Dorsey Nunn, long-time advocate for the human and civil rights of formerly incarcerated Americans, was awarded the White House Champion of Change award last week in recognition of his “ban the box” campaign, which works to end structural discrimination against former inmates. Nunn is executive director of Legal Services for Prisoners with Children (LSPC) and co-founder of All Of Us Or None, a national movement of formerly incarcerated people speaking in their own voices and working for their human and civil rights. Nunn was one of 10 individuals selected to receive the award, which showcases local leaders working to empower their communities.
Though nearly 70 million American adults have a criminal record, those re-entering society often face staunch discrimination that makes it difficult for them to find a job, secure housing, or access financial services. Through their ban the box campaign, All of Us or None has advocated nationally to remove questions about prior convictions from applications for jobs, housing, public benefits, insurance, loans, and other services. Thanks to this campaign — and the many local spin-off campaigns it has inspired — 100 cities or counties and 18 states have removed questions about conviction history from their public employment applications.
PolicyLink was honored to feature Nunn during the 2015 Equity Summit, where he presented tactics to reduce mass incarceration and reduce recidivism.
“Dorsey Nunn is an inspiring and courageous leader who has worked tirelessly to fight discrimination and connect former inmates and their families to the resources and opportunities they need to thrive,” said Angela Glover Blackwell, president and CEO of PolicyLink.