A New Way Of Life’s Annual Gala Is Here

On the morning of the gala, ANWOL residents will receive makeovers donated by Chanel. After their makeup sessions, the women will ride to the event in a decked out party bus.

A New Way Of Life’s Annual Gala Is Here


The time has come for the annual A New Way of Life (ANWOL) Gala and Awards reception. The 19th annual event will take place Sunday, December 3, at The L. A. Hotel Downtown.

On the morning of the gala, ANWOL residents will receive makeovers donated by Chanel. After their makeup sessions, the women will ride to the event in a decked out party bus.

Upon arrival residents will join the red carpet pre show with celebrity presenters like actor Chike Okonkwo, known for his role in “Being Mary Jane” and “Birth of a Nation;” “Shameless” actor Sheldon Bailey; actress Taja V. Simpson of “Tyler Perry’s Boo 2! A Madea Halloween;” actress Ptosha Storey of “Empire” and “If Loving You Is Wrong” and retired Superior Court Judge Peter Espinoza.

Laura Govan of Basketball wives fame, actress Tammy Townsend of Disney Channel’s “KC Undercover,” music artists, ANWOL board members, politicians, community and religious leaders and more will also grace the carpet.

Following the red carpet experience, the guests will gather inside for the dinner and ceremony. Ingrid Archie of A New Way of Life will kick off the ceremony with a presentation about “The Progression” which is the gala’s theme. Archie’s presentation will give attendees a glimpse into what many women go through as they progress from where they are to where they need to be.

“We are often over criminalized and when we come home we are left to pick up the pieces to an invisible puzzle coupled with little or no resources. As a woman goes through A New Way of Life, they get critical resources and support that are not usually available in our communities,” explains Archie. “And what happens is that women are able to thrive by being able to receive supportive services in order to reunify with family and successfully reintegrate back into society.”

This year’s “The Progression” theme demonstrates the vision of marching forward to create safe spaces to heal and step into a new way of life.

The 2017 honorees are champions of the movement to mend and end the trauma and consequences of convictions and incarceration, while advancing system change towards a more just and humane criminal system.

Senator Holly J. Mitchell, recipient of the Community Champion Award, has spent her career fighting poverty, advancing women’s rights, reforming the criminal justice system and creating a California in which all people can thrive. She has authored dozens of landmark laws including putting an end to policies that drive families deeper into poverty; limiting the unfair seizure of personal assets; ending sentencing enhancements for low level drug crimes; decriminalizing prostitution for child victims of sex trafficking, and substantive reforms to the juvenile justice system.

Honorees also include Impact Justice (Movement Builder Award), Civil Rights Attorney Benjamin L. Crump, esq (Industry Impact Award), and A New Way of Life’s Legal Department (Flozelle Woodmore Memorial Award).

The ANWOL Legal department is humbled and excited to be the recipient of an award. “Flozelle fought for what others said was impossible and made it possible. By never turning away those who came to her for help, she lived by the words ‘none of us are free until all of us are free.’ We strive to follow her example, and are still working on stretching our imaginations as radically and powerfully as she did in order to achieve the impossible,” said the ANWOL legal department.

ANWOL legal team member, Mihal Ansik and her clients contributed to the efforts to pass SB 213, which streamlines the criminal record exemption process for family members - such as grandparents, aunts, and uncles - who are trying to keep children in their families out of foster care by becoming caregivers.

This will be the first ANWOL gala experience for many of the women affiliated with the organization. A New Way of Life office associate Myesha Johnson is looking forward to the big night.

“Since joining A New Way of Life this will be my first year attending and I am humbled and super excited to celebrate this year’s honorees that are helping to end the consequences of convictions and incarceration,” said Johnson.

Each ANWOL gala is special and serves as an opportunity to celebrate the organization’s accomplishments of the past year and to invite more people to join the movement so that we can go into the next year even stronger.

Sponsors for the event include the Drug Policy Alliance, The California Endowment, the Office of Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, 2nd District, the Office of Los Angeles City Councilman Curren Price, Affordable Housing CDC, Bill Resnick and Michael Stubbs, Office of Senator Steven Bradford, District 35; Californians for Safety and Justice, Open Society Foundations, Omnia Foundation, USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work, Pacific Premier Bank, Legal Services for Prisoners with Children/All Of Us Or None, Lucy's Auto, Keller Williams Realty - Silicon Beach, Andrew's Auto Service Center and the Los Angeles Regional Reentry Partnership. In-kind sponsors are Murad, Oilmi Beauty, Tim Sher, Sheldon Bailey, Footnanny, Tavis Smiley, and more.

If you would like to attend, visit anewwayoflife.org to purchase tickets. Tickets will also be available at the door. The red- carpet reception begins at 5pm followed by a dinner and awards ceremony at 6pm. The L. A. Hotel Downtown is located at 333 South Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, CA 90071.