Roca's 2024 Annual Breakfast Featuring Larry Miller

Dear Friends,

 

Welcome! Thank you for joining me to celebrate Roca’s incredible young people—those who have left violence behind and transformed their lives, and those who still struggle each day to overcome their trauma and choose to live.

Back in 1988, we created Roca for the young people who had no one—who had been left out of programs, schools, and jobs—to prove that no young person was beyond change. Since then, it has been humbling to watch Roca’s community grow. Hundreds of incredible partners, funders, and advocates have taken up this mission with us, helping us move the needle on urban violence. Today we come together to show these young people that we are looking out for them, and to create hope for a safer future.

Violence is an epidemic fueled by longstanding inequities, intergenerational trauma, and hopelessness. At Roca we are meeting this public health crisis with a targeted behavioral health solution: delivering non-clinical cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to the group most vulnerable in our cities—young adults drowning in the deep end of street violence and the criminal justice system.

Developed, refined, and evaluated for more than three decades, our intervention model is proven to stop violence and save young lives from jail and death: the 3-year re-incarceration rates for Roca participants in Massachusetts are 30% lower than the state average. We give these young people real tools to take their own steps away from violence and toward peace, to finally free themselves from the perpetual fear and vigilance that will not let them put down their gun or imagine a future without one.

Thank you for your belief in young people and Roca’s mission.

Molly Baldwin
Founder & CEO

Program

 

Opening Remarks
Molly Baldwin, Founder & CEO of Roca

Vichey Phoung Award Presentation
Kurtis Palermo, Executive Vice President of Roca Maryland

Presented to
Justin Fowlkes, Roca Baltimore Participant

James E. Mahoney Award Presentation
Molly Baldwin

Presented to
Anthony D. Gulluni, Hampden County District Attorney

Special Announcement
Molly Baldwin

Vichey Phoung Award Presentation
Sunindiya Bhalla, Executive Vice President of Roca Women and 2Gen

Presented to
Jalexis Velez, Roca Springfield Participant

Fireside Chat
Larry Miller, Chairman of Nike’s Jordan Brand Advisory Board
Kim Driscoll, Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts

Closing Remarks
Molly Baldwin

Speakers

Larry Miller

Chairman of Nike’s Jordan Brand Advisory Board

Larry Miller is the Chairman of the Jordan Brand Advisory Board, a division of Nike Inc. Miller originally joined Nike in 1997 as Vice President of U.S. Apparel. He then served as Vice President and General Manager of Nike Basketball. Miller helped launch the Jordan Brand at Nike in 1999 before becoming President of the Portland Trail Blazers from 2007 to 2012, after which he returned to Jordan Brand. Under his leadership, Jordan Brand has grown from a $200 million basketball shoe company to a $4 billion athletic footwear and apparel firm.

Miller graduated with honors from Temple University in 1980 and earned an MBA from LaSalle University. He has served on the board of directors at Self Enhancement Inc. A passionate advocate for education and mentorship, he has taken leadership roles with the Urban League and Junior Achievement in the past. Born in Philadelphia, he lives in Portland, OR.

His memoir, JUMP, My Secret Journey from the Streets to the Boardroom was published by William Morrow/ Harper Collins in 2022. Co-authored with his daughter Laila Lacy, JUMP details Miller’s ascent from the streets of West Philadelphia to some of the highest distinctions of the corporate world.

Kim Driscoll

Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts

Kim Driscoll is the 73rd Lieutenant Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Together, Governor Healey and Lieutenant Governor Driscoll are the first all-women executive team to lead Massachusetts.

Since taking office, Lieutenant Governor Driscoll has spearheaded several administration priorities and initiatives, including significant involvement in the state’s affordable housing production, economic development, improvements to the public education system, and serving as liaison to cities and towns across Massachusetts. Driscoll also chairs the Governor’s Council; the Governor’s Council to Address Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, and Human Trafficking; the Seaport Economic Council; and co-chairs the STEM Advisory Council.

