Brittany BarnettCo-Founder of Buried Alive Project Dallas, TX Award Year: 2022
Brittany Barnett is Co-founder of the Buried Alive Project, a national nonprofit that works to advance the movement of reforming our nation’s criminal justice system through litigation, legislation, and humanization. While working as a corporate attorney, Barnett was committed to pro bono representation of clients in federal prison. Her dedication to this life-changing work resulted in executive clemency for numerous clients from both Presidents Obama and Trump, as well as freedom for several additional clients through the federal court system. Inspired by her own difficult experience of having a mother in prison, Barnett founded Girls Embracing Mothers (GEM), a nonprofit empowering women in prison and their daughters to break the cycle of incarceration and lead successful lives with vision and purpose. In partnership with the Texas prison system, GEM creates space for intergenerational healing and works to lessen the impact of maternal separation with enhanced prison visitation sessions between incarcerated mothers and their daughters. Barnett is also the founder of XVI Capital Partners and Milena Reign, social enterprises devoted to shifting the paradigm to show the world-changing impact that formerly incarcerated people can have when they have access to resources not to merely survive, but to thrive.