THANK YOU, to all who made last night such a great success. We were so proud to host former U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr., Starbucks Chief Partner Officer Lucy Lee Helm and advocate Anita Colon as our honorees at last night’s Healing & Hope. They joined 300 of our supporters, youth advocates and formerly incarcerated individuals and their families at our sold out event.

 

Throughout the evening we had the opportunity to celebrate our successes and re-energize ourselves for the work still ahead in ending life without parole sentences for children.

 

We ended the evening with a little surprise, honoring our own staff member Eric Alexander in recognition of his years of hard work as a co-founder of the Incarcerated Children’s Advocacy Network (ICAN).  Eric was overwhelmed by the recognition, and by our secretly flying his wife and family into Washington DC for the evening.

 

With dozens of ICAN members in the room, we challenged our guests to raise an additional $25,000 to facilitate our hiring another ICAN member to our team in 2018.  We are thrilled to report that the crowd met our challenge!  We are grateful for the support and look forward to deploying these additional funds next year.

 

Healing & Hope is our opportunity to recognize the hard work and commitment that takes place year round. We could not do this work without you and your support. We can’t wait to see you at next year’s Healing & Hope!

 

About the Honorees

 

Former Attorney General Eric Holder has played an instrumental role in the justice system. In 2013 as part of the Obama administration, Mr. Holder spearheaded the Smart on Crime Initiative which began a comprehensive review of the criminal justice system. His dedication to criminal justice reform is further exemplified in his leadership of the Task Force On Children Exposed to Violence. Mr. Holder is now a partner at Covington & Burling, LLP.

 

Lucy Lee Helm currently acts as Starbucks’ Chief Partner Officer and has been instrumental in Starbucks’ work to ensure second chances for all kids. Ms. Helm and Starbucks are part of the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative, which aims to bridge the opportunity divide for the 4.9 million Americans, aged 16 – 24, who are out of school and not working. Starbucks’ commitment to working with underrepresented communities has been instrumental to our mission, especially as more men and women are leaving prison and in search of first jobs.

 

Anita Colon has been fighting and advocating for juvenile justice reform for over 27 years after her brother Robert was sentenced to life without parole at the young age of 16. Just two weeks ago, our staff was in attendance in Philadelphia as Robert was resentenced and made immediately eligible for parole. Anita has worked tirelessly every day of her brother’s incarceration on reforms that will not only impact his life, but the lives of so many others.

 

Eric Alexander is the co-founder of ICAN, Eric was incarcerated for ten years before being granted parole, and has been on our staff since April. Eric’s personal history and passion for youth justice reform has made him an indispensable voice in our movement to end this country’s most extreme sentences for children.

 

Featured photo and event photography generously provided by DCEventPhoto