Transforming Justice

The Transforming Justice Conference is a one-day event featuring plenary sessions, panel discussions, and workshops lead by local, regional, and national leaders in positions of influence.  Also included in the plenary sessions, panel discussion, and workshops are those impacted by injustice, inequity, and inequality.   The day concludes with a town hall discussion on the how we move forward. 


The Transforming Justice conference is a place where we have challenging and impactful conversations. We know that these conversations are important to all of us, but we know that the direct services we provide to those who need it most are incredibly important as well. Given the staffing shortages at many organizations, and increase in need among those who seek assistance, we know that taking the time to participate in the conference is a big ask at this time. This is why Uplift Solutions and Chestnut Hill College have made the difficult decision to postpone the Transforming Justice conference to the spring. Please save the date for Thursday, March 31st, 2022, and we will be in touch regularly with updates. Thank you for the life-changing work that you do. We look forward to seeing you in the spring. Please contact us at if you have any questions.

Transforming Justice Background

The Transforming Justice Conference was founded in 2019 by Atif Bostic, Cathy Nerney, and Lauren Barrow to create a space for raising issues of injustice, inequality, and inequity with local, regional, and national leaders; whereas they are actively engaged in the collectively problem solving necessary to address them.  Fostering a dialogue between leaders (elected and non-elected) and stakeholders (the community, practitioners, and the impacted) is a critical component of this platform.  We ensure the impacted are well represented and have a significant role and voice in the conference.  Lastly, we walk away with actionable next steps.


Transforming Justice Conference 2020
In its second year the Transforming Justice Conference held on November 13, 2020, was forced to occur virtually.  In the second year, attendance remained fairly level with more than 200 attendees.  2020’s conference focused on systems change, poverty and racism, education, healthcare and trauma training, and juvenile justice.  The roster of speakers included the Co-Chair of the Poor People’s Campaign, three State Representatives, Chief of Police for the School District of Philadelphia, Chief Defender for Philadelphia’s Public Defender’s Office, formerly incarcerated youth court trainer, formerly incarcerated founder of a nonprofit organization, and more.  
Transforming Justice Conference 2019

We hosted the inaugural event on November 15, 2019 at the Commonwealth Chateau at SugarLoaf in Chestnut Hill College.  The event had more than 200 attendees that included: impacted individuals, law enforcement, social workers, nonprofit leaders, business leaders, law makers, and more.  In its inaugural year the conferenced focused heavily on criminal justice.  The speakers included the Mayor of Philadelphia, the District Attorney for Philadelphia, three State Representatives, the Commissioner of Prisons for Philadelphia, Executive Deputy Secretary of Corrections for the state of PA, General Counsel for Koch Industries, a juvenile lifer, two exonerated individuals, a mother who lost her child, three formerly incarcerated individual (not exonerated, not lifers, etc.), and more.  

Featured speakers included: 

Mark Holden

Mark Holden serves as general counsel and senior vice president of Koch Industries, Inc. In addition, he serves as senior vice president of Stand Together, board member of Americans for Prosperity and Chairman of the Board of Americans for Prosperity Foundation, and is a long-time advocate for criminal justice reform. 

Larry Krasner

Larry Krasner is the 26th District Attorney of Philadelphia. Krasner was elected to the position in 2017 on a platform to reform elements of the criminal justice system, including to reduce mass incarceration, and took office in January 2018. 

Keir Bradford-Grey

Keir Bradford-Grey is the Chief Defender of the Philadelphia Defenders Association.  At the Defender Association, Ms. Bradford-Grey focuses on serving the citizens of Philadelphia through innovative programs that empower communities and ensure that justice is fair and final. Ms. Bradford-Grey has spearheaded initiatives to help clients develop skills to successfully re-enter their communities after serving their time in the justice system.

Sessions Included:

Poverty and Race: Agents in Justice Reform

A discussion on how poverty and race impact treatment within the criminal justice system to include new strategies and legislation designed to create equity in the system. 

Be the Loudest Voice: A Discussion on Advocacy

Be the Loudest Voice will explore the role of advocacy in the fight for equity within the criminal justice system.  The discussion will include example of how advocacy has helped to inform and shape legislation.  

Employment in Reintegration

Employment in Reintegration will discuss the current state of employment and how reform makes economic sense. 

Healthcare in Reintegration

Healthcare in Reintegration will cast a light on the hidden health issues related to successful reintegration. 

Housing in Reintegration

Housing in Reintegration will highlight the barriers to gaining housing for the formerly incarcerated, the work that is currently being done, and the reform required to improve the system. 

Town Hall Discussion: Criminal Justice Looking Forward

The Town Hall Discussion will focus on sharing the current strategies and work being doing at the state and national level; as well as the outlook on criminal justice reform over the next 10 years.