Our Officers and Directors
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Mr. Emison practiced law in Tennessee 1972-2011 and after retirement from active law practice has devoted his time to civil rights causes. Jim holds a B. A. from Vanderbilt 1965, and a J.D. from University of Tennessee College of Law 1968. A fellow of the Tennessee Bar Foundation, Jim has served as Law Clerk to the Tennessee Chief Justice 1968-1969; in the U.S. Navy JAG Corps 1969-1971; and as a member and Vice Chair of the Tennessee Judicial Selection Commission 2003-2008. Jim is the only living person who has served as president of both the Tennessee Bar 1987-1988, and the Tennessee Trial Lawyers 2001-2002, Associations.
John Ashworth - Mr. Ashworth serves as Executive Director and Project Manager at the Lynching Sites Project of Memphis, which works to identify and memorialize victims of lynching in Shelby County, Tennessee. He has also served as chairman of the Elbert Williams Memorial Committee, named for a 1940 lynching victim. Mr. Ashworth founded the Dunbar Carver Museum, which is dedicated to African-American history, and the Geneva Miller Historical Society of Brownsville, Tennessee. He is a Vietnam veteran with extensive work experience in the military and airline industry.
Allan Ramsaur - Mr. Ramsaur served as Executive Director and Executive Director Emeritus of the Tennessee Bar Association from 1998 to 2018. He previously served as the Executive Director of the Nashville Bar Association for twelve years and at the Tennessee Association of Legal Services for seven years. Mr. Ramsaur holds a B.A. from Lanbuth University and a J.D. from the University of Tennessee College of Law.
Cynthia Deitle - Ms. Deitle was a Special Agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation for over two decades. She was promoted to Civil Rights Unit Chief in 2008, where she managed the FBI's Hate Crimes, Color of Law, Human Trafficking, and Abortion Extremism Programs. In this role, she devoted considerable resources to the FBI's Cold Case Initiative to reexamine unsolved racially-motivated homicides from the Civil Rights Era. Ms. Deitle holds a B.A. from The Ohio State University and a J.D. from New England Law-Boston. She earned Master of Laws degrees in Criminal Law from New York University School of Law and Constitutional Law from the George Washington University National Law Center.
Lucas Lee—Mr. Lee a Memphis, Tennessee, native, is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University. Immediately after graduation, Lucas was offered a job in the Nashville bureau of The Associated Press where he worked for 24 years. Ten of those years he spent covering the Tennessee Legislature. In January 2016, Lucas became director of media relations at Tennessee State University where he’s currently employed. Lucas is also author of the book, Finding the Good, which was featured on National Public Radio. Nobel Peace Prize awardee Desmond Tutu called the book “deeply touching
Dave Yoder - Mr. Yoder served as Executive Director of Legal Aid of East Tennessee from 1993-2015, and Executive Director of Legal Services of Northwest Indiana from 1983-1993. He holds a B.A. from Purdue University and J.D. from Valparaiso University School of Law.