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  • October 02, 2018 7:48 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    In August 2018 after five years in development the Osiligi Medical Dispensary officially opened, the first major step in a larger plan to bring medical care to over 200,000 members of the Maasai community in the Narok District of Kenya.

    On the Dispensary’s opening day, fifty-six patients were evaluated for their glucose level and hypertension, and eye glasses were distributed to those in need. David Weeks, Global Education Director from the Glenelg Country School and his former student, Kikanae Punyua of the local Maasai community, were joined by Dr. Tayo Awotunde, a pharmacist from Greenbelt, Maryland, who supplied medication and assisted in patient evaluations. Martin Punyua, a local Maasai medical student, supported the glucose and blood pressure evaluations. An additional pharmacist, a nurse, a lab technician, an HIV/AIDS counselor, and a nutritionist counselor, all funded by the local Narok Health Department, were also able to attend the opening. The local doctor for the Osiligi Medical Dispensary arrived the following day to meet with Weeks, Kikanae Punyua and the Dispensary governing committee of local Maasai elders.

    David Weeks and community members stand in front of the Osiligi Medical Dispensary

    The Osiligi Medical Dispensary consists of two rooms for labor/delivery and recovery and two rooms for emergency care and consultation, along with a small pharmacy, medical lab, waiting room and washrooms. By the beginning of October the facility will be open full time. 

    David and community members take a break from their work to smile for the cameraDavid Weeks, Kikanae Punyua and the Maasai elders of the Dispensary governing committee met with a local contractor to discuss the plans for the construction of a new medical facility, to be separate from the Dispensarywith an outdoor covered seating area to accommodate waiting patients and their familiesand contain a pharmacy with storeroom, a medical lab for preparing traditional Maasai medical remedies, a dentist’s office,  a vision center and an indoor waiting room. Having viewed the floor plan and determined the location for the center, the contractor and his crew began to break ground for the facility’s foundation.  Approximately $35,000 US has already been raised for construction of this new facility, expected to cost $60,000. With the development of this new Maasai Medical Center the Narok Health Department will be able to provide more comprehensive medical support to the local community. 

    Plans have already been made for constructing the Osiligi Hospital Ward to be located across from the Osiligi Medical Dispensary. This facility will provide overnight accommodations for patients and their families as well as medical personnel.  This new medical complex that will not only serve the approximately 600 students in the neighboring Ole Punyua Primary School but also the 200,000 members of the Maasai community in the Narok District of Kenya. 

    For more information contact David Weeks by email at weeks@glenelg.org or by cell at 443-794-4302.


  • September 27, 2018 10:49 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    A Tale in 2 Voices

    ClassACT reunites colleagues and friends after 41 years

    ClassACT is proud of our efforts to not only change the world, but reconnect classmates through this good work. We are excited to have reconnected colleagues and friends Charles Bush and Steve Milliken after 41 years. In this article, they reminisce on their work together as students with Phillips Brooks House, and discuss their continued efforts to make the world a better place with ClassACT.

    Steve Milliken and Charles Bush reuniting at a ClassACT event in New Orleans. Image Credit: Rick Weil

    Charles Bush begins the tale: It was the summer of ’71, a time of an emerging sense of social responsibility for me and many of my colleagues on the Harvard campus.  At Harvard, social responsibility was signified by Phillips Brooks House (PBH); where student activism and social needs were melded in the form of outreach programs.  When the State of Massachusetts announced that it was considering creative alternatives to juvenile detention facilities, PBH responded with a novel proposal: PBH to sponsor and host a pilot program in which incarcerated, juvenile offenders would be released to the custody and daily responsibility of Harvard students.  Guided by the need for a summer job no less than a desire to continue my involvement with PBH outreach, I leapt at the opportunity and was selected as a Counselor along with three of my colleagues, including one Steve Milliken.

