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Religion, Law, & Reproductive Rights

Religion, Law, & Reproductive Rights:  The 40th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade


Many thanks to the Charl Ormond Williams Foundation, whose generous contribution catalyzed this event.

 Religion, Law, Reproductive Rights Panelists

Panelists include:

Representative Karen Camper

Karen Camper serves as Representative for District 87 (including Shelby County) in the Tennessee House of Representatives. Since her election to the House in 2008, Rep. Camper has served on the House Judiciary Committee, as well as House Committees for Children and Family, Civil Practices and Procedures, and the House Criminal Practice and Procedures Subcommittee as well as Government Operations. Rep. Camper has 21 years of service in the U.S. Army and is a small business owner.

Brian Faughnan, JD

Brian S. Faughnan is special counsel with the Memphis law firm Thomason Hendrix Harvey Johnson & Mitchell, PLLC. His growing practice in the area of lawyer ethics and professional responsibility allows him the privilege of helping lawyers, law firms, and other businesses navigate the increasingly complex law of lawyering. Faughnan graduated from Rhodes College and received his J.D., magna cum laude, from the University of Memphis. He is a former law clerk to United States Magistrate Judge Diane K. Vescovo, and a former adjunct professor of law at the University of Memphis Law School. Faughnan is a member of the Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers, as well as a member of the Memphis, American, and Tennessee Bar Associations. A board member for the ACLU of Tennessee, Faughnan is the former co-chair of the ABA Business Law Section's "Firm Counsel Project," and also serves as Chair of the TBA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility.

Betsy Mandel-Carley, LCSW

Betsy Mandel-Carley is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who has been in private practice in Memphis full time since 1983. After graduating from the University of Chicago School of Social Work, she moved to Austin, Texas where she worked with both single mothers and adoptive couples at Child and Family Services. It was during this time that she participated in the initial hearings that began Sara Weddington's journey to the Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade. Mandel-Carley later moved to Shreveport, LA where she was in private practice for 11 years, and where she helped established a rape crisis center and a program for women experiencing domestic violence. She was Young Woman of the Year in 1977 in Shreveport. Mandel-Carley has served on the board of the YWCA Abused Women's Shelter and Family Services of Memphis.

Rosalyn R. Nichols, D.Min

Dr. Rosalyn Nichols is a native Memphian and proud graduate of Booker T. Washington High School, LeMoyne Owen College, and Memphis Theological Seminary. In 2004 she received her Doctor of Ministry degree from the historically black Virginia Union University in Richmond, VA. In 1998, following the death of childhood friend as a result of relationship/domestic violence, Dr. Nichols organized the nonprofit A More Excellent Way, Inc. (AWay) with a mission to help individuals from all walks of life to enter into, engage in, and maintain spiritually healthy relationships. Dr. Nichols has received numerous awards including the Memphis Community Leader Award, the Visionaries Trailblazer award and the Henry Logan Starks Alumni Award from Memphis Theological Seminary. She is a graduate of Leadership Memphis, a lifetime member of the NAACP, and a member of the Beta Epsilon Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. She is also the pastor of Freedom's Chapel Christian Church.

Owen Phillips, MD

Dr. Owen Phillips is a native of Mississippi. She obtained her undergraduate degree from Millsaps College and her MD from the University of Mississippi. Dr. Phillips is the Associate Dean for Student Affairs at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, where she is also a faculty member in Obstetrics and Gynecology and serves as Assistant Residency Program Director. Dr. Phillips is the course director for Prevention, Community, and Culture and is the Education Director of the Center for Women's Health Improvement. She is the former medical director of the Memphis Center for Reproductive Health (now known as CHOICES.) and serves in multiple capacities at numerous healthcare organizations throughout the City of Memphis. Dr. Phillips serves on the Board of Directors of the Memphis Area Women's Council and the Board of the Charter School Memphis Academy of Science and Engineering. She has 2 daughters of her own and 4 "little sibs" as a Big Sister in Big Brothers, Big Sisters. Dr. Phillips is currently pursuing a Master's in Public Health at the University of Memphis.

