Building a New Future: Formerly Incarcerated Women
Thursday October 21, from 5:00pm to 6:00pm PST
Jamie Hawk, ACLU of Washington’s Campaign for Smart Justice
Jaime Hawk is Legal Strategy Director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington’s Campaign for Smart Justice, where she leads on a range of issues to reform the state’s criminal legal system. Before this position, she was Of Counsel with a law firm in Seattle working on civil rights litigation. She was previously an Assistant Federal Defender for seven years and a law clerk to a federal judge. She began her legal career as an attorney fellow on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee staff of Edward M. Kennedy in Washington, D.C.
Hawk is a member of the ABA House of Delegates and serves on the national Council of the ABA Criminal Justice Section and the executive committee of the WSBA Civil Rights Section. She has taught as an adjunct law professor at Gonzaga University, where she attended law school as a Thomas More Scholar. She has served in access-to-justice leadership efforts, including as a member of the Race and Criminal Justice Task Force 2.0 with the Korematsu Center. She is a past recipient of the Washington Defender Association President's Award and Gonzaga Law School’s Myra Bradwell Award for commitment to furthering women and children’s rights through the law. Hawk is committed to issues of international human rights, having served on the board of directors for the Center for Women and Democracy and joining in several of its international delegations, and currently serving on the board of the ABA Center for Human Rights.
Brittany Lovely, Washington Statewide Reentry Council Coordinator
Brittany Lovely, the Washington Statewide Reentry Council Coordinator, is a passionate criminal legal reform and racial justice advocate. As a formerly incarcerated woman of color, Ms. Lovely provides unique expertise through her lived experience, community advocacy, and public policy work. She serves on multiple federal and statewide coalitions focused on policy solutions to eliminate barriers for those exiting incarceration.
Brittany, a current member of Leadership Tomorrow 2022, graduated Summa Cum Laude from Washington State University in Vancouver, WA, where she achieved her Bachelor Degree in Public Affairs with a concentration in Justice. During the 2020 Legislative session, she served in the Washington State House of Representatives as a Legislative Policy Intern, where she had the opportunity to engage with the legislature firsthand, furthering her commitment to public service – specifically, her dedication to criminal legal reform. Prior to this, Brittany worked as the TRIO Student Support Services Program Coordinator at Lower Columbia College where she acted as a key support for disadvantaged student populations. She is committed to serving her community with the goal of creating a better future for all.
Sarai Cook, Servant Leader and Attorney
With an ACES score of nine (9), Ms. Cook continues to be directly impacted by many systems and cycles of oppression and poverty. Through these experiences she has made it her life’s work to empower and encourage others by modeling the possibilities of overcoming cycles of oppression. Since graduating law school in 2011, Ms. Cook has worked in community development, and public service at the Tribal level with the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, National level with the United States Department of Energy, and Internationally.
Ms. Cook is the recipient of the National Center for Native American Economic Development 40-under-40 award, the Muscogee Creek Nation’s professional of the year award, and the New Leadership Oregon outstanding alumni award. In addition to leading the National Trauma Awareness Initiative, Ms. Cook writes and speaks about the intersection between mass incarceration, disability law, civil rights law, and criminal justice system reform. She brings valuable first-hand insight into policy work, where many impacted people do not have a voice.
Tarra Simmons, Civil Survival Project, WA State Representative for 23rd Legislative District
Tarra Simmons is the Director of the Civil Survival Project. In 2020, Tarra was also elected to the Washington State Legislature. She represents the 23rd Legislative District and is excited about the opportunity to make a more significant impact while serving the community in this role. Her commitment to this work stems from her own experiences as a survivor of multiple forms of violence, poverty and substance use disorder. She believes those closest to the problem are closest to the solution and should have an integral role in leading the end of mass incarceration and healing its aftermath. It was this core belief that guided her career path in advocacy.
Prior to law school, Ms. Simmons was incarcerated for reasons related to her childhood trauma and substance use disorder. She graduated from Seattle University School of Law in May 2017, magna cum laude, with the Dean’s Medal and the Graduating Student Award, but was initially denied the right to take the bar exam because of her criminal history. It was national news when the Washington State Supreme Court ruled unanimously in her favor, allowing her to take the bar exam and become a member of the Washington State Bar Association. Today, Ms. Simmons sits on numerous boards and commissions. Governor Inslee has appointed Ms. Simmons to both the Statewide Reentry Council and the Public Defense Advisory Board. Additionally, she currently serves on the Washington State Criminal Sentencing Task Force, the Legal Services Corporation Emerging Leaders Council, and the Board of Directors for the Economic Opportunity Institute. She is a 2018 Just Leadership USA Fellow and was recently honored with the WACDL Champion of Justice, the YWCA Woman of Achievement award, and the US Senator Patty Murray Golden Tennis Shoe. She frequently speaks on issues relating to access to justice, criminal justice, sentencing, and prison reform.
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