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Dear <<First Name>>,

Burden. A dark cloud. A colossal weight. These are just a few of the words our clients use to describe the experience of having a criminal record, even decades after completing their sentences.

For millions of people in our country, the lived consequences of breaking the law have gone far beyond what is written in the statutes, and far beyond what many of us would consider just. A criminal record, or even an arrest, can mean being shut out of job opportunities, housing, and more. 

This is why I'm so thankful for the work of CLADC's record sealing team and their incredible efforts to fight for the dignity and livelihoods of our clients. Right now this team of dedicated volunteer attorneys, law students, and staff are working on over a dozen record sealing cases, and this continues to be one of our greatest areas of need.

I'm also thankful for the work of Prison Fellowship for leading the commemoration of Second Chance Month to raise awareness and remove unnecessary barriers for people who have criminal records. We are a proud partner in this work.

This area of law is one of the most clear connections between our work and the gospel of Jesus Christ. Maybe you have not broken a law of the United States, but the Bible teaches that we have all broken God's perfect law. And yet the Bible is a story of redemptive history. It is the story of God showing lawbreakers mercy and giving them a new identity in Christ. 

Because of the prayers and support of each person in the CLADC community, we've been able to celebrate with many clients who have felt that colossal weight of a criminal record be lifted. Our prayer is that together, we'll get to be a part of many more of these stories.

There's even more to celebrate in this newsletter. I'm excited to introduce you to CLADC's newest team members, announce upcoming dates to save, and share what's been encouraging our team. 

As always, I'd love to hear from you. Reply and let me know if you have any questions about our work and let us know what's been encouraging you.
 
Gratefully, 


  
  Whitney King
  Executive Director



 
Save the Dates!
 
Tuesday, May 4, 2021: Just 24: 24 hours to fund access to justice!
Our annual fundraiser to close the justice gap culminates on May 4, 2021. This day is inspiring as people from all across the CLADC community give generously and rally their friends and family to join them. Donor Captains lead the way in this critical fundraiser and it's not too late to sign up or learn more about becoming a Donor Captain here. Otherwise, mark your calendar for May 4th!

Saturday, May 22, 2021: Client Story Prayer Breakfast
We're excited to be hosting our Client Story Prayer Breakfast in partnership with Anacostia River Church and Restoration Church. Based on current public health regulations in Washington, DC, we plan to host limited outdoor attendees with an accompanying livestream for virtual participation. More information and registration options will be coming soon. 
Join our Prayer Team
Introducing our new Housing Law Advisor and Administrative Assistant

Gabrielle Husband, Housing Law Advisor
Gabrielle A. Best Husband grew up in the twin-island state of Trinidad and Tobago. She began her career as a consultant with an international IT firm and after more than a decade, Gabrielle enrolled at The American University Washington College of Law to further her desire to contribute to and serve her community.
 
After graduation, Gabrielle worked as a judicial law clerk and then began practicing family law. This combined her desire to litigate with her passion to counsel and serve her clients through times of personal trials. More recently, Gabrielle has practiced in other areas of civil litigation, specifically real estate law, with experience negotiating resolutions and litigating landlord/tenants matters in Washington, DC and Virginia.
 
As CLADC’s Housing Law Advisor, Gabrielle is eager to use this experience to serve Washington, DC’s low-income residents and support other attorneys and law students as they do likewise. Gabrielle is a member of The Bridge DC, a Christian church committed to loving God, loving others, and making a difference. In her spare time, Gabrielle enjoys reading, gardening, and running.
Julia Williams, Administrative Assistant
Julia Williams moved to the DC Metro Area with her husband in 2019. She grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, and received a B.A. in Political Science from Emory University in 2008. In 2013, she graduated with a law degree from the University of Georgia School of Law. Previously she worked for the Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation as the program coordinator for the Safe and Stable Families Project and as an instructional assistant in the North Carolina Public Schools. Although Julia does not currently practice law, she is passionate about helping people access legal services and is excited to be working to advance CLADC’s mission. In her free time, Julia enjoys reading, exploring DC, and traveling. She and her husband attend Fourth Presbyterian Church in Bethesda.
What We're Reading

Here are few things that are inspiring our team, and we'd love to hear from you. What's been feeding your mind and heart? Reply to this email and let us know.

Lindsay: I am currently reading The Weight of Glory by C.S. Lewis and am so encouraged with how he pushes and challenges me in my faith. I find myself contemplating his writings long after I have read them. 
 
Julia: A devotion by David Clarkson from the book, Voices From the Past, was particularly encouraging to me this week. It was a reminder of God's mercy when we are facing troubles and a loving reminder to trust in the sufficiency of the Lord. 

Whitney: Early this month I finished reading Gentle and Lowly: The Heart of Christ for Sinners and Sufferers by Dane Ortlund. This short book was full of powerful meditations on God's heart. I was especially moved by how God cares for us even in the problems we bring on ourselves as well as the other ways we suffer.
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