    Novel and ambitious, even by PBH standards, the program proved to be bred of unseasoned idealism and prematurely born (in other words, we were in way over our heads). We quickly discovered that classroom etiquette was a poor prescription for our young assignees’ street smarts and institutionally-honed survival skills.  

    Steve Milliken chimes in: Schooled to believe remedial education was one key to these teens’ successful reentry, I remember engaging a windowless Harvard classroom one morning to teach math. The minute I turned to the blackboard, the boy nearest the door flipped off the lights, and by the time I had fumbled my way over to the switch, the whole class was scattered. We spent the rest of the day and night searching for our charges all over Harvard Square and beyond.

    CB: With all their ivy ambiance, the Harvard Yard and the hallowed halls of PBH were no panacea. Likewise, our daily tutoring, counseling, mentoring, and guidance failed to effect the wholesale, miraculous transformation that I, for one, had so naively assumed. Still, we hung on and hung in, trying, testing, and stretching ourselves to new limits and learning to satisfy ourselves with a small breakthrough here or there. With the program’s phase out at the end of the summer, rather than swear off the concept, Steve and I huddled up and drafted a proposal to improve and extend it the following summer.  

    SM: One positive aspect of the program was our commitment to engage these young people in their homes and communities.  While our ‘formal’ program at PBH only lasted the Summer, I stayed with several of the boys in the coming years. One young man, Tommy from Jamaica Plain, was the son of an alcoholic, who beat him regularly and severely as he drank more and more quarts of Pabst Blue Ribbon. At Christmas, Tommy asked if I’d come over to help him pick out a present for his father. When he took me into a bar, I asked whether getting his father alcohol made any sense. Tommy said nothing and just took me to the backroom fence, where the burgled inventory rivaled any retailer’s. The last police officer to arrest Tommy was also there doing his Christmas shopping.

    My time with Phillips Brooks House, and with Charles, as well as with classmate Donna Brown (and another counselor I’ve entirely lost track of), taught me more to prepare me for a life in the trial courts and as a judge than any course or other experience at Harvard. I recall advocating for one of these children at the Roslindale Detention Center to keep him home, when so many had no one in their corner. 

    The greatest learning for me, sadly, was the depth of northern racism. I had been raised naively to believe that racism was a ‘Southern Problem.’ I had equally naively assumed the youth with whom we worked would join together, but fights between Black and White children were so spontaneously explosive that we ended up separating the groups for different program elements. I shouldn’t have been surprised, especially given what we continue to learn of this pernicious nationwide heritage.

    CB: Somehow that effort faded in the haze of academic demands and eventual graduation, and along with it, any contact between Steve and me over the next forty-one years.  

    Then, in the spring of 2014, an inspired message cropped up in my email from ClassACT ’73, bearing the heading: “It's not too late to change the world.” So blatantly ambitious and improbably idealistic, the concept invited comparison to the PBH experience I shared with Steve forty-one years earlier.  I recall initially thinking, this too is probably bred by unseasoned idealism. Then came the mention that one of ClassACT’s selected Bridge programs was a non-profit foundation called JusticeAid - improbably founded by one Steve Milliken. After confirming through ClassACT that this was in fact my former PBH program colleague, I signed on with the ClassACT entourage attending JusticeAid’s 2015 concert at the New Orleans House of Blues. Over the course of the weekend events, I reunited and reminisced with Steve; all of which flowed naturally into a renewed friendship and just as naturally to involvement with JusticeAid. Over the past four years, that involvement has expanded from attending JusticeAid’s benefit concerts to serving on its Host Committees. Discovering this gratifying work and rediscovering a lost friend after so many years, have been an inspiring reprisal of purpose for me. Thanks ClassACT ’73.

    Charles Bush living it up with ClassACT in NOLA!

    SM: This to echo the great joy I took in reuniting with Charles Bush in New Orleans, 41 years after what he so aptly describes as our “novel and ambitious” efforts at Phillips Brooks House to change the lives of teenage boys released from Massachusetts ‘reform’ schools. We know what road good intentions pave, but I hasten to add that we vastly reduced the recidivism rates for these young folks who, at the time, faced well over a 90% chance of returning to detention.

