2018 Awards Ceremony
Keynote Speaker: Shaun King, Criminal Justice Advocate
Glenn E. Martin Advocacy Award
Raqibah Fatimah Basir: Raqibah Fatimah Basir is 62 years young! She is a Muslim, Activist, Advocate, an Unwritten Shero and hidden pulse in the movement since a child. Ms. Basir is a mentor to Young People. Ms. Basir was wrongfully convicted women who served 27 years unjustly for a crime she never committed.
Glenn E. Martin Advocacy Award
Serena Liguori: Serena Liguori serves as executive director of New Hour for Women and Children—Long Island, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting women and children impacted by incarceration. New Hour provides direct-service programming in the Suf- folk County jails and reentry support to women across the state returning to Long Island. Prior to leading New Hour, she was the executive director of Herstory Writers Work- shop, a nonprofit dedicated to bringing marginalized voices into the public arena. Serena served as associate director of policy at the Correctional Association of New York’s Wom- en in Prison Project, where she spearheaded legislative initia- tives and policy advocacy addressing prison reform. She was the key organizer of a successful effort to create the Adop- tion and Safe Families Act Expanded Discretion Law, which works to secure parental rights for incarcerated parents as well as the Anti-Shackling Law, which prohibits the shack- ling of incarcerated mothers during labor. Serena is a survi- vor of isolated confinement, received her associate’s degree in the College Bound Program at Bedford Hills Correctional Facility and her bachelor’s degree from Adelphi University. Serena co-chairs the United Nations Association of the USA National Council. She enjoys preparing her family’s favorite traditional Puerto Rican meals for her husband Greg and her seven-year-old son James.
William E. Waters Bridge Builder Award
Joseph White: As a discharge planner he facilitates therapeutic groups designed to stimulate the minds of incar- cerated men. The goal is to assist the men with the reprogramming of their minds which in turn will help them make better decisions and be- come productive citizens of society.
Mr. Joseph White is also the president of the husband and wife tag team fitness organization, “ Get Right With The White’s Fitness and More LLC.” Both husband and wife are Aero- bics and Fitness Association of America ( AF- FA) Certified. Their mission and goal is to Mo- tivate, Inspire, and Encourage as many people as they can to do better and be better through fitness and health. Joseph White wants to be the difference who makes a difference in many different lives.
Julio Medina Freedom Fighter Award
Anthony Dixon: Anthony was incarcerated for 32 years. As an organizer inside, Anthony was a chairperson of think-tank lifer groups, developed a 6-month ASAT curriculum, and designed a Breaking Free from Criminal Thinking program, which has had zero-recidivism since its 2011 inception. Anthony is also named in a major class-action lawsuit entitled Santiago v. Miles, 774 F. Supp. 775, that charged widespread racial discrimination at Elmira Correctional Facility. Because of this Anthony was physically assaulted by correctional officers, charged with vari- ous violations, and placed in solitary confinement for 2 years. This tactic did not deter Anthony and other plaintiffs as they remained steadfast to offer testimony. The case was eventually won on all counts, impacting the entire New York State prison system.
Upon his release prison, Anthony was employed by When People Work, an employment matching online organiza- tion that aligns disenfranchised people with an arrest records with employers. He was quickly promoted to the position of Na- tional Employment Manager. Anthony volunteered to help RAPP accelerate the release of low-risk elderly people from in- carceration. His efforts have resulted in re-invigorating RAPP’s objective to collaborate with faith-based communities, connect with a Law Enforcement community that support decarceration, and design a Mass Incarceration Training workshop that educate individuals about relevant issues.
Anthony serves as an advisor to the Parole Preparation Project where he helps to train volunteers. Anthony is becoming a leading figure in the national movement to elevate the voices of justice involved people, is an often-sought after speaker, and is ranked a scholar on the National Lawyers Guild platform.
Julio Medina Freedom Fighter Award
Craig Twiggs: Craig Twiggs is a key leadership staff member at The Doe Fund who is responsible for coordinating the clean up of over 120 miles of New York City streets on a daily basis, as well as other special projects and services. He is a mentor to the men he di- rects, and his personal example both inspires and challenges the men in the Ready, Willing & Able Program to be the best that they can possibly be.
As George McDonald, President and Founder of The Doe Fund, puts it: “Craig Twiggs is a standout; a dedicated mentor who has empowered thousands of homeless and formerly incarcerated men to permanently transform their lives.”
After having served 27 years in prison, Craig Twiggs found The Doe Fund and made full use of the opportunity granted him to change his life for the better. By example, he shows others what is possible if you are willing to work hard, and focus on the good in yourself and in others. As if that weren’t enough, Craig’s out- standing work and dedication has impacted The Doe Fund’s Community Improvement Operations; he’s improved how the organization utilizes its resources and its relationships with com- munity partners.
Most notably, Craig is incredibly perceptive, and notices when one of the men on the front lines needs special guidance and atten- tion in order to reach his full potential. Craig is always willing to set aside extra time out of his busy schedule to assist those who are struggling, knowing that with a little support from someone who understands, they can succeed. It is in those moments when Craig shines the most, as he shares his light and resiliency with those who can most benefit from it.
