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Thu, Sep

Human Rights Innovators


Presented by: Rich Negrin, District Attorney Candidate

1st Place: Jeannine L. Lisitski, Women Against Abuse, Inc. Jeannine Lisitski has pioneered the City of Philadelphia's coordinated community response to domestic violence. This effort brings together oft-disparate, uncoordinated systems within the health and human services sector to create more effective and comprehensive supports for individuals experiencing domestic violence in Philadelphia. Jeannine Lisitski had the initial idea that a systems-wide change effort was needed in order to tackle the public health epidemic of domestic violence, and has been leading this incredible effort by forging high-level relationships to make it viable, and participating on numerous committees to see that the less-than-glamorous but crucial systems-change work progresses day to day.

Ms. Lisitski comments, “Receiving this significant recognition underscores the importance of family violence as an issue that is foundational to the health and wellbeing of our community and one that can only be halted through a holistic, coordinated communitywide response. Philadelphia will be the first city in the nation to implement such a comprehensive response to domestic violence, and receipt of this award will help Women Against Abuse to gain the national attention needed to replicate the model in other municipalities.”

2nd Place: Lauren Fine and Joanna Visser Adjoian, Youth Sentencing and Reentry Project. The Youth Sentencing & Reentry Project (YSRP) is a Philadelphia-based nonprofit organization that provides comprehensive support to kids prosecuted in the adult criminal justice system, including individuals who were sentenced to life without parole as children (“juvenile lifers“). Lauren and Joanna have spearheaded innovative ways to advance policy reform that is rooted in the experiences of young people, juvenile lifers and their families.

The co-directors state, “As a relatively new organization seeking to change the way we treat children in the justice system, we are energized and honored by the recognition of a 2017 Social Innovations Award. We are humbled to be considered alongside this inspiring community of individuals and organizations that believe in pushing boundaries and challenging the status quo in our city.”

3rd Place: Jonathon Pyle, Philadelphia Legal Assistance. Philadelphia Legal Assistance provides free legal assistance in civil matters to low-income people in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Jonathan has developed innovative and sustainable models to better serve low-income people in Philadelphia with civil matters.

Says Jonathon, “Thank you on behalf of the Medical-Legal-Community Partnership at Philadelphia Legal Assistance!  Being a finalist for this award energizes us to continue building innovative partnerships to ensure that low-income Philadelphians have access to health insurance and assistance with essential legal needs”.