Reprinted from Prisonist.org.
The stars are aligning for the advancement of criminal justice in this country. It is not surprising that the light seems to be shining on New York, and spreading out to the rest of the country. Here in neighboring Connecticut, we not only are not only doing significant criminal justice work of our own, we are also honored to be involved and included in these New York milestones.
On Monday, Nov. 10th, Andrew Kaplan and I attended the American Justice Summit at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City. Babz Rawls Ivy, Andrew and I are the Online Editors for the important new book, The Justice Imperative: How Hyper-Incarceration Has Hijacked The American Dream. We met up with Connecticut criminal justice leaders, Vivien Blackford and Kumar Viswanathan, who are the Chair & Exec. Director, respectively, of the Phoenix Association. The Summit was glorious – it was not only led by of some of the most notable and influential voices in criminal justice today, it was a gathering of the tribe; a place where our community came together to breathe the same air and know that we are not alone in our noble cause. You can watch the entire Summit on YouTube here.
JustLeadershipUSA’s benefit and launch was held on Weds. evening, Nov. 12th at the Tribeca Rooftop in New York City. Lynn and I had a blast – lots of photos below! It was hosted by its Founder/President Glenn E. Martin (who did an outstanding job speaking at the American Justice Summit), and was chaired by Piper Kerman of Orange is the New Black. Our ministry, the Progressive Prison Project/Innocent Spouse & Children Project was selected to have its work highlighted among fifteen Leaders in Criminal Justice at the JustLeadershipUSA event. We are humbled and honored.
“I believe that the launching of JustLeadershipUSA will be viewed, one day, by historians and advocates alike as a true game changer: the moment in the emerging movement when formerly incarcerated people finally had a chance to be heard, to organize, and to influence policy in major ways — even though many of them still lacked the right to vote.” – Michelle Alexander, Author, The New Jim Crow .
TEDx SingSing will be a landmark in New York and American criminal justice history. Dec. 3, 2014. We are grateful to Sean Pica, Exec. Director of Hudson Link, for inviting us to attend TEDx SingSing and bear witness to this groundbreaking event. Check out the speakers here. Counting days till this one.
Here are some photos from our big time this past week. – Jeff
with American Justice Summit panelist, John Wetzel.