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Spotlight: JoAnne Epps Hero of Justice Award

Spotlight: JoAnne Epps Hero of Justice Award This year, we are so proud to honor the legacy of former Temple University President JoAnne Epps with the naming of the JoAnne Epps Hero of Justice Award and the presentation of that award to all Project clients, in recognition of their sustained fight for justice.

As our co-founder David Richman put it: "Would there have been a Pennsylvania Innocence Project without the support of JoAnne Epps? We will never know."

JoAnne Epps, former Temple University President and giant in the legal field, was our champion in ways both big and small. She embraced our mission from the very beginning, participating in the 2006 meetings where the seed for establishing our Project was planted and providing us with a home at Temple's Beasley School of Law that allowed us to open our doors in 2009.

President Epps was there with us to welcome guests at our inaugural event in 2009, her enthusiasm clear as we brought the innocence movement to Pennsylvania. Five years later, we were proud to honor President Epps, Dean of Temple Law School at the time, with our Maureen Rowley Award in recognition of her incredible contributions to advancing Justice in Philadelphia and beyond.

She was deeply personally committed to our mission and constantly ensured that we had what we needed to grow, from a small one-room office to a statewide team of 10 now housed in Philadelphia at Temple Center City.

In 2024, we are honored to carry forward her legacy in the best way we can - by presenting the inaugural JoAnne Epps Hero of Justice Award to each and every freed and exonerated person who has become a part of the PAIP family in these 15 years. Please join us on May 8th in Philadelphia and donate to support this legacy if you are able. Learn more about the event here.

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