Celebrating Champions of Social Justice

Dr. Clayton Lawrence, founder, and president of LEAP Foundation DC, is honored to recognize the accomplishments of an organization that has reached an incredible milestone – 50 years of addressing “the intersection of mental illness, substance, poverty and health disparities and its impact on the generational effects of incarceration.” According to its mission statement, Voices for a Second Chance aims to “improve outcomes for currently incarcerated and returned justice-involved men and women.” The organization celebrated its 50th anniversary on October 29 with a special dinner that allowed the group to pay tribute to outstanding leaders who help make a difference in the community, including Dr. Bahiyyah M. Muhammad, assistant professor, Howard University; Nick Cannon, entertainer, activist and philanthropist; and The Hon. David Trone, Congressman, 6th District of Maryland.

“This is an organization that is having a direct impact on the health of our communities,” Dr. Lawrence said. “Without Voices for a Second Chance, so many who have struggled would not be given the opportunity to get back on their feet to become the person he or she was meant to be. This is an organization that needs to be recognized and honored.”

Voices for a Second Chance doesn’t focus on past choices, present struggles or future obstacles. Instead, it cultivates, it encourages and it provides what everyone deserves – a second chance. The Foundation understands the complexities and sensitivities of a population that may be disadvantaged or underserved and it works to create a healthy future for those who may be overlooked or disregarded.

Since 2009, LEAP has been providing programs that advocate for the health and wellness of community members, delivering services to individuals and families in need, supporting local organizations in their efforts to improve their community and providing a stage and voice for the underserved.

“Obviously, the demographics of the individuals served overlap for both organizations,” Dr. Lawrence said. “Our missions are aligned and together, we’ll do what’s right for a population that is underrepresented.”

It was Kyle Hutchinson, CEO/Visionary of Hutchinson Design Group, who introduced Dr. Lawrence to Voices of a Second Chance. Hutchinson has been recognized with numerous awards by the International Special Events Society, the Washington Business Journal, The Planners Suite and WeddingWire.

“We thank Kyle for being a long-term Foundation supporter and for connecting us with Voices for a Second Chance,” Dr. Lawrence said. “We welcome the opportunity to network and join forces with other organizations that are working toward meeting a similar mission – to cultivate a healthy, inclusive community that is rich with opportunity.”

In addition, Dr. Lawrence extends his sincere congratulations to Nick Cannon, who was honored by Voices for a Second Chance and would like to recognize him for his position as an exemplary role model.

“Nick Cannon’s work as an activist and philanthropist in the DC jail system has provided opportunities to disenfranchised citizens who feel hopeless and forgotten,” Dr. Lawrence said.