    I could not have been more delighted to meet up with Charles in New Orleans, and I am profoundly grateful to ClassACT for reuniting us, and for bringing many classmates to JusticeAid for events in DC and in NYC as well. 

    - Charles Bush and Steve Milliken, Class of ‘73

    Edited by Sallie Gouverneur, pictured left with Steve Milliken in NOLA. Image credit: Rick Weil


  • September 16, 2018 12:16 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    by Sallie Gouverneur

    About 7 years ago, during an HAA breakout session about alumni engagement, Bob Bowie mentioned Early College Awareness, and Peter Mazareas asked, Whats that? In Bobs words, heres how ECA happened: Over thirty years ago Bob Clagett of the admissions office and I became obsessed with the middle-school kids from less advantaged backgrounds and their barriers to college. We put together a program in Baltimore and filmed it. The HAA let us put it on and the HAA adopted it.

    According to Peter, at the time he asked about it, there were 8 programs that Bob had set up and structured. Now there are over 36 across the country and internationally, from Greater Boston to Seattle as well as Central and South Florida to Phoenix and beyond, thanks to Peter and Larry Kahn 83, Co-chairs of ECA

    So heres some useful background data: the ratio of students to guidance counselors in high schools in America is 478/1. The average time a guidance counselor spends with a high school student? 22 minutes. AND according to the US Department of Education, as of 2016, 1 in 5 high schools have no guidance counselor at all. Low-income and first-generation students clearly need help!

    Audience listens intently to the presenter at an ECA event.Peter says its really gratifying to see the growth in the program, but added that perhaps his most personally gratifying experience was the first high school presentation he ever made, at his own urban Massachusetts high school. To speak to 475 freshmen, he put together a panel of  5 young, diverse first-generation speakers (including a football player who Peter had interviewed for Harvard, who had been living in his car in high school and too embarrassed to tell anyone. 4 years later he was unanimously elected on the first ballot to be Captain of the Harvard Football Team) to talk about the benefits of assuming you can go to college and planning for it. The students were  so focused  they didnt even look at their phones!

    This is NOT about getting kids to go to Harvard, and its not even principally about getting families to plan for paying for it (even though he co-authored the book Plan and Finance Your Familys College Dreams, and helped write and pass the legislation for 529 programs across the country).  In fact this story is not about Peter Mazareas, except to celebrate the sensation he had at that first presentation of knowing he made a difference. Getting kids attention by talking about the cost of not going to college, about relative income gaps and unemployment rates over a lifetime and that College is possible for them, he said, was most rewarding, most gratifyingI know I touched lives.

    ECA events can help any kids where theres no guidance at school or home, hence they are particularly important for reaching immigrants and students in underserved communities, out with the College is Possible message. Since financing is independent of the planning, paying may be less of an issue for low-income kids who should be eligible for scholarship funds; its more imperative to emphasize the planning process: that they can go to college if they set their sights on the goal.

    The ECA program is a model of flexibilitythe effort can be undertaken by individual classmates, entire classes, local Harvard clubs and SIGs in no fewer than 4 different forms. Bob Bowie and Peter hope HR73 classmates will be interested in participating with ECA. So Peter is eager to emphasize that the program can make it convenient for classmates to adopt: there are all sorts of resources available, including Power Points and an ECA Tool kit, and the different ECA models range from developing a classroom speakers program, to assemblies, to half-day community programs. Whatever the approach, Peters philosophy is 1 student at a time. And NOT a Harvard outreach, he said. I dont even mention Harvard except for acknowledging the Harvard-connected sponsorship of the event.

    ECA students listen intently.Click here for lots of useful information about ECA.

    Bob Bowie gets the next-to-last word: Peter has been the great leader of ECA. He is the best spokesperson for us and it now. Peter has made it his project, focused it, shaped it and has made it relevant and international. He deserves all the credit for what it has become.

