2nd Annual Second Chance Freedom Ball

April 11, 2024

The 2nd Annual Second Chance Freedom Ball — hosted by JustLeadershipUSA and the JustUS Coordinating Council — took place on Saturday, April 20, in Washington, D.C.!

The evening was a celebration of FREEDOM and a testament to resilience, triumph, and unity. Together, we celebrated reclamation of LIFE after INCARCERATION and the continuous movement towards opportunities and access for our communities. The night was dedicated to “JustUS” recognizing our strength and determination in overcoming the harms of the (IN)Justice system.

Sign up NOW to get on the list to be notified about next year’s Freedom Ball:


Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons
Load more


Andrea James
Andrea James, JD, is the Founder and Executive Director of The National Council For Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls, Founder of Families for Justice as Healing, author of Upper Bunkies Unite: And Other Thoughts on the Politics of Mass Incarceration, a 2015 Soros Justice Fellow, and recipient of the 2016 Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights award.

As a former criminal defense attorney and a formerly incarcerated woman, Andrea shares her personal and professional experiences to raise awareness of the effect of incarceration of women on themselves, their children, and communities. Her work is focused on ending incarceration of women and girls and contributing to the shift from a criminal legal system focused on police and prisons, to a system led by directly affected people from within their communities and based on individual and community accountability.

Miquelle West
Miquelle West is a fashion designer, creative director, celebrity stylist, and image consultant. She is also the main driver behind the #FreeMichelleWest campaign to free her mother from incarceration. Miquelle was a small child when her mom was arrested in 1993 and charged with a life sentence for her first and only offense. She had never been arrested. She had no criminal history. She had never committed any violent act. But due to the harsh mandatory minimums related to the drug laws of the 1990s, her mom is currently facing a life sentence with no possibility of parole.

Miquelle says, “Thirty years later, I refuse to get married or have children until my mother can be there, in person, to support me. It feels like we are both serving a life sentence, every single day. Right now, only President Biden can free my mother by commuting her life sentence. I hope he will see that my mother truly has earned a second chance.”

Amy Ralston Povah
For the past eighteen years, Amy Ralston Povah has been an accomplished filmmaker, writer, speaker, and activist. Her efforts have focused primarily on issues related to executive clemency, criminal justice reform, conspiracy laws, women in prison, and the drug war. She has spoken at on panels at Yale University, Pepperdine University, Vanderbilt University, Washington State University, New York University, Columbus School of Law, on Capitol Hill; and authored Op Eds for new sources including the New York Times, Fusion, HuffPost, San Francisco Chronicle, The Hill, and has been quoted by almost every major source.

Amy is a Clinton-era clemency recipient who served nine years of a 24-year sentence for “conspiracy” in an MDMA case. Post-release, Amy started the non-profit CAN-DO Foundation (Clemency for All Nonviolent Drug Offenders), which advocates for “justice through clemency.” CAN-DO educates the public about the collateral damage associated with the conspiracy law, and profiles the cases of clemency applicants.

Brittany Barnett
Brittany K. Barnett is a best-selling author, attorney, and entrepreneur who thrives at the intersection of hope, justice, and freedom. As a corporate attorney, Brittany was committed to pro bono representation of clients unjustly sentenced under federal drug laws. Her dedication to this life-changing work resulted in freedom for numerous people serving fundamental death sentences for federal drug offenses — including seven clients who received executive clemency from President Barack Obama. As the daughter of a formerly incarcerated mother, Brittany knows firsthand the far-reaching impact of mass incarceration, devastating families and entire communities.

Dedicated to transforming the criminal justice system, Brittany founded two nonprofits: Girls Embracing Mothers, which empowers girls with mothers in prison, and the Buried Alive Project, tirelessly fighting to free people buried alive under outdated federal drug laws. Her work is multi-dimensional, seeking not only to free people from prison but also to cultivate their creative and entrepreneurial powers to better the world.



Jobs for the Future Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth

Your donation to JLUSA empowers directly impacted people.

Thank you so much for supporting our mission here at JLUSA! Your donation helps to support our network of leaders working to dismantle oppressive systems and uplift people and families impacted by mass incarceration across the country.

All charitable donations made to JLUSA are fully tax deductible, as allowable by the IRS.