Prior to Beacon Hill, Driscoll served for seventeen years as the Mayor of Salem, Massachusetts and is a proud graduate of Salem State University.

James  E.  Mahoney Award

In Memory of James  E.  Mahoney
1952-2020 

James (Jim) E. Mahoney, former Global Corporate Strategy and Public Policy Executive, was a trusted advisor, colleague, and friend at Bank of America for 25 years. Jim was skilled at turning policy ideas into business results, and his impact within the company was felt in fundamental ways, including its commitment to sustainable finance. He worked passionately to help advance second chances for the formerly incarcerated and believed strongly in Roca’s mission to disrupt incarceration, poverty and racism. He engaged with Roca in numerous ways as he continued to advocate for systemic change and believed in the power of cross-sector partnerships to achieve progress.  

Jim was a board member of the National Urban League, served on the Board of Directors of the New England Council, was a member of the management committee for Stanford University’s Global Climate & Energy Project, and served on the board of the U. S. Chamber of Commerce Center for Capital Markets. He was a devoted husband to his wife Margaret “Peggy” McLoughlin and loving father to Caitria, Jake, and Gracia. 

Roca’s James E. Mahoney Award recognizes an individual or organization who has demonstrated innovative leadership, humility, and commitment to systemic change on behalf of young people, and is an engaged partner in Roca’s systemic reform efforts.

2024 James E. Mahoney Award Recipient

Anthony D. Gulluni

Hampden County District Attorney

District Attorney Anthony D. Gulluni took office as Hampden District Attorney in January 2015. He is a life-long Springfield resident who grew up in a close-knit family committed to public service. He has followed the example set for him by his family throughout his professional career as an Assistant District Attorney and through his work at the City of Springfield Law Department and the Salvation Army. As District Attorney, he has promoted his vision of safer communities by innovative and significant investment in community building and outreach, crime prevention and education, and by focusing efforts on the smart prosecution of violent offenders.

District Attorney Gulluni has created a one-of-a-kind young adult court named EACH, Emerging Adult Court of Hope. This groundbreaking model engages young adults from ages 18-24 who are ensnared in a cycle of negativity and incarceration. EACH, in partnership with various community organizations and state agencies, was designed by District Attorney Gulluni to disrupt this cycle to which he saw so many young people fall prey. Instead of incarceration, the court provides intensive support and programming focused on the participants’ physical and mental health, behavior patterns, housing, and ultimately the development of a pathway for careers through education and career training. The court is the first of its kind in Massachusetts and is receiving national attention for its innovation and potential effectiveness with this crucial population.

In addition, District Attorney Gulluni and his Community Outreach Team have partnered with Western New England University to create the Future Lawyers of Springfield (FLOS) program. FLOS aims to cultivate a more diverse legal community in the Greater Springfield area through direct and sustained mentorship to youth who aspire to be lawyers. FLOS will partner with area high schools in Hampden County and support young people with an interest in pursuing legal careers, but don’t have the necessary support system to help get them there.

District Attorney Gulluni was appointed by former Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker and reappointed by Governor Maura Healey to serve on the board that oversees the Massachusetts Office of Victim Assistance and administers millions of dollars of funds to victim and survivor organizations. Former Governor Baker also appointed him to his state-wide Taskforce on Hate Crimes.

He serves as the current President of the Massachusetts District Attorney’s Association and is a recipient of the President’s Medallion from Western New England University.

Vichey Phoung Award

In Memory of Vichey Phoung
1981-2004

Vichey PhuongVichey Phoung was born in a Thai Refugee camp while his family was fleeing from the Cambodian Killing Fields, and came to the U.S. as a baby. In early adolescence, he joined a gang with his three older brothers and spent many years in and out of the streets.

Over time and after a particularly challenging several months in jail, Vichey came to accept responsibility for causing harm and made remarkable and long-lasting changes in his life. He worked and volunteered as a street worker, seeking out his peers and helping young people leave gangs. He led peacemaking circles for gang peace efforts, helped launch the Via Project, and became a well-known young leader in the area. At age 23, Vichey was tragically killed in an industrial accident; he is survived by his mother, brothers, and son, Allen.

