In April of 2022, LMM’s Office of Advocacy hosted the second annual Charles R. See Forum on Reentry, which honors Mr. See’s 44 years of service at LMM and his work leading the innovative and nationally recognized Community Reentry program. The program took place at the City Club of Cleveland and featured keynote speaker Ms. Susan Burton, founder of A New Way of Life and author of Becoming Ms. Burton.
Prior to the event, LMM hosted a book club for LMM staff and members of the community, offering an opportunity to read and discuss Becoming Ms. Burton with one another. Below is a testimonial from Friend-To-Friend Director Lynn Schlessman on the power of participating in this advocacy activity.
Reading the book by Susan Burton was helpful to me. Hers is a story of injustice, yet more than that it is a story of faith and hope and courage in the face of injustice. In my meeting women and men in prison and hearing them tell their stories I am changed. Susan Burton’s story reminded me that it is not enough to feel with or feel for those that have suffered but that faith leads us constantly work for a tomorrow that is filled with shalom – peace, wholeness, right relationships.
I am especially grateful for the opportunities for discussion with others that had read the book. Hearing what other staff partners are thinking about her experiences and their own was a great privilege, something that we have had less of since COVID. I have deep respect for many of my staff partners at LMM and treasure opportunities to learn from them. Discussing this book gave us a framework to share with one another and learn from one another.