Last January Governor Bill Haslam granted clemency to Cyntoia Brown. “Cyntoia Brown committed, by her own admission, a horrific crime at the age of 16,” Mr. Haslam said. “Yet, imposing a life sentence on a juvenile that would require her to serve at least 51 years before even being eligible for parole consideration is too harsh, especially in light of the extraordinary steps Ms. Brown has taken to rebuild her life.”

“Transformation should be accompanied by hope,” he said.

So what next, what can we do to bring this hope?

Be a Voice for Justice

One of Miss Brown’s lawyers, J. Houston Gordon, said the case should be seen as a “clarion call” against what he described as draconian laws that put children in prison. “We need to see this as a national awakening,”

Thanks to all of you who took a stand for Cyntoia Brown, showed up at the Capital, called, emailed, wrote letters, marched. Your voice matters and the work is far from over.

Join the fight to end human trafficking with End Slavery Tennessee.

Make a difference in criminal justice reform with ACLU-TNThose of you in Memphis, plug in with Just City.

Help folks return to the community after incarceration with Project Return and for the children — Gideon’s ArmyLet’s bust up that cradle to prison pipeline.

Show up for restorative justice — apply to join the Juvenile Justice Center’s Foster Care Review Board.

Teachers, writers, poets, artivists, volunteer with One Voice Nashville to help teenagers empower themselves through storytelling and narrative journalism.

Make a donation via Funded Justice so that 17-year-old Myeisha Brown will not be moved to the adult system on her birthday, January 24.

More ways to make a difference at briteheart.org 

#engageconnectempower

Artivist image: Steven Hargrove (Ode) @misterode

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