Despite his young age, Vichey had become a wise person that everyone at Roca loved and admired. To this day, Vichey’s impact on Roca can be felt strongly. He would have been inspired by Roca’s transitional employment programming, and he, more than any of us, would be able to recognize and appreciate those awarded the Vichey Phoung Peace Award.

Roca’s Vichey Phoung Peace Award recognizes Roca participants who, through their hard work and determination, have achieved substantial positive change in their lives, exemplifying the transformation which Roca seeks to bring about in all of the young people it serves.  

We believe that all young people, regardless of their challenges, are able to change, grow and lead and that peace is something we learn, practice and promote.  

With this award, Roca also expresses its gratitude to outstanding community leaders for their invaluable support of our work. 

2024 Vichey Phoung Award Recipients

Justin Fowlkes

Roca Baltimore

Justin faced constant obstacles and setbacks as he grew up in Baltimore. He was street involved from a young age, and was shot at just 21 years old. Justin had barely gotten home from the hospital before Roca showed up on his doorstep, offering services that would get him stabilized and out of harm’s way. COVID restrictions didn’t stop us from supporting Justin through his recovery and starting him on the road to profound change; since Justin couldn’t come to Roca, we brought Roca’s programming to Justin, meeting virtually and outside in the community.

In his three years at Roca Baltimore, Justin has made remarkable progress, and his positive attitude shines through. He used to jump from job to job when he felt like his supervisors were targeting him, but the CBT skills he learned at Roca helped him see things from a different perspective, stop taking things personally, and stick it out. He persevered, and achieved his HVAC Certification with an EPA Universal License. Now he’s the supervisor at the Housing Commission of Anne Arundel County, MD.

Justin lives by the motto “things could be worse” and always remains grateful for the good things in his life, like singing “Never Too Much” by Luther Vandross with his son, or having nail dates with his daughter and fiancé.

Jalexis Velez

Roca Springfield

Throughout her childhood, Jalexis was in and out of foster care, often finding herself homeless with no one she could count on. We first met her 4 years ago when she was pregnant with her first child, Maya, and silently struggling with her mental health after a lifetime of trauma. Not long after Maya was born, Maya’s father began to abuse Jalexis. She tried to escape after she became pregnant with their second child, Jay’ceon, but instead the abuse only escalated. Isolated from everyone, Jalexis began missing her children’s doctor’s appointments, raising concerns from DCF. Things came to a head when her boyfriend tried to kill her in front of their children, and nearly killed their son in the process. He was arrested and sentenced, but Jalexis lost custody of the children.

That experience was her turning point, and since then Jalexis has put in the work. She has maintained a job and stable housing, and is finishing her high school diploma. She has learned to advocate for herself and her children, using her CBT skills to navigate difficult situations with patience and understanding—especially with DCF. Along the way she has worked on her mental health and learned self-love. Jalexis wants nothing more than to bring her children home, and she continues to fight for them every day. Getting to know and support Jalexis and her children these past 4 years has been a true privilege.

Introducing

The Greg Torres Capital Fund

For more than 25 years, Greg Torres served as a strategic advisor, generous donor, and dedicated friend to Roca and the young people we are privileged to know and serve. As a criminal justice reformer, he committed his life to helping others overcome their most difficult challenges and find opportunity.

To honor his memory, we are proud to announce the Greg Torres Capital Fund, which seeks to raise $3 million dollars for the renovation and modernization of Roca’s flagship site in Chelsea. Greg understood that Roca’s headquarters is more than a building—it is the launching pad for everything that Roca has accomplished and become, and a touchstone for the countless young people whose lives have been forever changed by Roca. With this fund, we will secure the future of Roca Chelsea and show Greater Boston’s young people that they matter.

