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Together Towards Justice

Join Advancing Real Change, Inc., for our annual virtual event when we will celebrate excellence in mitigation and the community of supporters and partners driving change in our criminal legal system.


  • October 19, 2023
  • 6:30 pm EDT
  • Suggested donation: $25

Celebrate excellence in mitigation


We will honor the winners of our Emerging Leader and Muhammad-White awards. Hear from Executive Director Elizabeth Vartkessian and ARC staff about the impact of your support on individual lives and the legal system. Former client Adam Carmon will speak about his experience spending 20 years unjustly imprisoned and what ARC has meant to him. Celebrate the change we are making together, along with other mitigators, defenders, partners, and friends.

Can’t make it on October 19?

The recording will be available to everyone who registers. And we’ll be hosting a re-watch party during lunch on October 23 at 1:00pm Eastern. Join us and get another chance to talk to Executive Director Liz Vartkessian and other ARC staff.

More about our awards

Each year, Advancing Real Change, Inc., presents two awards. The Muhammad-White Award honors a mitigation specialist whose body of work has profoundly advanced the field of mitigation. The Emerging Leader Award is given to a mitigation specialist who represents the future of the profession. The winners are selected by a committee of mitigation specialists and attorneys from across the country.

Learn more about our awards:

The Muhammad-White Award

Advancing Real Change (ARC), Inc. began the Muhammad-White Award in 2020 to recognize and celebrate a mitigation professional’s excellence throughout their career.

This award has been named for two clients who have played key roles in ARC, Inc.’s history. Malachi Muhhammad was sentenced to life in prison at age 17 and released in 2020. Our relationship with Malachi helped Advancing Real Change, Inc., better understand the critical role of the client relationship in achieving just outcomes and success after re-entry. And another client who helped us advance mitigation to areas beyond capital work. This award represents the many lessons we have learned from each of our clients and their legacy in the way we carry those lessons forward in our work.

The recipient of this award will be someone who has raised the standard of mitigation, not only for their clients, but also for the criminal defense community.

The Emerging Leader Award

Advancing Real Change, Inc.’s Emerging Leader Award recognizes and celebrates a mitigation professional in the early stages of their career. The honoree will be an individual who is laying the groundwork for excellence in their direct casework, and has potential to move the field forward through dedication to high standards, commitment to continued professional development, and encouragement of other practitioners.

In short, the recipient of this award will be someone who represents the future of mitigation work.

The 3am Warrior Award 

The 3am Warrior Award acknowledges the tenacity and commitment of one of our partners in the capital and criminal defense fields. ARC staff members determine the winner of this award independently of the awards committee.

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