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By Melissa Franqui

Lorenzo Jones is the executive director of A Better Way Foundation (ABWF). Movement builder and social justice strategist, Mr. Jones has spent 20 years as a community organizer, training advocates, community leaders, and not-for-profit staffers across the United States and Europe.

He says, “The drug war dehumanizes people in a way that allows all the rest of us to never see their humanity.”

ABWF is a statewide organization that has utilized research, education, advocacy and organizing in order to decarcerate residents, decriminalize behavior, and revitalize communities across the state of Connecticut.

ABWF has built coalitions and alliances that that have worked together for change, including passing legislation to prevent overdose deaths, reduce prison overcrowding and, in 2005, end racially biased disparities in penalties for possession of crack and powder cocaine while securing millions for cocaine-related treatment – making Connecticut the first state to enact such reforms.

Since 2005, Lorenzo led the growth and expansion of ABWF and the founding of its lobbying arm, Civic Trust Lobbying, racking up an impressive list of major legislative victories, including racial and ethnic impact statements, pardons and parole reform, medical marijuana, marijuana decriminalization, ban the box, and more.

The Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) works to end the drug war by supporting organizations like A Better Way Foundation. Lorenzo’s video is the third installment of a new video series, Voices from the Front Lines of the Drug War, chronicling the people and organizations addressing the worst harms of the drug war and creating new policies based in science, compassion, health and human rights. The video series, produced in partnership with Luceo Images, profiles the stories and work of organizations that DPA funds through our Advocacy Grants Program, which advances drug policy reform at the local, state, and national levels.

Last month, we released two videos, powerful and poignant portraits of Susan Burton, founder and executive director of A New Way of Life, and Denise Cullen, founder and executive director of GRASP (Grief Recovery After a Substance Passing) and Broken No More. More stories will be posted throughout the month of July, and shared on DPA’s Facebook page. To join the movement to end mass incarceration, visit www.drugpolicy.org.

Melissa Franqui is the communications coordinator for the Drug Policy Alliance.

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Author: Melissa Franqui
Date Published: July 9, 2015
Published by Drug Policy Alliance

Via:: Ddrug Policy Alliance