Recap: Richmond Justice Reform Kickoff Party (5/8/19)

On May 8, 2019, Justice Forward hosted its Richmond Justice Reform Kickoff Party at Postbellum in Richmond, VA. Although JFV has been active throughout the Commonwealth in raising public awareness and with legislative advocacy, this was our very first event outside of Northern Virginia—and what an event it was. Over 80 people came out to learn more about criminal justice reform, Justice Forward Virginia, and our plans for the upcoming year.

Many of Virginia’s leaders in the fields of civil rights and justice reform were also in attendance, including:

Sen. Jennifer McClellan
Sen. Rosalyn Dance
Del. Lamont Bagby
Del. Jeffrey Bourne
Brian Moran, Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security
Chesterfield Commonwealth’s Attorney Scott Miles
Henrico Commonwealth’s Attorney Shannon Taylor
Jim Hingeley, former Charlottesville Public Defender and current candidate for Albemarle Commonwealth’s Attorney

Speakers included Sen. Dance, Secretary Moran, Mr. Miles, JFV founder Brad Haywood and new JFV Central Region Coordinator Ashley Shapiro. As Mr. Haywood noted in his remarks, just as a defendant needs an attorney advocate if he is to stand any chance at a criminal trial, justice reform needs a community of advocates behind it if it is to have any hope in the legislature. For too long, legislators have only heard from opponents of our cause, and that needs to change, starting now.

We expect that last week’s event will provide a major boost as we strive to expand, unify and mobilize our community of justice reform advocates and inspire them to action. If you're passionate about justice reform, May 8 was proof that you aren’t alone. We hope you continue to stand with us as we fight for real, meaningful reform to Virginia's broken justice system.

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Brad Haywood