CfJJ's 2018 Leadership Celebration

November 19, 2018
Artists for Humanity Epicenter

CfJJ’s annual Leadership Celebration brings together system leaders, advocates, service providers, parents, youth, and community members from across Massachusetts to celebrate and advance our work to make the juvenile justice system fair, effective, and developmentally appropriate.

2018 Keynote Speaker

Congressman Joe Kennedy III

2018 Youth Advocacy Honoree

Kids In Need of Defense

2018 Youth Leadership Honoree

I Have a future

Thank you to all our sponsors!

reformer sponsors


Activist Sponsors

The Ward Family


2018 Keynote Speaker

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Congressman Joseph Kennedy III

Joe Kennedy III is proud to serve the Fourth District of Massachusetts in Congress. Currently in his third term, he represents a diverse district that stretches from the suburbs of Boston to the more industrial cities of Massachusetts’ South Coast.
As a member of the influential House Energy & Commerce Committee, Joe has crafted a legislative agenda driven by the needs of his constituents. With a focus on issues like mental health and addiction, energy costs, manufacturing and STEM education, he has prioritized bipartisan reforms that directly impact the families, businesses and communities he is honored to represent.
His efforts to strengthen mental health parity laws, increase Medicaid reimbursement rates for behavioral health providers, and ensure the federal government invests in the entire continuum of care have made him an emerging leader on mental health and substance use disorders issues in Congress. 
Inspired by the rich manufacturing tradition of the 4th Congressional District and the modern economic challenges many of his communities face, Joe has been a vocal advocate for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education, vocational schools and community colleges since he arrived in Washington.  His Perkins Modernization Act and STEM Gateways Act, which focus on expanding educational opportunity to middle and working-class students, both passed the House in 2016 with broad bipartisan support. 
Additionally, his Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation Act (RAMI) was signed into law by President Obama in 2014. The bipartisan legislation supports a network of domestic manufacturing centers aimed at fueling new technologies and educating a next-generation workforce.  
Dedicated to being as accessible as possible to his constituents, Joe made a commitment to hold open constituent office hours in every city and town of the 4th District – an initiative dubbed “Tour 34.” He has also used his voice in Washington and Massachusetts to amplify both the strengths and needs of his district, from benefits for former nuclear workers to innovative economic development strategies to protections for consumers and initiatives to honor veterans.
Nationally, Joe has become a powerful voice for social justice, championing issues like transgender rights, marriage equality, pay equity and comprehensive immigration reform. A former prosecutor and legal aid volunteer, he has also helped highlight the importance of our civil justice system, establishing the first ever Congressional Access to Legal Services Caucus.
Prior to being elected to Congress, Joe served the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as an Assistant District Attorney in both the Middlesex County and Cape and Island’s District Attorneys’ Offices. Before that he served as a member of the Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic where he designed and implemented an economic development project near Puerto Plata. 
Born and raised in Massachusetts, Joe is fluent in Spanish and holds a bachelor’s degree in Management Science and Engineering from Stanford University as well as a J.D. from Harvard Law School. 
He lives with his wife, Lauren, a health policy expert, their daughter, Eleanor, their son, James, and their dog, Banjo, in Newton, Mass.

2018 Honoree

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Kids In Need of Defense

Kids In Need of Defense (KIND) protects unaccompanied children who enter the US immigration system alone to ensure that no child appears in court without an attorney through high-quality legal representation and by advancing the child's best interests, safety, and well-being.   In working toward its mission that no immigrant child faces the deportation process without counsel, KIND has advocated for youth at the intersection of the immigration and juvenile justice systems fighting against their over-criminalization in schools and the immigration consequences.

Founded by Angelina Jolie and the Microsoft Corporation, KIND helps unaccompanied children wherever they are.  The majority of the children KIND serves have fled severe violence in their home countries. Many have been threatened or attacked by gangs, abandoned, abused, exploited, or trafficked. They come seeking safety, but find new challenges in the U.S.

Unaccompanied children apprehended at the border face deportation proceedings; the majority must make their claim for protection without a lawyer. The result: children can be sent back to situations where their well-being, and even their lives, are in danger.

KIND provides pro bono attorneys to represent unaccompanied children in their deportation proceedings, as well as legal screenings, and Know Your Rights presentations. KIND works largely through our partnerships with major law firms and corporations, as well as law schools which have agreed to represent children referred to KIND at no cost.

2018 Youth Leadership Honoree

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I Have a Future (IHAF) is a statewide community of youth organizers and allies building power to win youth jobs and end mass incarceration through transformational leadership development, direct public action, and policy change.  IHAF’s goal is to create structural change related to the racist and economically unjust structures that criminalize and limit the employment opportunities of young people of color in MA.

IHAF leads with the belief that creating this structural change we must change the political weather around the issues of youth employment and youth criminalization by moving the public. We must change the dominant narratives surrounding how young people of color are seen. We must win specific policy victories so that young people of color are no longer oppressed by the criminal justice system and are instead given employment opportunities.

check out photos from this year’s Leadership Celebration below: