The brainchild of former Illinois Safe Schools Alliance ( The Alliance ) Executive Director and Transformative Justice Law Project Illinois ( TJLP ) Co-Founder Owen Daniel-McCarter, Esq. and former The Alliance Associate Director Alexia Rice-Henry, Values+Vision+Mission=Change has launched with a mission to create systemic change and transformation for its clients through services and nationwide college lectures.
For both Daniel-McCarter and Rice-Henry, this endeavor is the culmination of 20 years of combined experience helping people through their work and volunteer endeavors.
Daniel-McCarter's legal experience includes PreK-12 LGBTQ+ affirming policies and legislation, criminal defense and prisoner legal advocacy, identification documents for transgender people and civil rights law. While attending City University of New York School of Law, Daniel-McCarter worked with the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, Families for Freedom, the AIDS Center of Queens County and the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund.
Through his work at TJLP, Daniel-McCarter and his team provided free legal services and additional support to transgender people across Illinois. Prior to co-founding TJLP, Daniel-McCarter worked as the legal director of the TransLife Center where he successfully implemented a program that gave people of all gender identities access to gender-affirming healthcare regardless of their income status.
While at The Alliance, Daniel-McCarter wrote the transgender student inclusion policies that many schools have adopted. These guidelines were cited by the Obama Administration's Departments of Education and Justice in 2016 as best practices for schools to comply with federal anti-discrimination laws.
Rice-Henry has worked in social-justice non-profit administration for almost a decade including a stint as development director at Affinity Community Services and at The Alliance. In these roles she was responsible for managing budgets, human resource issues, grant reports and the overall fiscal health of both organizations.
Among the many grants Rice-Henry obtained for Affinity and The Alliance were from large private donors and state and federal grants ( AmeriCorps and the Illinois Department of Human Services ). She is also a board member of the Crossroads Fund and does independent consulting work on a myriad of issues.
Rice-Henry honed her skills at North Park University as both an undergrad and graduate student and as an AmeriCorps VISTA member with Illinois Campus Compact at DePaul University; she was also involved with DePaul University's University Ministries Department.
"Our whale tail logo explains/symbolizes some of our values including nourishment to others, balance between people and nature, depth and understanding of the meaningfulness of issues and freedom/resistance to captivity," said Rice-Henry.
Rice-Henry said that everything they do will come from a grassroots and values-based perspective. The entities they will support include small organizations and businesses, community organizers, dreamers and schemers in successful financial management, grant writing and values-driven fundraising and event planning. They will also help people across the U.S. change their name and gender markers on their identity documents and educate others on the intersection of the law and gender regulation.
Daniel-McCarter noted that they will help others create community-led legal clinics and teach people how to apply transformative justice models that eschew the prison industrial complex.
"I could not be happier to be partnering with Alexia," said Daniel-McCarter. "She brings a wealth of knowledge in financial management, event planning and organizational operations. Together, we will support dreamers and schemers changing the world in this critical moment in our political history."
"I am really excited about this new venture and the opportunity to provide these services to folks who share our same values‹‹," said Rice-Henry.
Addendum: Since the launch of this new endeavor, Daniel-McCarter has moved to Vermont. However, Daniel-McCarter will continue to be involved with the new organization.
See www.valuestochange.com/ for more information.