Announcing the 2020 First Defender Award Winners

Each year at its annual fundraiser, the First Defender Award Reception, FDLA honors someone/s for accomplishing a feat that embodies FDLA mission and values. Past honorees include individuals who’ve promoted a more just future in their roles as journalist, athlete, elected official, lawyer, police, youth organizer, violence interrupter, artist and more.

The 2020 event marks FDLA’s 25th anniversary. For the first time, we will honor leaders in philanthropy whose new funding programs connect a need for police and criminal systems accountability with public safety for all.

For 25 years, FDLA has stood with disparately-impacted communities at the entry point of the criminal system. Early on, this experience brought a clear understanding that systemic injustice advances a cycle of violence. Our 2020 honorees’ vision and leadership in their respective grant programs brought this community wisdom into Chicago grantmaking. At its Silver Anniversary, FDLA celebrates this recent development in Chicago philanthropy.

Join us to thank and uplift these women’s bold leadership in the space, and to celebrate the growing movement for justice and peace reaching into every sector in Chicago and beyond!

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