CFSY Annual Convening

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.

The National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery.

Programming will include remarks from the founder and executive director of the Equal Justice initiative, Bryan Stevenson. Sponsorship information available via this link. Check back here for more details soon!

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 our honorees on the evening of the 8th will be held nearby at The Alley. Attendees 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 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! Bryan Stevenson will be giving opening remarks on the morning of November 8th. 

Who are this year’s honorees?

Our announced honorees this year include:



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. 




2019 Sponsors




Latham & Watkins, LLP


Cleary Gottlieb – Kelley Drye & Warren LLP/Paul Rosenthal – Rebecca Milliken – Paul & Melinda B. Pressler


Annie E. Casey Foundation – Friends At Work – Glover Park Group – David Leiter & Tamera Luzzatto


Hogan Lovells – Jonathan & Joy Alferness – Lankler Siffert & Wohl, LLP – Michele Coleman Mayes


Bernardine Dohrn – USTelecom – 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.