Vivian D. Nixon Leadership in Education Award
Stanley Andrisse: Dr. Stanley Andrisse is a endocrinologist and assistant professor at Johns Hopkins Medicine and Howard Univer- sity College of Medicine researching type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance. Dr. Andrisse completed his Ph.D. at Saint Louis University and his M.B.A. and Bachelors de- grees at Lindenwood University, where he played three years of Division II collegiate football.
Dr. Andrisse’s service commitments include: Executive Director and Founder of From Prison Cells to PhD, past President of the Johns Hopkins Postdoctoral Association, Founder of the Diversity Postdoctoral Alliance, member on several local and national committees aimed at com- munity outreach, youth mentor, motivational speaker, and community activist.
Dr. Andrisse was raised in Ferguson, MO. In his path, he made some poor decisions, encountered many road blocks, took a few undesirable detours and pit-stops, but with resilience has made it to where he is now.
Citizens Social Action Award
Keston Jones: As an advocate for family reunification, healthy children and father inclusion, Keston often quotes Frederick Douglass’ statement, “It is easier to build strong children than repair broken men.”
Keston is the founder and executive director of the Founda- tion for the Advancement and Rehabilitation of the Marginal- ized (The FARM), a nonprofit that works to encourage, edu- cate and assist in the improvement of our most natural re- sources: Family. He is also the fatherhood program director for SCO Family of services. He brings years of experience working in the field of father involvement and mentoring. He holds a MHS degree from Lincoln University, and graduated with Honors. Keston is currently enrolled in Yeshiva Univer- sity pursuing his PhD in Social Welfare. Keston has present- ed on fatherhood, male engagement, and incarceration at con- ferences for the National Association of Social Workers, New York State Social Work Education Association, Penn State University, Bronx and Manhattan family court, to name a few and has been featured on numerous panels.
Citizens Social Action Award
Willard Beale: Willard Beale has dedicated professional career improving the lives of others, primarily, through education and community advo- cacy. Mr. Beale currently serves as the Senior Director at the For- tune Society, where he oversees the Alternative to Incarceration Programs. Mr. Beale is dedicated to empowering individuals in- volved in the criminal justice system and creating opportunities that will help them to reach their full potential. Mr. Beale works to uplift the risk youth and individuals in low-income urban commu- nities to prevent their incarceration.
Prior to working at the Fortune Society, Mr. Beale, served as the Program Director at the Queens and Brooklyn Justice Corps, at The Center for Alternative Sentencing and Employment Services (CASES), where he connected justice involved youth with life changing opportunities. Mr. Beale established a consortium of partnerships with neighboring organizations and governmental agencies that also supported him in his efforts to guide individuals along a pathway to success. Mr. Beale has been entrenched in all aspects of the work – direct services, workshop facilitation, educa- tion enrichment, sports leagues, program management and com- munity benefit projects.
Mr. Beale serves as a board member for the Central Brooklyn Eco- nomic Development Corporation and is also the CEO of Profes- sional Development Facilitators (PDF). PDF offers a composite of professional development trainings to organizations working with the justice involved population. In addition to staff trainings, PDF also provides certification trainings for individuals who are clients of these organizations.
Imam Umar Jalil Spiritual Leadership Award
Herman Gadson: Herman Joseph Gadson was born December 27, 1948 in Harlem, New York where he was raised with his parents and eleven siblings. He also attended local public schools in Harlem.
After a run in with the law, Mr. Gadson was incarcerated in a New York State prison. While incarcerated, Mr. Gadson vowed to turn his life around. In that regard, as a first step on his new path, he selected and made a commitment to the Muslim religion and assumed the name of “Brother Musa.”
Since his release from prison in 1978, Herman “Musa” Gadson has become a well- known pillar in his community. From 1980-89, he owned and operated the Sugar Hill Sport Shop and Boutique and gave away 200 pairs of sneakers at the annual Sugar Hill block party. Dur- ing the first year of the store’s operation, Magic Johnson paid a visit to the store where he signed autographs for the kids. “Musa” Gadson was also a member of the 159th Street Block Association.
When he closed Sugar Hill Sport Shop and Boutique, he joined Leake and Watts Children Services where he worked from 1990-99. In 1995 he was awarded supervisor of the year.
In 2000, Musa Gadson joined the Eastmond & Sons Boiler Co where, in 2004 and 2005, he established two companies “Top Mop” and “Moving On”, respectively. In association with the Osborne Associa- tion, eighty- six ex-offenders were hired to help deliver boiler products. Musa Gadson has continued his life of service. From 2015 to present, he is a: member of the 118th Street Association and a member of the Board of Directors, New Breed Life Arts. He is Director, Community Outreach Masjid Sabur; represents Masjid Sabur at The 52nd Precient Community League; attends 28th Precinct Council meetings; attends Mosholu Parkway Association meetings; speaker at Riverside Church Barbershop Graduation Program; and in 2018, he began attending Community Planning Board 7 meetings.