. Louis County Chief, Jon Belmar, then Missouri Director of Public Safety, former St. Louis Police Chief, Dan Isom, and the head of the Ferguson unified forces, Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson, to discuss pertinent issues with active pastors and heads of various protest groups. From that breakfast, Griffin formed the Ad-Hoc Committee on Policing at the request of Director Dan Isom. The committee was comprised of heads of police associations, pastors, lawyers, law professors, and community activists.
Dr. Griffin ‘s service to the community includes serving as former Chairperson of the St. Louis Civil Rights Enforcement Commission, serving as a former member of the Boards of Directors of the Joint Boards of Health and Hospitals for the City of St. Louis, The Missouri Catholic Conference Public Policy Committee, The St. Louis Archdiocesan Board of Education, former Co-Chair of The St. Louis Archdiocesan Pro-Life Committee, The Today and Tomorrow Educational Foundation, The Gateway Classic Sports Scholarship Foundation, The Scholarship Foundation of St. Louis, The St. Louis Archdiocesan Charitable Bequest Council, The Archbishop’s Committee on Parish/Teachers Relations, The St. Louis Association of Bankruptcy Attorneys (Founder), The United Way of Metropolitan St. Louis (including member of the Finance Committee, Cabinet Member of the Alexis de Tocqueville Society and Chair of the Attorney Market of the Charmaine Chapman Society) volunteer for The Employment Connection, volunteer lawyer with Legal Services of Eastern Missouri, the steering committees of The Midwestern Innocence Project, member of the steering committee of the Urban Leagues Public Safety Advisory Council, the St. Louis Alliance on Reentry (STAR), member of STRYVE (Striving to Reduce Youth Violence Everywhere) and community volunteer in numerous capacities. Dr. Griffin continues to serve on the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis Public Safety Advisory Council, the Advisory Committee of the Charles Sumner Preparatory Charter High School and the St. Louis Initiative to Reduce Violence (SIRV).
In 2010, Griffin designed, chaired and implemented the St. Louis City Youth/Gang Summits in the four St. Louis Public Schools Comprehensive High Schools, The Youth Empowerment Forum for seven city, state and federal agencies and The Leadership Workshop for educators, Executive Directors and CEOs of area non-profits. She is responsible for the development of the Safe Stop Campaign to help reduce conflict during police stops, the Vote for Me Campaign to replace votes lost to incarcerations, the Pastor and Police Lunch to bridge communication between local pastors and police chiefs, The Empowered Family Weekend Retreat, the Youth Gun Violence Forum. Dr. Griffin is a frequent speaker and panelist at churches, schools and community organization functions. Most recently she developed Incarcerations in Black and White as part of the Missouri History Museum’s Avenues to Activism and a Conversation on Race, Gender, and Violence at the St. Louis Art Museum. From Rosewood to O’Fallon: A Look at Black Wealth in America was presented at Schlafly Library to a standing room only audience as part of the St. Louis Public Library’s Black History Months Celebration.
The success of The National Youth Summit held in conjunction with the St. Louis Public Schools and the University of Missouri St. Louis in 2015 was the catalyst to a subsequent National Youth Summit held at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and at Howard University in Washington DC in 2016. The annual summit will be hosted in Atlanta, GA in 2017, at the invitation of former US Ambassador Andrew Young.
Dr. Griffin is a 2010 and 2014, recipient of the President’s Call to Service Award and the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drum Major for Justice Award. She has also been named one of five 2011 Outstanding Women of Achievement Award by the St. Louis Gateway Classic Sports Foundation and a 2014 Women of Leadership by the Urban League of St. Louis, and was named a 2016 Power 100 by Delux Magazine. She is a Blue Ribbon Toastmaster Speaker, and author of Incarcerations in Black and White: The Subjugation of Black America.
For more information on scheduling Dr. Griffin to speak at your university, conference, workshop or other events, please go to: www.christigriffin.com or send your inquiry to TheEthicsProject@gmail.com
For more information on The National Youth Summit please visit: www.TheNYS.org