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Friday, March 19 • 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Project Witness: Who Are They?

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Project Witness: Who Are They?
This esteemed panel of subject matter experts will share their experience and national efforts to advocate and educate about the impact of solitary confinement and harsh sentences, particularly on children. Project Witness is a partnership between the Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth (CFSY), YouTube, and Google using immersive VR (virtual reality) and Google Lens technologies to build awareness of the conditions of childhood incarceration. Project Witness features the stories of six individuals who were incarcerated as children and depicts the extreme forms of punishment imposed on incarcerated children in the United States. Through the VR shared film session participants can see the experience of prison through the eyes of a child, with narration from people who experienced childhood incarceration firsthand.

Please watch the video before the session: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jo1gM2LLlIc

Experience PROJECT WITNESS, a virtual reality film exposing the realities of childhood incarceration in the United States. Focusing on the impact of solitary confinement, the placement of teenagers in adult facilities, and life-without-parole sentences for children, #ProjectWitness​ centers the lived experiences of dedicated advocates to give viewers an honest look at how children are treated in the criminal justice system. This is an immersive VR360 video and best experienced in a headset. No headset? No problem. Move your mobile phone around or pan with your mouse to explore the story.

Credits: This film would not be possible without the work of Alyssa Beck, Laura Berry, Hernán Carvente Martinez, Jarrett Harper, Xavier McElrath-Bey, and Johnny Perez, who bravely came forward to tell their stories so that others would not have to live the experiences depicted in this film. The stories featured in Project Witness are real, but the experiences are depicted by actors. Background Information: The Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth (CFSY) is a nonprofit that leads efforts to ban life without parole and other extreme sentences for children who cause harm; advances alternative responses that focus on their unique characteristics as children, and creates opportunities for formerly incarcerated youth to thrive as adults and lead in their communities. Join us!

avatar for Lori James-Townes

Lori James-Townes

President & CEO, Expand Now LLC
Lori James-Townes is President & CEO of Expand-Now, LLC. She also serves as an Assistant Training Director for National Association of Public Defense. Lori’s passion is adding value to others through speaking, training, development activities, coaching, and consulting. Lori has... Read More →

avatar for Jack Morris

Jack Morris

Jack Morris leverages his direct experience of more than four decades of incarceration to advance human rights. He has lectured on the California Prison Hunger Strikes at regional and local conferences, colleges, and universities, and has trained national experts on prison culture... Read More →
avatar for Laura Berry

Laura Berry

Regional Connector/End Solitary Co-Chair, ICAN/DecARcerate
Laura went to prison at the age of 17 for being an accessory to murder. Sentenced to life w/o parole; and served 32 1/2 years; before being released under “Fair Sentencing of Minors Act” in Arkansas. In which CFSY played a huge part in the passage of this act. Since her release... Read More →
avatar for Eddie Ellis

Eddie Ellis

Co-Director of Outreach & Member Services, Campaign for Fair Sentencing of Youth
Eddie Ellis joined the CFSY team as the Incarcerated Children’s Advocacy Network (ICAN) Coordinator in early 2018. In this role, he works with ICAN members across the country, connecting them to each other and with local resources. He also works with other directly impacted communities... Read More →
avatar for Johnny Perez

Johnny Perez

Director of US Prisons Program, National Religious Campaign Against Torture
Drawing on the wisdom of thirteen years of direct involvement with the criminal justice system, Mr. Johnny Perez works as the Director of the U.S. Prisons Program for the National Religious Campaign Against Torture, an interfaith membership organization comprised of 325 religious... Read More →

Friday March 19, 2021 2:00pm - 3:00pm EDT
Room 12