In Memoriam

Greg Torres, Dear Friend, Advisor, Donor, and Board Member

Kara Kelly, Beloved Colleague

Young people we have lost this past year

Montez Barrett, Baltimore 

Christopher Brogdon, Baltimore 

Santos Canizales, Chelsea

Anthony Cox, Baltimore 

Nilton Fernandes, Boston

Theodore Foreman, Baltimore

Khalil Jackson, Boston

Kenny Karuva, Lynn

Rasheed Lindsey, Baltimore

Shakari Lea, Baltimore 

Antonio Lee, Baltimore

Khalil McCray, Baltimore 

Kennard Murray, Baltimore 

Kayshawn Roundheart, Baltimore 

William Pasons, Lynn

Thank You to our Sponsors

Legacy Sponsors

Dan and Kerry Lyons

 

&

Rockport Mortgage Corporation

Mancuso Family

Relentless Sponsors

Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
Timberland
United Way of Massachusetts Bay

Transformational Sponsors

MassMutual

Mark and Jeanne Haggerty

Steve and Andrea Kaneb

Devika Kapoor and Hiren Mankodi

Healing Sponsors

Coverys
Goodwin Procter 2024 Breakfast Ad
Keith Construction 2024 Breakfast Ad
MGM Springfield 2024 Breakfast Ad
New England Patriots Foundation
Northeastern University
Red Sox Foundation 2024 Breakfast Ad
Ropes & Gray 2024 Breakfast Ad
Safety Insurance
State Street 2024 Breakfast Ad
William Morrow 2024 Breakfast Ad
Bennett Family Foundation
Constellation Energy

Maggie Moore and Michael Fleisher

Changemaker Sponsors

A. Crane Construction
AAA Northeast
Baystate Health
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts
Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation
DeleteMe

Carla DeSantis

DoorDash
Eastern Bank: Join Us For Good

Michael and Barbara Eisenson

Fernway
Fidelity Investments
F.L.Putnam Investment Management Company
Goldman Sachs

in honor of Greg Torres

Cindy and Andrew Janower

Kayem Foods

Christine and Will Kendall

M&TBank
Market Basket | More for Your Dollar
Maycomb Capital
Penny Investments/Motivational Dreamers
Penny Investments
PeoplesBank | Real. Simple. Banking
PWC
The Architectural Team

The Gardiner Howland Shaw Foundation

USI Insurance Services

Brandon and Amanda White

The Whiting Turner Contracting Company
Verizon

Anonymous

Friends of Roca

Bunker Hill Community College

Jan Callahan

Fitzgerald & Company, Inc.

Anne and Joe Healy

Marian and Josh Johnson

Monson Savings Bank

NBA Cares

SEI Institutional Group

The Boston Foundation

The Justice Education Center, Inc.

Laurence and Alexis Wintersteen

Anonymous

Special Thanks

Larry Miller

HarperCollins

Timberland

Goulston & Storrs

Victor Agran and Architectural Resources Cambridge

Consigli Construction Company

Venable LLP

Many thanks to the Roca staff, Board, partners, investors, and most of all to the remarkable young people who share their lives with us.

Roca Board of Directors

CHRISTINE KENDALL
President of the Board

LAUREN SANCHEZ GILBERT, ED.D
Vice President of the Board

MAGGIE MOORE
Treasurer of the Board

MOLLY BALDWIN
Founder & Chief Executive Officer

JAY ASH

STEWART CHAPIN

AUGIE CHIASERA

JOAN CROMWELL

CHIEF MICHAEL DAVIS

TIFFANY GARNER

JON M. HERZOG

HIREN MANKODI

SETH STRATTON

SHARMESE WALCOTT

Roca Baltimore Board of Managers

DR. BRANVILLE G. BARD, JR.

MARC BROADY

STEVE BUTZ

ANDRE DAVIS

CHRIS DUNCAN

DANIEL L. EGGERS

DUNCAN J. EVERED

TIFFANY GARNER

ROB JOHNSON

LOUIS PAKULA

MOLLY BALDWIN

Roca Impact Institute Advisory Board

ANA BERMUDEZ

ANDRE DAVIS

CHIEF MICHAEL DAVIS

PETER FORBES

LAUREN SANCHEZ GILBERT, ED.D