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2023 Proximity Gathering

29 Sep


Montgomery, Alabama


Invitation & Statement of Purpose 

The Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth (CFSY) invites you to join us for an immersive, paradigm-shifting experience this fall. In September, we will gather corporate partners, key stakeholders, and members of the Incarcerated Children’s Advocacy Network (ICAN), as well as survivors of violence, for a two-day proximity gathering in historic Montgomery, AL. Our gathering will provide a deeply enriching  opportunity to build knowledge and relationships with others – across corporations, sectors, and life experience – dedicated to racial justice, with a focus on undoing the harm caused by the extreme sentencing of youth in the United States and mass incarceration more broadly. Participants will come away with a powerful sense of how this fight aligns with their individual commitment to justice and their broader corporate social responsibility goals.

This unique experience is designed to engage participants in a series of intentional conversations and activities to address a carceral system that treats our children in inappropriate, inhumane, and often violent ways. We plan to: 

  • -Visit the Legacy Museum and National Memorial for Peace and Justice, and reflect on the legacy of racism and its impact on our society and our spheres of work
  • -Strengthen our movement and our foundation for collective action
  • -Create shared commitments to repair the harm caused by the criminal legal system
  • -Promote freedom, wellness, prosperity, and transformative healing justice for those who have been directly impacted by this system, particularly members of ICAN
  • -Elevate and center the wisdom and expertise of those directly impacted by the criminal legal system.
  • -Celebrate CFSY’s 2023 honorees who have supported our efforts to reclaim the narrative, create social impact, and support proximity to directly impacted leaders through innovative and creative means

Organizational overview

The Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth (CFSY) is a national nonprofit working for racial equity and justice by leading the movement to abolish extreme sentences for children. The United States is the only country in the world that puts children who cause harm – some as young as 13 years old – in prison for life. Per capita, Black children are 10 times more likely than white children to be sentenced to Juvenile Life Without Parole (JLWOP), and more than 70% of children sentenced to life without parole in the United States are Black, Indigenous, or  people of color. These are individuals who have been hyper-marginalized and systemically left out of opportunities for justice, economic stability, and beloved connection.

To achieve our mission, the CFSY utilizes a multipronged strategy, including legislative advocacy, strategic litigation coordination, community and corporate partnerships, and narrative change to drive a national movement to treat youth in age-appropriate ways whenever they come into conflict with the law. Thanks to a groundswell of bipartisan support, the number of states that ban JLWOP has quintupled in the past decade (since 2012, the number of states banning life-without-parole sentences for children went from five to twenty-six), nearly 1000 people given JLWOP have been freed, and thousands of others who were given extreme sentences as children now have a meaningful opportunity for release. 

One of the primary factors in transforming the national landscape of extreme sentencing of youth has been the leadership of those closest to this injustice, primarily our Incarcerated Children’s Advocacy Network (ICAN) – the first-of-its-kind national network of individuals who served extreme sentences beginning in childhood and are now home. Together with diverse corporate partners, we help create pathways to prosperity for ICAN members and others coming home from prison through our Community Prosperity Initiative (CPI). 

Thank you for your willingness to “get proximate.” If you would like to learn more, please don’t hesitate to be in touch with Christina Oliver, CFSY Major Gifts & Events Manager, at