Honorees - Advancement Project - Advancement Project



6:30 PM

Freedom Now! Freedom Forever!

Attend our 20th anniversary celebration, Thursday, October 17.

Sponsor the Movement

See sponsorship levels for our 20th anniversary celebration.

Movement Lawyering Conference

Join us on Wednesday, October 16, to learn about holistic strategies for racial justice movement lawyering.

Looking into the Future

In 2045, a majority of Americans will be people of color. The question is: are you ready to leverage your power?

PUENTE photo

PUENTE is a grassroots human rights movement based in Phoenix, Arizona, dedicated to ensuring that all people are treated with dignity and respect. We develop, educate, and empower our communities to protect and defend our families and ourselves in order to enhance the quality of life for our community members. We oppose any and all cages in every iteration you may find, (detention centers, prisons, jails, etc.), which is why we will always work towards the liberation of all people from our corrupt and oppressive systems.  We firmly believe that our community’s power is best organized through a Closed Fist, Open Hand Strategy. With a closed fist we fight the enforcement that criminalizes our people through racial profiling, police-ICE collaboration, the criminal justice system, and through detention and deportation systems. With an open hand, we build an inclusive community that confronts the demonization of our people with love and dedication to secure our prosperity.  PUENTE is an organization that is rooted in the culture and knowledge of our ancestors who sowed the seeds of our lives and which we ensure our youth will reap the benefits of.

VOTE logo
VOTE photo

VOTE is a grassroots organization founded and run by formerly incarcerated people (FIP), our families and our allies. We are dedicated to restoring the full human and civil rights of those most impacted by the criminal (in)justice system. Together we have the experiences, expertise and power to improve public safety in New Orleans and beyond without relying on mass incarceration. Through civic engagement and policy reform, we increasingly mobilize a strong group of leaders to transform the movement to eliminate the carceral state.

Jesse Williams

Jesse Williams is an activist, artist, and Advancement Project Board Member who uses his own voice to lift every voice in impacted communities.

A native of Chicago and graduate of Temple University, Jesse began his professional career teaching American, African and African-American History in low income Philadelphia public charter schools. From there Jesse moved to Brooklyn, New York and, after working in Manhattan law firms, began his professional acting career, performing off-Broadway at The Cherry Lane Theatre, under the direction of award-winning playwright Edward Albee in “The Sandbox.” Jesse can presently be seen as series regular, Dr. Jackson Avery in ABC’s hit series “Grey’s Anatomy”. His feature credits include “Lee Daniels’ The Butler”, “Brooklyn’s Finest”, “The Cabin in the Woods”, “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2” and the Western “They Die By Dawn.”

He is a spokesperson for The California Endowment’s Sons and Brothers Campaign.

Under his farWord Inc. Production company, Mr. Williams is an executive producer of Question Bridge: Black Males, a transmedia art project designed to represent and redefine Black male identity in America. Question Bridge: Black Males was an official selection of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival New Frontiers and continues to be exhibited in museums nationwide. A special Father-Son themed experience was screened on Fathers’ Day at the 2012 Los Angeles Film Festival. With the generous support of The California Endowment, a full service website (QuestionBridge.com) has just launched to stimulate and support exchanges around identity among a critical mass of American Black men, before opening to all demographics.

*By taking part in this event you grant the event organizers full rights to use the images resulting from the photography/video filming, and any reproductions.