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Former D.C. Public Defender Wins MacArthur Genius Grant

Jonathan Rapping Wins MacArthur Genius Grant

One of D.C.’s very own, Jonathan Rapping, a former D.C. public defender and graduate of the George Washington University Law School, has been awarded a MacArthur Genius grant. The grant, which is awarded annually to only 20 or so individuals, recognizes innovation and creativity in numerous fields.

Mr. Rapping established Gideon’s Promise (formerly the Southern Public Defender Training Center) to provide advanced training to legal professionals representing the poor. Gideon’s Promise has “grown from a single training program for 16 attorneys in two offices in Georgia and Louisiana, to a multitiered enterprise with over 300 participants in more than 35 offices across 15 mostly Southern states.”

Rapping’s wife and co-founder of Gideon’s Promise, Ilham Askia, is also a former Washingtonian having taught for D.C. public schools.