    And in an After-you, Alphonse sort of dance, Peter claims that he and Larry Kahn just executed Bobs vision.

  • August 29, 2018 3:33 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    “The KidsCareEverywhere software will absolutely help us. It will be a huge benefit. You saw the enthusiasm of our doctors here. They were in love with it,” observed Dr. George Whitelaw, president of Childrens Well Being Foundation (CWBF) in Costa Rica, where KidsCareEverywhere (KCE), a San Francisco charity founded by Dr. Ron Dieckmann, ‘73 had just completed a physician software donation and training. The two global health groups had been linked through Jonathan Sprague of ClassACT earlier this spring, as part of a collaborative attempt to bring together Harvard-affiliated nonprofit organizations working in health care. 

    Three men pose in front of a KidsCareEverywhere bannerDr. George Whitelaw, president of CWBF; Jean Carlo Brenese, CEO of Children’s Well-Being Foundation, Costa Rica; and Dr. Ron Dieckmann, Executive Director of KidsCareEverywhere in San Jose, Costa Rica. Ron donated a tablet PC to help improve clinic access to the medical software he gifted to CWBF on his July, 2018 visit to Costa Rica.

             George, an orthopedic surgeon and husband of Dr. Phyllis Carr, ’73 began CWBF over ten years ago. The organization is based in San Jose, Costa Rica and serves poor children—mainly Nicaraguan immigrants. They offer free medical, psychological, eye exams, and dental care to children and adolescents from communities with limited access to health services. CWBF is currently under enormous strain from a flotilla of refugees from their northern neighbor Nicaragua, who are fleeing from violence in their own country and entering Costa Rica, whose lean health care system is already unable to care for their own Costa Rican children.

             Ron, A pediatric emergency physician, professor emeritus at UCSF and medical software developer, founded KCE in 2006. The organization donates state-of-art medical software to doctors working in low-income countries and serving impoverished children. KCE has sites in 25 different countries on three continents—Asia, Africa, and South America. The software is gifted to KCE by EBSCO Health Care in Ipswich, and Ron has been intensely involved with development of the pediatric components. Ron says the software is a transformational experience for the doctors and changes practice almost instantly by providing an encyclopedia of current, evidence-based medical knowledge though a mobile app. The app does not require web access and is available at the bedside—so it works very well for doctors in the low-income world.

             “We really enjoyed working with George and his group at CWBF”, commented Ron. “His organization is doing totally fantastic work. We want to support his doctors who are dedicated but overwhelmed with patients and have almost no resources or information sources”. The software will allow doctors to access medical information in seconds, and will help identify sick kids that need life-saving drugs or referral into the public Costa Rican system.

             The two groups want to continue working together. Ron and George will be looking for each other at the 45th reunion this fall to plan their next collaboration!

  • August 03, 2018 4:38 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Thanks to Yeou-Cheng Ma, The Children’s Orchestra Society is Almost 50 Years Old

    By Andrea Kirsh, HR'73

    The Children's Orchestra Society logo reads, Teaching Children the Language of MusicWhen Yeou-Cheng Ma turned to ClassACT to solicit help for the Manhasset-based Children's Orchestra Society (COS) I was delighted to offer planning assistance; I knew how demanding small arts organizations are, and how much of her life Yeou-Cheng had given to the organization. Her father founded the Orchestra as a way for his music students to play in ensembles, but for seven years following his retirement it lay dormant. When Yeou-Cheng and her husband, Michael Dadap took over in 1983, they expanded the ambitions of COS with a mission: to cultivate and nurture children and teach them teamwork and life skills through music-learning and performing in orchestral and chamber music settings. What had been an 18-member group has grown to more than 200 students from across the New York City area participating in four orchestras, chamber groups, chorus, and individual instruction in all the orchestral instruments and musicianship. Professional musicians take on students, regardless of their ability to pay and the organization has raised funds to subsidize students' participation in tours across the U.S., Canada, Europe and most recently, to China. 

