I grew up in the punk rock scene. Our slogan was D.I.Y. – Do It Yourself. Since I was 16, I’ve known that if we want the world to be a fairer place with justice for everybody, we have to do it ourselves.
When I lived in New Orleans, I tutored kids in my neighborhood. Every kid I knew had at least one family member in prison, and going by the statistics for Black males in our neighborhood, most would end up in prison by the age that white kids from Uptown would graduate from college. One kid, Jerry, loved playing music. He’d get the other kids in the neighborhood to form into a marching band and march around my yard. When he was 15, he got busted for drugs and faced 6 years in prison. I ended up going to court with Jerry’s mom 8 times, and because a white person who could read showed up, the judge let him out on a probationary program.
When my parents sold their business, I got a million dollars, giving me opportunities they never had. But it’s more than I need, which doesn’t make me any happier. I give 75% of the money I get from my family to social justice work. I put $500,000 into the Beyond Prisons Fund, and I work with an advisory board of 8 long-time activists to promote alternatives to incarceration.
I worked for several years as the Donor Education Coordinator at Resource Generation, a national organization working with progressive young people with wealth. I used to worry that my story might intimidate people. I didn't want anyone to think I was pushing an agenda. But I think sharing my story also makes it easier for people to understand what the work of groups like Resource Generation is about.
| Midwest | 18 to 39 Years Old | $1-$10M | at least 50% | Inheritance |
| Donor Education | Social Justice | Passion | Simplicity |