The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world, and the racial disparities of who is incarcerated are profound (39% of the US prison population is African-American but only 12.9% of the US population is). The South has the highest incarceration rate in the US and in Georgia, 61.6% of the prison population is African-American (while making up only 31.5% of the state’s population).
Join us and our partner, Institute for Leadership and Social Impact, for a virtual panel hosting Senator Tonya Anderson (D), Representative Houston Gaines (R), Executive Director of Georgia Justice Project (GJP), Doug Ammar, and moderator, Lisa McGahan (Policy Director, GJP) as they discuss how bipartisan efforts led to the newly adopted Second Chance expungement bill in Georgia.
Georgia Justice Project is a nonprofit focused on strengthening Georgia's communities by demonstrating a better way to represent and support individuals in the criminal justice system, reducing the number of individuals under correctional control in Georgia and all the ensuing barriers to reentry. The Georgia Justice Project promotes innovative change through direct legal representation, policy advocacy, education, and coalition building. This year, GJP successfully brought together 70 partner organizations through the Second Chance campaign to expand expungement in Georgia.
Senator Tonya Anderson was elected to the State Senate to represent Georgia’s 43rd District in 2016. She serves as the Vice Chair of the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus (GLBC), and serves as Secretary of the Retirement Committee. She is also a member of the Public Safety, Special Judiciary, and Veterans, Military, and Homeland Security Committees. Senator Anderson retired in 2012 from the United States Air Force Reserve after more than 21 honorable years of service and continues to volunteer and advocate for veterans’ services. Read her full bio here.
Representative Houston Gaines was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 2018. Rep. Gaines is a Republican representing the 117th House District. He works at Cannon Financial Institute, where he serves clients across the country in the financial industry. Houston also consults with Lighthouse Counsel, a local company that partners with nonprofits to increase mission awareness, organizational effectiveness, and philanthropic support. Read his full bio here.
Doug Ammar has been associated with the Georgia Justice Project (GJP) since its inception in 1986 – serving first as a volunteer, then as a staff lawyer in 1990, and, since 1995, as the Executive Director. Doug has received the prestigious Annie E. Casey Foundation Fellowship and a number of other awards including most recently the Elbert P. Tuttle Jurisprudence Award from the Southeastern Anti-Defamation League; The University of Georgia’s Milner S. Ball Working In the Public Interest Lifetime Achievement Award; the Georgia Center for Nonprofits’ Evelyn G. Ullman Innovative Leadership Award; Davidson College’s John W. Kuykendall Award for Community Service; and the Georgia Indigent Defense Council’s Commitment to Excellence Award. Read Doug's full bio here.
Lisa McGahan is an experienced financial services professional and lawyer with expertise in investment banking, public policy, and philanthropic sectors. A founding member of the Global Media Group at Goldman Sachs she led a team of bankers originating and executing mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance, and principal investment transactions in the technology and traditional media industries. Since retiring from Wall Street and returning to Atlanta she has been actively involved in various philanthropic institutions, serving on the Board of Trustees of The Westminster Schools, The Howard School, Midtown Assistance Center, Wesley Woods, and Housing Tonight, Inc. Currently, Lisa is the Policy Director at the Georgia Justice Project.
Impact is a weekly series of meaningful conversations, free and open to all. The talks provide students, and the larger community on and off-campus, the opportunity to network with and learn from, successful leaders and entrepreneurs from the corporate and social sectors.
The 2020/21 series will feature conversations on race, social justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion.