Glenn E. Martin, Prison Reform Advocate, Wins Brooke Russell Astor Award

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Frank Monroe shown with noted journalist and professor Melissa Harris-Perry at event. Photo: Angela Pham/

The New York Public Library presented this year’s Brooke Russell Astor Award to criminal justice reform advocate Glenn E. Martin whose organization JustLeadershipUSA is dedicated to cutting the U.S. correctional population in half by 2030, at its 2017 Annual Spring Dinner Thursday. Each year, the award is given to individual who is tireless in their dedication to the City and who has contributed substantially to its enrichment.

The NYPL Annual Spring Dinner honors individuals whose lives exemplify dedication to lifelong learning.

The evening highlighted a new group of individuals whose lives have been deeply impacted by local branches of the Library, and whose stories are being shared in a new collection of “Library Stories”. In these vignettes, participants including Ron Clark, Nooria Nodret Heiskell, Adriana Blancarte-Hayward, and Khadija Bhuiyan, share stories about how programming geared towards ESL, patrons with disabilities and more helped them to overcome challenges and fostered a sense of creativity and adventure that led one participant to learn about sailing and build and sail his own boat.

The evening featured a very special performance by three-time TONY Award Winner, Bernadette Peters who sang a rousing rendition of Rogers & Hammerstein’s “There Is Nothing Like A Dame” from the musical South Pacific, and Stephen Sondheim’s “Children Will Listen” from Into the Woods.


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