News Release: Leesburg Diversity Commission to Host Online Movie Discussion and Interview with Thurgood Marshall, Jr.

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

Leesburg logo

Town of Leesburg, Virginia
News Release

For Immediate Release
Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Media Contact:
Betsy Arnett, Public Information Officer

Leesburg Diversity Commission to Host Online Movie Discussion and Interview with Thurgood Marshall, Jr.

Participants are invited to watch the movie “Marshall” on their own and join the interview live on Tuesday, October 20, at 7 p.m. via WebEx.

Leesburg, VA (October 7, 2020) – On Tuesday, October 20, 2020, at 7 p.m., the Leesburg Diversity Commission will host an online panel interview and discussion with Thurgood Marshall, Jr.

Leesburg’s Town Attorney, Christopher Spera,  a University of Virginia law school graduate like Marshall, will provide an introduction, after which the panelists will lead a discussion of the movie “Marshall” which chronicles his father, Thurgood Marshall, Sr.’s early legal career. Thurgood Marshall, Sr. was the first African American Supreme Court Justice, appointed in 1967 by President Lyndon Johnson. The public is invited to watch the interview live via Webex.

Panelists will include Mr. Spera, Diversity Commission Chair Pamela Butler, Maryland attorney and Loudoun  NAACP Past President Phillip Thompson, conflict resolution practitioner and Loudoun NAACP Past Legal Redress Chair Tanja Thompson, and members of the Leesburg Diversity Commission.

Participation in the online event is free, but spaces are limited. Register via Eventbrite at  Once registered, participants will receive the link to join the event.

Thurgood Marshall, Jr. has practiced law, held senior government appointments, and serves on an array of corporate and non-profit boards. As an international law firm partner, he represented witnesses and companies involved in congressional investigations and counseled clients engaged in public policy.

Marshall served in the Clinton Administration, as Assistant to the President & Cabinet Secretary from 1997 to 2001.  He was Director of Legislative Affairs & Deputy Counsel to Vice President Al Gore from 1993 to 1997.  Before that, he was counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation, as well as the Government Affairs Committee as Staff Director and Chief Counsel to Senator Al Gore.  He began his legal career as a law clerk to US District Judge Barrington D. Parker of the US District Court for the District of Columbia and he practiced corporate law before working on Capitol Hill.

Marshall’s board experience has included positions with two companies on the New York Stock Exchange, a government contractor and a footwear and apparel retailer.  He served on the boards of the United States Postal Service and The Ford Foundation.  He currently is a board member with the Campaign Legal Center and The Third Way.

Christopher Spera became Leesburg Town Attorney in August.  He has practiced law for over three decades and was previously the Vice President and General Counsel for the Old Dominion Transportation Group and Transportation General, Inc., in Northern Virginia.  Spera served for over a decade as the Deputy City Attorney for the City of Alexandria, Virginia.  The first half of his legal career was spent as a litigating attorney, in private law firms and as in-house litigation counsel for the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation. Spera was a non-scholarship member of the basketball program at the University of Virginia, from which he graduated in 1984.  He is a 1987 graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law.

Spera actively serves as a volunteer with sports organizations in the national capital area.  He is Board President the Springfield Youth Club, VP of Operations and General Manager for the DC Grays Baseball Club, which operates a collegiate team in the Cal Ripken Summer Baseball League and provides youth baseball opportunities for children in under-served areas in Washington, DC.

The mission of the Leesburg Diversity Commission is to foster diversity and inclusion in our community. In light of the current racial tensions and renewed attention to long-standing systemic racism, the commission is holding a series of community discussions around these issues.

For more information, please contact Betsy Arnett, staff liaison to the Diversity Commission, at  

# # #