Empowering people through education and engagement

An Evening with Judge Simpkins




Northwest Suburban College (NSC)

5999 New Wilkie Rd, Rolling Meadows, IL 60008



Fri, Aug 28, 2015 

Time: 7.00 PM – 10.00 PM


7pm-8pm: Registration, Refreshments, Social Hour & Maghrib

 8pm- 10pm

Speaker: Judge Anthony Simpkins 

First Muslim Judge in Illinois

Moderator: Abrar Quader, Esq.


 Judge Simpkins will reflect on his journey to the Illinois Bench, and his wide range of experiences as a community leader in the Chicago community. He will discuss important topics including the role of the judiciary, diversity in the legal system, civic engagement and civil rights / human rights. Of particular interest will be Judge Simpkins’s pioneering work as an advocate to abolish slavery in Mauritania with the organization Abolition Institute, and his scholarly writings on Islamophobia.  CBC


Anthony Simpkins was born on the South side of Chicago. He was raised by hard working parents who taught him the importance of working for social justice and the greater good. As a result, his entire career has been devoted to public service, which he believes to be the highest calling of the legal profession.

Judge Simpkins received his BA in Political Science from the University of Illinois in 1989. After graduating, he worked for the Leadership Council for Metropolitan Open Communities, helping public housing residents find housing in opportunity areas. He earned his Juris Doctorate along with his MA in Political Science from Loyola University Chicago in 1994, and began his legal career as a Skadden Foundation fellow. Drawing upon personal experience, he represented renters who were victims of illegal summary evictions or “lockouts.” Working at the Legal Assistance Foundation and Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing, he defended and prosecuted lawsuits on behalf victims and advocated for reforms to the legal system, publishing an ICLE article on Lockouts for practitioners and developing a training program for the Chicago Police Department on the proper response to such incidents.

In 1997 Judge Simpkins  became a Senior Counsel with the City of Chicago Law Department, Building and Land Use Litigation Division. He focused on public safety and quality of life issues through civil litigation, He also worked extensively on legal policy and reforms to improve neighborhoods without displacing low-income residents. At the City, Anthony helped to develop pioneering litigation programs that expanded the use of receivers and other forms of equitable relief to achieve these ends. He authored training manuals as well as State and local legislation to improve the effectiveness of those programs. In 2007, Anthony became a Deputy Commissioner for the City of Chicago Department of Planning and Development (DPD), focusing on housing preservation initiatives and economic development policy. At DPD Anthony helped to develop and administer many groundbreaking programs focused on revitalizing struggling communities, including the Troubled Buildings Initiative and the Micro- Markets Recovery program.

Judge Simpkins has always been engaged in the community. He was a 2011 Emerging Leader for the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, a board member and past-president of the Muslim Bar Association of Chicago, the first association of Muslim lawyers organized in the United States, and a former board member of the Cook County Bar Association, the country’s oldest association of African-American lawyers. He is also a Board member of the Downtown Islamic Center, the RTW Veterans Center, and Managing Editor of the Journal of Islamic Law and Culture.

On December 15, 2014, Anthony Simpkins was appointed a Judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County for the 1st Judicial Subcircuit by the Illinois Supreme Court, and is currently assigned to the First Municipal District, Housing Division.

RSVP: 773 770-6166;

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