Friday, October 30, 2015

Celebrating Red Hook


This past Monday, we celebrated the 15th anniversary of the Red Hook Community Justice Center with a benefit at the Brooklyn Museum.  More than 200 people showed up to see us honor New York State Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman, Cravath Swaine & Moore partner Stuart Gold, and former client Pauline Nevins.  Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson gave a particularly good speech, highlighting Red Hook's importance as an international model of fairness and making a strong case for a community justice center in Brownsville.  (For a full report on the event, click here.)

As much as I enjoyed the various speakers, my favorite part of the evening was seeing so many friends and former colleagues come out to support the Center.  The party had a little bit of a reunion vibe.  Given this, I thought I'd share a few of my favorite photos, courtesy of our ace photographer, Gene Sorkin.


This is a shot of me with Ife Charles (who works on gun violence prevention programs at the Center for Court Innovation) and Errol Louis of NY1 who served as the MC for the event.


Here is Red Hook's presiding judge, Alex Calabrese, with Pauline Nevins.


Toni Bullock-Stallings recently retired after serving as chief clerk in Red Hook for many years, but she came back to celebrate with us.  That's her on the right.  On the left is Sabrina Carter, a Red Hook resident who first entered our orbit when she served as a member of the Red Hook youth court.  She is now the coordinator of youth programs at the Justice Center.


City council member Rory Lancman (on the left) has been a vocal advocate of justice reform in New York City.  We have been talking with him about studying the feasibility of a community justice center in Queens.  On the right is Wally Bazemore, a community activist from Red Hook.  I met Wally back in the bad old days when Red Hook was overrun by drugs.  He was involved in a group called the Mad Dads of Red Hook.  He has been an important supporter of the Justice Center, including volunteering for Red Hook's peacemaking program.


Pauline Nevins was the evening's final speaker.  She talked movingly about her struggle with addiction and the role that the Justice Center (and Judge Calabrese in particular) has played in helping her get her life back on track.