CfJJ's 2019 Leadership Celebration

November 21, 2019
5:00 - 7:30 p.m.
Artists for Humanity Epicenter

(directions and parking)

Tickets available now

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.

2019 marks CfJJ’s 25th anniversary. Come celebrate 25 years of youth justice advocacy with us!


Keynote Speaker

Dr. Maysa Akbar

Thomas E. Coury Youth Justice Honorees

Dr. Jennifer Davis Carey & Dr. Heather C. Forkey

Youth Development Honoree

Center for Teen Empowerment

Thank you to our 2019 Sponsors!

reformer sponsors

Activist Sponsors

Advocate sponsors


Corporate and organizational sponsors provide critical support for the Leadership Celebration and for CfJJ's work to transform the Massachusetts juvenile justice system.  You can find out how your organization can help support our efforts to make Massachusetts state systems work better for kids here.


2019 Keynote Speaker

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Dr. Maysa Akbar

Dr. Maysa Akbar is a groundbreaking psychologist, author, and healer. Urban Trauma, a framework developed by Dr. Akbar, unpacks how people of color are existing in a state of crisis due to oppressive societal systems, resulting in feelings of anger, rage, and hopelessness. Defining Urban Trauma allows for new healing paths that empower diverse communities in unearthing liberation and freedom while creating a new legacy.

Dr. Akbar is an engaging and dynamic speaker on Urban Trauma; restorative practices; diversity, equity, and inclusion particularly in the area of philanthropy and independent schools. She brings wisdom, courage, and passion to both the learned community and a wider audience.

Dr. Akbar is board certified in Clinical Psychology and is an Assistant Clinical Professor at Yale University. She is a media expert in the areas of Urban Trauma, Community Tensions and Violence, Race Relations, and Identity Politics. She is an Amazon Best-Selling Author with her work Urban Trauma: A Legacy of Racism.

Currently, Dr. Akbar also serves as the Connecticut Psychological Associations Diversity Chair, selected to spearhead CPA’s diversity trainings in the state of Connecticut and represents the American Psychological Association at the UN where she intends to bring Urban Trauma to the international community. 

Thomas E. Coury Youth Justice Honorees

jennifer davis carey


Jennifer Davis Carey currently serves as the Executive Director of the Worcester Education Collaborative an independent, non-partisan education policy and action organization. She holds Master’s and Doctoral degrees from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a Bachelor’s degree from Harvard and Radcliffe Colleges. In 1998, Carey served as Special Assistant to Governor Paul Cellucci of Massachusetts for Education, and a year later became Director of the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulations under Governor Jane Swift. She also served in Governor Mitt Romney’s administration for four years and briefly in Governor Deval Patrick’s administration as Secretary of the Executive Office of Elder Affairs. From 2007 until 2009, Carey oversaw the development of education and training solutions at Commonwealth Medicine, a division of University of Massachusetts Medical School. Before joining Massachusetts state government, she enjoyed a long career in education and worked at Ohio University, Harvard University and at Bancroft School, an independent K-12 school in Worcester. An active member of her community, she serves on several non-profit boards including ArtsWorcester, Greater Worcester Community Foundation, Quinsigamond Community College, and Notre Dame Health Care.

heather C. Forkey

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Heather C. Forkey, MD, is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics and The Joy McCann Professor for Women in Medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. In her institutional roles as Division Director for the Child Protection Program and as Director of the Foster Children Evaluation Service (FaCES) of the UMass Memorial Children’s Medical Center, Dr. Forkey leads programs to address the needs of children who are victims of abuse, neglect and emotional trauma. She received her undergraduate degree from Cornell University and medical degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. She completed her pediatric residency and chief residency at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. 

In addition to her clinical work, Dr. Forkey has been the recipient of local and federal grants to address issues of children in foster care and to translate promising practices to address physical and mental health needs of children who have been traumatized.  She is a recognized leader in the field of child trauma and foster care medicine, has published and presents nationally and internationally on the topic, and her work has been highlighted in the popular press as well, including Forbes, The Boston Globe and The Atlantic.

Dr. Forkey serves on the Steering Committee and multiple other roles for the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, and provides leadership for the American Academy of Pediatrics on issues related to foster care and child trauma. Locally, she works with regional and state programs to address the needs of children who have been abused and neglected and to improve the services and supports for our most vulnerable children.

Youth Development Honoree

The center for teen empowerment

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The Center for Teen Empowerment, Inc. helps low-income, urban youth hone their understanding of the social problems they face and use their talents and skills to create change in their own lives and in their communities. Working in Boston and Somerville, MA and Rochester, NY, TE employs youth ages 14 to 21 as the leaders of social change initiatives that positively influence the values and behaviors of their peers with the goal of lowering crime, violence, and self-destructive behaviors. Youth-led initiatives engage thousands of youth and adults in community improvement efforts each year and lend their voices and lived experience to the debate about policies that affect their lives.

host committee

Kelli Porges
Rebecca Pries
Jonathan Rodrigues
Annie Tallas
Stephanie Ward
Jeff Whiteside
Brad Young

Nathaniel Bruhn
Reynolds Graves
Hemanth Gundavaram
Penny Billington Hunt
Patrick Maher
Rev. Kim Odom
Chris Perry

Artists for Humanity is located at:

100 West Second Street
Boston, MA 02127

It is accessible by T, less than a 5 minute walk from the Broadway stop on the red line. Parking is available at the Channel Center Garage at 116 W First Street.