    Yeou-Cheng was a serious violinist when her family moved from Paris to New York in 1963, a very shy student suddenly forced to function in a new language. When she entered Radcliffe she was still a reserved musician, taking pre-med courses; she became a pediatrician specializing in children with developmental disabilities, a career which has supported her ongoing musical activities. 

    The responsibilities of running COS have forced the shy musician to become skillful at administration, public relations and fundraising. Yeou-Cheng told me she's gotten used to asking strangers for money, and when they can't contribute she says, "That's all right; COS need lots of other things: volunteers, marketing help, board members and an audience at recitals." She will do whatever it takes to keep the organization going--during one financially stressful period she and Michael raised money by mortgaging their house.

    COS is committed to a child-centered program where children are encouraged to strive for their personal best, rather than competing with peers. Students are placed in ensembles according to their abilities rather than their age or grade level. Since arts education has been eliminated in so many public schools, the orchestra may be their only chance to study music. It has also served as a voice for children with academic and social problems, and all participants have gained experience in cooperation and team spirit. 

    Ten years ago I attended a COS concert at Carnegie Hall which was reviewed by the New York Times the following day. I was astonished. The accolade is obviously a reflection of COS's musical stature, but most of its graduates are not headed for professional careers as musicians. Many will continue to play for pleasure and all of them will be enthusiastic audience members for classical music. In approaching its 50th year, the challenge for COS is ensuring the viability of what has become much broader than a family project. 

  • August 01, 2018 3:18 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    This year’s lecture, on Thursday, October 11th, at the very beginning of Class of 1973's Reunion, will be delivered by Ofeibea Quist-Arcton, National Public Radio’s distinguished journalist reporting on Africa.

    Quist-Arcton obtained a BA with honors from the London School of Economics and then completed a yearlong course in radio which included two internships at the BBC. She then joined the BBC in 1985. Pictured right: Ofeibea Quist-Acton

    Quist-Arcton was appointed the BBC West Africa correspondent in 1990, heading the regional bureau and covering 24 countries. In 1994 she returned to the BBC in London, where she served as a host and senior producer on the BBC World Service flagship programs, Newshour and Newsday, as well as a contributing Africa specialist for other BBC programming. Beginning in 1995 Quist-Arcton began work in the United States of America for the joint BBC-PRI production, The World.

    Quist-Arcton joined National Public Radio in 2004 at the newly created post of West Africa Correspondent in Dakar, Senegal. She reports on all aspects of life and developments on the African continent. Quist-Arcton was awarded the 2015 Edward R. Murrow prize for her reporting on the 2014 Ebola epidemic and Boko Haram, which she shared with photojournalist David Gilkey.

  • August 01, 2018 3:15 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    ClassACT is proud to support the Rama Mehta Lecture at the Radcliffe Institute. From Mark Graney of the Radcliffe Institute we received the following nice news: "On behalf of all of us at the Radcliffe Institute, thank you for rallying support for the Mehta lecture during your reunion year. These funds will help to prolong the lecture series, thereby broadening public understanding of the challenges facing women in developing countries.”

    The Mehta Lecture was established by John and Kitty Galbraith in honor of their friend, an influential Indian woman scholar, and the lecture was delivered shortly after its founding by Benazir Bhutto. Donations to the Radcliffe Institute in support of the Lecture qualified as gifts to the University in our 45th Reunion year and demonstrate a commitment to the BBLP through ClassACT.

    Banner reading Experience 73

  • July 26, 2018 5:30 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Natasha Jehangir Khan and Roohi Abdullah have just matriculated at the Kennedy School’s Mason Program, under the auspices of BBLP.  We are delighted with the outcome of our efforts: both are Pakistani women with substantive experience. After years of policy making, for Natasha in Pakistani government and for Roohi, in many countries for the World Bank, they can use the year in Cambridge at the Mason Program to prepare for return to Pakistan to transition into formal roles of authority. 


    Holly Weeks, Roohi Abdullah, Natasha Jehangir Khan, and Marion Dry.

    Natasha Jehangir Khan has 15 years of experience in constitutional, administrative and regulatory work. Having received an LLM at University College London in 2001, she began her career in the office of the Attorney General of Pakistan, and later went on to join the Securities and Exchange Commission, the regulator of the corporate and financial sector of the country except banking, where she eventually served as the Head of Legislation and General Counsel Department. A licensed Advocate of the High Courts of Pakistan, she has worked creating performance manuals, structures and systems to contribute strength to the institutions employing her, a necessity in a developing country where power so often resides in individuals instead of institutions. Natasha has worked as a consultant with several Asian-based development organizations advising the Government of Pakistan on regulatory reforms and enhancement of the investment climate in the country, and was instrumental in developing legislation for transitioning Pakistan’s electricity sector from a single buyer to a competitive market structure. 

    Natasha plans to use the year at the Mason Program to acquire the connections and skills to facilitate her transition to a role of authority. 

    Roohi Abdullah graduated from MIT In 1999, where she learned how “the creativity of an architect and the social thinking of a planner” can converge. With over 15 years of experience in international development within the larger scope of infrastructure—ranging from finance, poverty, institutional reforms, water utility management, housing, environment, and carbon finance—she has worked in Iran, Egypt, Jordan, West Bank and Gaza, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Yemen, Albania, Romania, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Nigeria, among other countries. “Today I am a long way from Karachi but working in a sector that is largely male dominated, I am reminded that geography aside, women are constantly struggling to attain some level of legitimacy. I am proud to say, that currently I am working with a team developing water investment lending projects in Pakistan. Life has finally come full circle—my thesis work at MIT was on the water sector in Karachi.”

    Both Fellows wrote to say that receiving a fellowship with Benazir Bhutto's name on it inspires them to the core. Roohi wrote in her essay, “As the first female prime minister of Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto remains enshrined in our collective global consciousness as someone who forged a new trail for the daughters of Pakistan.”

  • July 10, 2018 4:30 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Co-Chairs Jonathan Sprague and Marion Dry traveled to Chicago for the first ever ClassACT Midwest regional weekend, April 21-22. The weekend's work agenda was to introduce ClassACT and the ways classmates and their spouses/partners can engage for work and fun. The weekend was the brainchild of Chicagoans, Gina and Roger Myerson, who have been keen advocates for ClassACT. 


    Left: ClassACT Co-Chairs Marion Dry and Jonathan Sprague. Right: Chicagoan hosts Roger and Gina Myerson. Image Credits: Rick Weil

    With invitations going out to classmates from four states, we wanted to make sure that we had a weekend of fun, so Andrea Kirsh, Craig Coit, Gina Myerson, Rick Weil and Marion Dry all worked to put it together. Though this was a Midwest event, when all was said and done, we had attendees from 7 states: Illinois, Michigan, North Carolina, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. There were numerous classmates from the greater Chicago area who could not attend due to previous commitments. 


    Karen Peterson, Arunus Paliulis, Patty Potter, Roger Myerson, Andrea Kirsh, Diane Lauderdale. Image Credits: Rick Weil

    The group met Saturday afternoon at the Bridgehouse Museum operated by the Friends of the Chicago River. Craig Coit, the former chair of their board, arranged to have the museum opened especially for us (it is seasonal) and for Director Josh Coles to lead us on a private tour. Both Josh and Craig told us about how effective the work of the Friends has been cleaning up and beautifying the river.  Craig then guided us down the river via water taxi, telling us, in docent fashion, about the river and the architecture surrounding it as we went. Pictured Right: Craig Coit. Image Credit: Rick Weil.

    We all gathered at the beautiful party room of the Myersons’ building for cocktails and a presentation about ClassACT by Marion and Jonathan. The Myersons were the ultimate gracious hosts, in a setting that gave us views looking north to the Loop and to the east, of Lake Michigan.


