You are invited
2021 Light of Justice Day & Luncheon
Wednesday, October 27 at 11:00 am – 1:00 pm CST
Saundria and Jerome Gray, 2021 Light of Justice Chairs
Celebrating 26 years of Texas Defender Service providing criminal justice reform and passionate representation for those facing the death penalty.
Luncheon will be an in-person event at the McGovern Centennial Gardens at Hermann Park..
Saundria and Jerome Gray
Saundria Gray is Senior Legal Counsel for Shell Oil Company. She manages Shell’s U.S. real estate portfolio. Saundria has a long career in the oil and gas industry. She has worked for the companies formerly known as Panhandle Eastern Corporation and Texaco Inc. She also worked for the law firms Linebarger, Blair & Sampson, LLP and Brown McCarroll, L.L.P.
Saundria is an active member of her community. Most notably, she was appointed by Mayor Bob Lanier to be an Associate Municipal Judge for the City of Houston and to serve on the Houston Library Board. She also served on the boards of the Greater Houston Community Foundation, Alley Theatre, University of Texas Development and Career and Recovery Resources. She currently serves on the boards of Discovery Green, Houston Botanic Garden and University of Texas Libraries. She is a member of the Links, Inc., and Jack & Jill of America.
Jerome Gray is Executive Vice President and Chief Communications Officer for the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (METRO). He leads METRO’s Communications Department.
Before joining METRO, Gray was best known as an award-winning broadcast journalist at KHOU-TV. He was also senior news editor and anchor at KPRC-TV and worked at TV stations in California and Virginia.
Jerome’s community service included serving on the boards of the American Leadership Forum (Houston/Gulf Coast), SEARCH Homeless Services, Houston International Festival, Baylor College of Medicine Diversity/Community Outreach and Volunteer Houston. He has also served on advisory boards for Career and Recovery Resources, Junior League of Houston and was parent coordinator of the Boy Scouts Sam Houston Area Council Troop 242.
Jerome currently serves on advisory boards for the William A. Lawson Institute for Peace and Prosperity and Herman Park Conservancy.
Sandra Susan Smith is the Daniel and Florence Guggenheim Professor of Criminal Justice and Faculty Director of the Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management. She is also the Carol K. Pforzheimer Professor at the Radcliffe Institute. Her areas of interest include urban poverty and joblessness, social capital and social networks, and, more recently, the front end of criminal case processing, with a particular interest in the short- and long-term consequences of pretrial detention and diversion. In each of these areas, racial inequality and its root causes are core areas of concern.
Smith’s publications include Lone Pursuit: Distrust and Defensive Individualism among the Black Poor; The Criminal Justice System as a Labor Market Institution, co-edited with Jonathan Simon; and the forthcoming The Cultural Logics of Job-Matching Assistance. Her research on these topics has also been published in academic journals, including the American Journal of Sociology, The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences, the Annual Review of Sociology, The DuBois Review, Ethnic and Racial Studies, Social Problems, Social Science Research, The Sociological Quarterly, and Work and Occupations.
Smith serves or has recently served on a number of advisory boards, including WorkRise, Leadership Board for Research-to-Action Collaborative on Workers, Jobs, and Economic Mobility; Family Self-Sufficiency Research Technical Working Group of the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation; Laura and John Arnold Foundation, Pretrial Research Advisory Board; Y Combinator Research’s Basic Income Project Advisory Board; National Advisory Board, Misdemeanor Justice Project; University of California Criminal Justice & Health Consortium; and the Executive Session on Community Corrections, Harvard Kennedy School.
Smith’s service also extends to the discipline of sociology. She has been a Council member of the American Sociological Association, Chair of the ASA Section, Inequality, Poverty, and Mobility, and Deputy Editor of the American Sociological Review, where she also served as editorial board member. She was also on the editorial or consulting boards of the American Journal of Sociology, Contexts Magazine, and Sociological Science.
Smith, who holds an MA and Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Chicago and a B.A. in history-sociology from Columbia University, has been a visiting scholar at Stanford’s Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences and at the Russell Sage Foundation.