Gordon Philanthropies Supports Dorsey Nunn on the Launch of his Latest Memoir


Gordon Philanthropies Supports Dorsey Nunn on the Launch of his Memoir What Kind of Bird Can’t Fly.


Criminal Justice reform advocate Dorsey Nunn premiered the launch of his memoir What Kind of Bird Can’t Fly. Co-authored by former LA Times reporter Lee Romney, the launch was held at The Last Book Store and hosted by Emmy Award-winner and KCAL news anchor Chauncy Glover. The event featured a reflection on Dorsey’s life and how he built a nationwide movement to restore dignity and justice to millions of Americans impacted by the social justice system.

After being sentenced to life in prison at 19, Dorsey Nunn was released on parole in 1981. Since then, he has dedicated himself to shedding light on forced labor in prisons, supporting affected families, and addressing reentry challenges. “I could hardly read or write when I was incarcerated at 19 years- old, and I wasn’t alone. The system failed me and my community. The thing that saved me was the education I received from prison yard classes organized by liberation groups,” recalled Dorsey Nunn, Author, and Executive Director of Legal Services for Prisoners with Children.

With over four decades of expertise in criminal justice reform, Nunn’s leadership at Legal Services for Prisoners with Children has been instrumental in establishing several nationally acclaimed reform organizations and movements, such as All of Us or None, Critical Resistance, and the Formerly Incarcerated and Convicted People and Families Movement. Recognized by both federal and local authorities, Nunn has been honored with the White House Champion of Change Award by President Obama, as well as the U.S. Senate Certificate of Recognition from Senator Jackie Speier and Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass. Dr. Cornell West has hailed Nunn as “one of the grand love warriors and freedom fighters of his generation.”

Nunn’s book reading and signing is made possible by Gordon Philanthropies, A New Way of Life Reentry Project, and Pitzer College’s Inside-Out Pathway-to-BA due to their shared commitment to providing literacy and educational opportunities to systems-impacted communities.

“Dorsey Nunn has long been a partner and friend in the fight to end mass incarceration and improve the lives of incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people and their families,” said Susan Burton, A New Way of Life Reentry Project Founder. “I am honored to celebrate the release of his book as it captures an important story of determination and strength.”

“Throughout human existence, stories of survival and triumph have been told. The publishing world is finally including the experiences of people with an incarceration history,” said Romarilyn Ralston, Senior Director of the Justice Education Initiative at the Claremont Colleges. “Dorsey’s story will no doubt be among the greatest ever told.”

“Nunn’s memoir is a testament to the power of education for both the individual and their community,” said Sylvia Beanes, Executive Director of Gordon Philanthropies. “Gordon Philanthropies, A New Way of Life Reentry Project, and Pitzer College Inside-Out Pathway-to-BA are proud to support this book reading and signing. Providing meaningful educational opportunities, such as the Pitzer College’s Inside-Out Pathway-to-BA program changes a person’s life trajectory powerfully, many times leading them from poverty to middle-class socioeconomic status, and, most importantly, reduces recidivism.”

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