INDIANAPOLIS – As part of the launch of the Barnes & Thornburg Racial and Social Justice Foundation, a $50,000 donation has been made to Public Advocates in Community re-Entry (PACE), an Indianapolis-based nonprofit that provides currently and previously incarcerated individuals and their family members with transitional and pre-release services. The firm’s lawyers and staff have funded the foundation launch; the foundation was established with $75,000 in personal donations from firm leadership and total donations collected in 2020 equaled just over $200,000.
“We’re honored to provide this donation to PACE, which is one of the most impactful organizations in our city and whose mission and accomplishments align perfectly with the mission of our newly launched foundation,” said Brian Burdick, managing partner of Barnes & Thornburg’s Indianapolis office. “We believe that everyone deserves a second chance and has the ability to be a positive contributor to their community. PACE’s demonstrated outcomes of breaking cycles is astounding. The clients it serves have a recidivism rate of less than 5 percent, and it is a privilege to stand alongside PACE in a meaningful way as it continues its mission to confront the systemic obstacles that often block the path of those impacted by incarceration. This donation to PACE is aimed at strengthening its long-standing efforts in successfully confronting the institutional, racial and social injustices that challenge these journeys.”
Through partnerships with major employers across Indianapolis, PACE ensures that their clients receive the skills training and resources needed to make them competitive candidates. In addition to employment and job placement assistance, PACE also provides care-coordinated case management to assist with family reunification, transitional housing, substance use disorder treatment groups, mental health treatment, recovery support services, and education.
“We are humbled and grateful for the contribution from Barnes & Thornburg, especially amid this trying year for so many in our community,” said Rhiannon Edwards, PACE’s executive director. “This donation will have an immediate impact, providing skills training and support services for dozens of our clients in Indianapolis.”
In addition to the foundation’s grants, Barnes & Thornburg attorneys and staff will contribute time and professional experience in support of the organizations.
Barnes & Thornburg’s Racial and Social Justice Foundation
The Barnes & Thornburg Racial and Social Justice Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization, was established in 2020 and funded entirely with personal donations from attorneys and staff of the firm. The foundation’s mission is to promote, advocate, and effect racial and social justice in our local communities and nationally.
The foundation made initial donations of $50,000 each to four organizations in four of Barnes & Thornburg’s markets – Atlanta, Indianapolis, Los Angeles and Minneapolis. As the foundation continues to grow in 2021, additional nonprofits and markets will be added to the mix.
“It’s time to not just speak out against racial and social injustices, but to translate those words into meaningful and tangible actions and commitments,” said Connie Lahn, the Racial and Social Justice Foundation president and managing partner of Barnes & Thornburg’s Minneapolis office. “As we reach the end of this challenging year, we’re proud to have put a stake in the ground, and we look forward to working with the amazing nonprofits we’ve selected. Their work inspires us to be better, and we hope with our support they can have an even greater impact in our communities.”
To choose grantees, the foundation employed a rigorous scoring system to vet charitable organizations against specific criteria that align with its mission and goals.
The foundation will work hand in hand with Barnes & Thornburg’s Racial Justice Committee, which is tasked with continually looking at how the firm works to address racial justice, both externally and internally. Learn more about the foundation’s work across the country.
With more than 700 attorneys and other legal professionals, Barnes & Thornburg is one of the largest law firms in the country. The firm serves clients worldwide from offices in Atlanta, California, Chicago, Delaware, Indiana, Michigan, Minneapolis, New York, Ohio, Raleigh, Salt Lake City, Texas and Washington, D.C.