Inside The Fortune Society’s Hope & Justice Gala
Actor, comedian and star of TBS’ hit show The Last O.G., Tracy Morgan; Harvard University professor, author and Emmy-winning filmmaker, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Ph.D.; and the law firm of Outten & Golden LLP were honored on Monday, October 29, at The Fortune Society’s 2018 Hope and Justice Annual Gala for their commitment to advocating for those impacted by the criminal justice system. The event was held at Gotham Hall in Manhattan.
The Fortune Society is one of the nation’s leading nonprofit reentry service and advocacy organizations which provides free programs and support to more than 7,000 justice-involved and formerly incarcerated individuals every year.
Attended by nearly 400 leaders of business, government, philanthropy, the arts, New York’s criminal justice advocacy community and service providers, the annual event raised $730,000 for Fortune’s vast array of services that support reentry from incarceration and promote alternatives to incarceration.
Tracy Morgan, who accepted his award by video, was honored with the Spotlight Award for bringing national attention to the many barriers of reentry and humanizing the reentry experience of justice-involved individuals through his TBS show, The Last O.G. Morgan also hosted a standup comedy benefit last fall and donated all the proceeds to The Fortune Society.
The Changing Minds, Building Lives Award was presented to Professor Gates for his work to bring social, educational, and intellectual equality to black Americans. Among his many accomplishments, Gates’ 2016 PBS docu-series Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise, features The Fortune Society in two episodes and highlights the vital need for comprehensive alternatives to incarceration and reentry services in the crisis of mass incarceration.
Advocates for workplace fairness, Outten & Golden LLP received the David Rothenberg Achievement Award for its long-standing partnership with The Fortune Society in the fight to address employment discrimination and the national hiring policies that prevent individuals involved in the justice system from being employed.
“Our honorees have each, in their own way, been tireless advocates and strong voices for criminal justice reform, fairness and equity. From reentry to racism and discrimination to mass incarceration, their collective work has put an important spotlight on the issues and challenges that Fortune clients confront every day. In recognition of their exceptional achievements, it is our great privilege to honor Tracy, Dr. Gates and the dream team at Outten & Golden,” said JoAnne Page, President and CEO of The Fortune Society.
The 2018 benefit was co-chaired by Bloomberg Philanthropies, Antoinette Delruelle and Joshua L. Steiner, Carole and Richard Eisner, Patti Harris and Mark Lebow, Kimberly and Dennis Kozlowski, Jennifer and David Millstone, Wayne Outten and Adam Klein, and Betty and Michael Rauch.