Grace Warren Award
In 2017, the CFSY presented the first ever Grace Warren award named in honor of Grace Warren of Chicago. Grace was an advocate on behalf of incarcerated children, including her son, who was sentenced to life in prison without parole at age 17. She was on the steering committee of the CFSY’s National Family Network, a support and advocacy group for family members of people sentenced as children to life without parole and other extreme sentences. She also had been active in several other justice reform organizations, including the Campaign for Youth Justice and Justice for Families.
Mostly, Grace was a mother who loved her child and wanted to see him and all other children given the opportunity to demonstrate that they are more than the worst thing they have ever done. LaRon was finally released from prison a few months ago, on what would have been his mother’s birthday.
Grace’s impact is a reminder of the power of families to educate, inspire, and lead efforts to reform unjust policies that impact them.
2017: Anita Colón
2018: Valencia Warren-Gibbs
2019: Marshan Allen
2020: Crystal Carpenter