CFSY Annual Convening

The National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery.


Montgomery, Alabama, November 7th – 9th

In celebration of our 10th anniversary, we will be hosting this year’s Convening in Montgomery, AL, where we will visit the National Memorial for Peace and Justice and the Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration.

Sponsorship information is available via this link

FAQs about the Convening:

What are the goals of the National Convening?

CFSY’s annual National Convening is a cornerstone of our work. Over multiple days each fall, we bring together a diverse group of formerly incarcerated advocates, legislators, parole board members, national partners, and others to strategize about how to end extreme sentencing of youth under the leadership of those directly impacted by the issue. We offer attendees a robust agenda packed with informative plenaries, panels, workshops, and opportunities to connect with one another on both a personal and professional level. Over the past nine years, we’ve seen countless reform measures and so much movement-building that started with a simple connection at our convening.

When and where is the National Convening taking place?

The National Convening is taking place from November 7th through the 9th in Montgomery, AL. Programming will take place at the Renaissance Montgomery Hotel and the celebration of CFSY at 10 and our honorees on the evening of the 8th will be held nearby at The Alley. Attendees of the National Convening will also have the opportunity to visit The Legacy Museum and The National Memorial for Peace and Justice during the event.

What are sponsorship levels, and what do they include?

A full list of sponsorship levels and what they include can be found on our website.

What does a National Convening registration include?

A ticket gives you access to all programming, including the reception on the night of the 8th where our awards will be presented.

What will programming include?

A public agenda can be found here. More information is being added weekly, so check back often! 

Who are this year’s honorees?

Honorees of the 2019 Annual Convening



Verizon’s leadership team has gone above and beyond to use their platform and resources for positive social change and justice and has shown a genuine passion to learn and contribute to justice reform. Their commitment has set an important example of corporate advocacy and has elevated this issue to a new place in our societal discourse. Specifically, it has fortified the work to keep children from being subjected to extreme sentencing and provide a path to prosperity for those incarcerated as youth who are now returning home. 





Condemned to die in prison as a child, Marshan Allen never gave up hope despite his cruel and barbaric sentence and became the first person to be resentenced and released after the landmark Supreme Court decision in Montgomery v. Louisiana. He is not only living proof that kids can and do change, but his resilience, courage, and perseverance are an example for us all. From joining ICAN, to serving on our board, to working with Restore Justice Illinois, he has demonstrated that he is an extraordinary person and talented leader.





From founding a ground-breaking non-profit organization to serve the needs of and build leadership among formerly incarcerated youth in California, to launching a film company dedicated to social change, Scott Budnick’s leadership on our issue is apparent. His deep devotion to children who commit violence and ability to leverage his platform to advocate for these young people are truly inspiring and we are excited to honor him at this year’s event. 




Sponsors of the 2019 Annual Convening & the CFSY at 10 Reception



Chris & Crystal Sacca






Howard Conant and RJI Friends of Marshan Allen

Kelley Drye & Warren LLP and Paul Rosenthal

Rebecca Milliken

Paul & Melinda B. Pressler

Cliff Sloan & Mary Lou Hartman

Wendy Smith & Barry Meyer



Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

Annie E. Casey Foundation

Christopher Finn & Anne Patterson Finn

The DLA Piper Foundation

Friends At Work

Glover Park Group

Holland & Knight LLP

King & Spaulding LLP

David Leiter & Tamera Luzzatto

Christine & Michael Puzo

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP


Wilkinson Barker Knauer, LLP



Maya Ajmera & David Hollander

Jonathan & Joy Alferness

Kevin Buchanan & Cristallea Kang Buchanan

Creed & Gowdy


Alberto Fassinotti

Elizabeth Galvin

Alyssa Harper

Hogan Lovells US LLP

Lankler Siffert & Wohl LLP

Law Offices of Deborah LaBelle

Scott & Catherine Marquardt

Michele Coleman Mayes

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

Sidley Austin LLP

Patricia & Steve Morgan

The Rock Creek Group



George Clarke

Crowell & Moring LLP

Bernardine Dohrn

Susan Galbraith

Haley Griffin

Ben Lear

Alison Leal Parker

Josh Toll


Zak Williams


2019 Host Committee

Joy Alferness – Wendy Atrokhov – Bernardine Dohrn – Donna Epps – Angelyn Frazer-Giles – Haley Griffin – Kathleen Grillo –

Abby Kohlman – Gabrielle Kohlmeier – Jennifer Kroman – Rashida MacMurray-Abdallah – Rebecca Milliken – Josh Toll


2018 Summary:

The 2018 annual National Convening, hosted in Washington DC, offered a combination of touching testimonies, celebration of progress, and thought partnership. We saw firsthand the leadership of directly impacted and formerly life sentenced children, learned from their expertise and experience, and mapped out strategies for the work to come.

There were many inspiring plenaries and panels over the course of two days, including a conversation between educator and writer Clint Smith and CFSY staff member Abd’Allah Lateef, during which they unpacked the myth of juvenile superpredators.

We also heard compelling stories of forgiveness from victim family members, held sessions with directly impacted individuals focused on self-care, and challenged all attendees to carry the torch for the future of youth sentencing reform reform. We were thrilled to see attendees from all walks of life come together in support of ending life without parole and other extreme sentences for children.

You can watch the 2018 Convening in its entirety by clicking here.

It was a joy to witness the positive impact and amount of progress that The Campaign for the Fair Sentencing has made in the last decade. We cannot thank you enough for helping us make last year’s Convening such an unforgettable event, and we look forward to seeing many of you in Montgomery.