Louis L. Reed Named Keynote Speaker for Dismas House’s Forgiveness Luncheon

NASHVILLE, TENN. — Dismas House, one of the largest residential reentry programs in Tennessee, has announced Louis L. Reed will be the keynote speaker for the organization’s annual Forgiveness Luncheon this fall.

Previously incarcerated for 14 years, Reed brings years of experience in criminal justice expertise, policy advocacy, and public health. Before his current role at the REFORM Alliance, Louis was the Director of National Organizing & Partnerships for Dream Corps Justice, where he grew the nation’s largest bi-partisan grassroots advocacy coalition through the Empathy Network.

Reed’s experience in government includes conceptualizing and serving as Director of the Mayor’s Office for Reentry Affairs in the City of Bridgeport, Connecticut. There, he spearheaded services for individuals returning to the city after incarceration. His policy reform experience includes leading advocacy for the historic First Step Act of 2018, which reduced the mandatory minimum sentences for certain drug offenses, expanded the scope of the safety valve, eliminated the stacking provision, and rendered the provisions of the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 retroactive. Highlighting the work of this reform legislation, the 2021 award-winning documentary, The First Step, prominently features Reed alongside commentator and activist Van Jones.

Reed is a TEDx speaker, producer for the Hulu series UnPrisoned, Huffington Post contributor, Council of Criminal Justice trustee, and Forbes Coaches Council Member on Prison Traumatic Stress Disorder. In addition to features on CNN, CBSN, and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Reed has received numerous accolades recognizing his work and leadership, including The Brigadoon’s 2020 Top 20 Influential Leaders award and a 2021 Ebony Magazine Power 100 nomination.

The Forgiveness Luncheon will be held on Tuesday, October 3, 2023, from noon – 1 p.m., at the Renaissance Nashville Hotel. Dismas House’s signature annual event provides the community an opportunity to celebrate second chances and financially support the organization’s mission of improving lives and strengthening communities. Funds from the event will directly benefit the nonprofit’s holistic reentry programming.

To become a sponsor or serve as a table host for the event, contact Jessica Guzman, Vice President of Development, at jguzman@dismas.org. For media inquiries, contact Victoria Roth, Director of Marketing & Communications, at vroth@dismas.org.