Carl Reddix, MD, MPH

Dr. Carl Reddix is a native of Mississippi, practicing OB/GYN in Jackson, Mississippi. He is a 1980 graduate of Tougaloo College; 1985 graduate of the Tufts University School of Medicine; 1985 graduate of the Harvard University School of Public Health with a masters degree in Health Policy; and completed residency at the Johns Hopkins Hospital/Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1989. Reddix served as a volunteer consultant for a Mid-South abortion provider, past member of the MS State Board of Health, and is active on numerous civic organization boards, as well as a past president of the Boy Scouts of America Council in Jackson, Mississippi. He has a special interest in racial disparities and incarcerated populations.

Mamie Shannon, MPA

Mamie Shannon is a Certified Nonprofit Professional (CNP) and committed advocate for capacity building initiatives in the Mid-South. Shannon graduated with a Bachelor of Professional Studies degree in Community Development and her Master's in Public Administration from the University of Memphis. After witnessing the effects of bottom up revitalization efforts in the Central Business District and on Historic South Main, she committed to improving conditions in Mid-South communities through partner building. She has worked in community development for twenty-three years in Memphis, TN. In 2010, Shannon became host/co-producer of the WKNO TV-10 weekly series, "Local Color" to promote special events, unique adventures, and regional tourism. She has worked with numerous nonprofits on development, marketing, fundraising, and partner building initiatives.

Sarah Wilkerson Freeman, PhD

Dr. Sarah Wilkerson Freeman is a Professor of History at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro. She received her PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1996 and has taught at ASU since. Dr. Freeman currently is at work on a study of southern women and the transformation of U.S. politics since the 1880s.

Senator Beverly Marrero

Beverly Marrero, a former Democratic member of the Tennessee Senate, was first elected to the 103rd General Assembly after Carol Chumney resigned. She served in this position from 2008 until 2012. From 2003-2006, Marrero served in the Tennessee House of Representatives. As a member of the House, she was the Secretary of the Children and Family Affairs Committee, a member of the Government Operations Committee. In 2007, she won a special election when the state senate seat was vacated by U.S. Representative Steve Cohen. Marrero is currently the Vice Chair of the Government Operations Committee. From 2011-2012, Marrero served on Environment, Conservation, and Tourism Committee, as well as the Judiciary Committee.

Beverly Marrero has been active in issues concerning same sex marriages and the rights of women. She was one of only seven members of the House to vote against a measure to hold a referendum advocating amending the Tennessee State Constitution to ban gay marriage. Additionally, in April 2006, she voted against a proposed amendment that would have eliminated all guarantees of a right to an abortion form the state constitution.

A Special thanks to the Charl Ormond Williams Foundation, whose generous contribution catalyzed this event.

And to our wonderful hosting and supporting organizations who also made this possible.


  • American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee
  • African & African-American Studies Department, University of Memphis
  • Beth Sholom Synagogue
  • Bonner
  • Center for Faith & Service, Rhodes College
  • Calvary Episcopal ChurchCenter for Research on Women, University of Memphis
  • Democratic Women of Shelby County
  • First Presbyterian Church
  • First Unitarian Church, "Church of the River"
  • Gender & Sexuality Studies Program, Rhodes College
  • Germantown Democratic Club
  • History Department, University of Memphis
  • Idlewild Presbyterian Church
  • Happy Jones
  • Judy Scharff Fund
  • Marcus Orr Center for the Humanities, University of Memphis
  • Medical Students Association, University of Tennessee
  • Memphis Area Women's Council
  • Memphis Gay & Lesbian Community Center
  • Mid-South AIDS Fund
  • National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc. Memphis Chapter
  • Neshoba Unitarian Universalist Church
  • Adrienne Pakis-Gillon
  • Planned Parenthood Greater Memphis Region
  • Political Science Department, University of Memphis
  • School of Public Health, University of Memphis
  • Shelby County Democratic Party
  • St. Mary's Episcopal Cathedral
  • Tennessee Equality Project
  • Tennessee Women's Political Caucus
  • Temple Israel
  • Women's & Gender Studies Program, University of Memphis
  • West Tennesseans for Progress
  • Jocelyn Wurzburg


  • Drinking Liberally Memphis
  • First Congregational Church
  • Healthy & Free Tennessee
  • Law Students for Reproductive Justice, University of Memphis
  • Religious Studies Department, University of Memphis
  • Shady Grove Presbyterian Church
  • SisterReach
  • Tennessee Democratic Party
  • VOX, Rhodes College
  • VOX, University of Memphis
  • Women's Action Coalition of the MidSouth
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Last Updated: 2/24/14