    Left: Deborah Davidson and Ken Bolyard. Right: Karen Peterson, Arunus Paliulis, Andrea Kirsh, and Sandy Weissent. Image Credits: Rick Weil

    From there, the late “night crowd” headed to Buddy Guy’s for some blues. 

    Sunday morning, we met up near the University of Chicago for brunch at The Promontory and then headed to the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, where Andrea Kirsh gave us insights into the extraordinary collection of ancient artifacts and art from the Middle East. 

    We had a weekend of community and fun. We shared our time, broke bread and advanced the work of ClassACT. The wonders of Chicago—its recovering river, its artistic resources, and its musical backbone—enriched our time together.  

    The group gathers and smiles for the camera during their tour.Arunus Paliulis, Jonathan Sprague, Bill Komaiko, Patty Potter, Roger Myerson, Craig Coit, Sandy Weissent, Marion Dry, Rick Weil, Karen Peterson, Andrea Kirsh,  Diane Lauderdale, Vance Lauderdale, Mel Furman, Boris Furman. Image Credit: Rick Weil

    Attendees: Ken Bolyard and Deborah Davidson, Craig Coit, Marion Dry, Ellen Fireman and Michael Weissman, Boris and Mel Furman, Andrea Kirsh, Bill Komaiko, Vance and Diane Lauderdale, Thomas Mustoe and Katie Stallcup, Roger and Gina Myerson, Arunas Paliulis, Karen Peterson, Patty Potter, Jonathan Sprague, Rick Weil, Sandy Weissent

  • May 21, 2018 6:34 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    JusticeAid’s double feature in Washington, D.C. around the 2018 theme The Criminalization of Poverty: 21st Century Debtors Prison was the best yet. On April 17 classmate Seth Waxman hosted a discussion at WilmerHale, featuring the Executive Directors/ Founders of the two beneficiaries: Alec Karakatsanis of the Civil Rights Corp and Gina Clayton of the Essie Justice Group. The panel highlighted the human and civil rights issues around “human caging” and the 70% of prisoners who are in jail because they don’t have the resources to afford bail; and then the incredible toll on those left behind—primarily women, who have to pick up the pieces to support their families emotionally and financially. The panel was live streamed over Facebook.

    The April 24 sold-out concert at The Hamilton in Washington, D.C. featuring Cécile McLorin Salvant, Paula Cole, Dom Flemons, Marshall Crenshaw and Kandace Springs raised over $120,000 for the two beneficiaries. Charles Bush and Jim Rowe served on the Host Committee for the concert. Jim Rowe underwrote a ClassACT table, hosting Seth Waxman and his wife Debra Goldberg, George Haywood, Holly Weeks and JusticeAid (and ClassACT) Board member Therese Steiner; and Charles Bush brought his daughter. Left Image Credit: Therese Steiner


    Left: Jim Rowe, George Haywood, Debra Goldberg. Right: Holly Weeks, Seth Waxman, Therese Steiner, Charles Bush. Image Credits: Katie Sundstrom

    ClassACT's own assistant Katie Sundstrom was working double time, helping JusticeAid with its social media posts and platforms, as well as overseeing the Facebook Live post of the panel.  She’s been nothing short of amazing. Katie also shot more #WhatJusticeMeansToMe videos with all the artists—in the bathroom off the Green Room, our makeshift recording studio. Thank you Katie!


    Jim Rowe, Therese Steiner, George Haywood. Image Credit: Katie Sundstrom

    The panel and the concert included short films on JusticeAid's mission and purpose, Civil Rights Corps, and Essie Justice Group. These set the stage for both events, and were great for positioning all initiatives. 


    Gina Clayton (Founder/Executive Director, Essie Justice Group), Alec Karakatsanis (Founder/Executive Director, Civil Rights Corps), Therese Steiner (Board Member, ClassACT and JusticeAid), Steve Milliken (Founder/Executive Director, JusticeAid). Image Credit: Katie Sundstrom

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