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The Alumni Engagement Program Shares an End-Of-Year Recap for 2023

/ Blog Post

Picture of Oscar Fernandez, programming committee chair for the Alumni Advisory Council at Equal Justice Works; Verjine Adanalian, member of the AAC, and 2023 Fellow Isobel Healy at the Alumni-Fellow Welcome Reception at Leadership Development Training 2023
Picture of (L-R:) AAC members Oscar Fernandez and Verjine Adanalian with 2023 Fellow Isobel Healy at the Alumni-Fellow Welcome Reception at Leadership Development Training 2023

The Alumni Engagement Program at Equal Justice Works has continued to grow since its launch in April 2021. The program achieved many successes during fiscal year 2023, which you can read about below. 

2023 presented many opportunities for Equal Justice Works to further expand its alumni appreciation, networking, and engagement. Working with the Alumni Advisory Council (AAC), a group of Equal Justice Works alumni committed to providing counsel in support of alumni initiatives at the organization, enabling our alumni programs to achieve several milestones in the community this year. 

Throughout the year, the AAC hosted four Alumni-Fellow Regional events, facilitated four online professional development workshops, and participated in the selection process for the Recent Alumni Board Member and the Distinguished Alumni Award. As part of our efforts to incorporate alumni engagement into the Fellowship onboarding and exit processes, the AAC sent personalized messages welcoming incoming Fellows to the Equal Justice Works community and exiting Fellows into the alumni network. AAC members solicited feedback from alums through the AAC Programming Survey to help inform future priorities for alumni programming. 

The AAC also provided advice and counsel on several Equal Justice Works initiatives including the Leadership Development Training, DEI Strategy, and 2023 Strategic Vision.  

On September 6, the AAC hosted its annual Kick-Off and Orientation meeting where they successfully onboarded five new Council members and began planning for the FY24 year. The AAC hosted its first virtual workshop of the fiscal year on November 14 entitled, “Pathways to Academia: Non-Profit Attorneys in Education.” The workshop was well received with 43 Fellows and Alumni in attendance! 

It has been inspiring to witness the alumni in our community band together to help create these great opportunities for current Fellows and alumni to connect.

Lynbea Toombs /
Director of Alumni Relations at Equal Justice Works

At the 2023 Scales of Justice, Equal Justice Works presented the inaugural Distinguished Alumni Award to 2004 Fellow alum Diego Cartagena, who is now the President and CEO of Bet Tzedek Legal Services. The Equal Justice Works Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes an Equal Justice Works alum who has made outstanding contributions as a leader in public interest law; has distinguished theirself through creating lasting impact in the communities they serve; embodies the organizational values of passion, community, service, opportunity, and equal access to justice; and reflects the transformative power of an Equal Justice Works Fellowship. As we continue to recognize the outstanding achievements of Equal Justice Works alumni, we are excited to invite Fellows and alumni to participate in the nomination process for the Distinguished Alumni Award.  

Photo of the Alumni-Fellow Welcome Reception, a crowd of Fellows, alumni, program participants, and Equal Justice Works staff stands around networking and chatting.
Photo of the Alumni-Fellow Welcome Reception at Leadership Development Training 2023

Equal Justice Works also expanded upon alumni participation in the Leadership Development Training this year. At the 2023 event, alumni served as affinity group leaders and were invited to attend an Alumni-Fellow Welcome Reception hosted by the AAC.  

“It has been inspiring to witness the alumni in our community band together to help create these great opportunities for current Fellows and alumni to connect,” said Lynbea Toombs, the director of alumni relations at Equal Justice Works. “We look forward to continuing to engage and recognize the accomplishments of our alumni through programming and volunteer opportunities next year!” 

To learn more about alumni programs at Equal Justice Works, click here. 

Learn more about becoming an Equal Justice Works Fellow