DPS-BLM-MARCH-06072020-KS-445

Denver School Board member Tay Anderson, left, and Elisabeth Epps from the Colorado Freedom Fund stop in front of East High School and address their support for Senate Bill 20-217 that is before the Colorado Legislature. The two joined Denver Public Schools students as they gather at Civic Center Park and march to the Martin Luther King, Jr. statue at City park in support of Black Lives Matter on June 7, 2020 in Denver, Colorado.

Elisabeth Epps, who in 2018 established a revolving community bond fund for those Coloradans who are unable to pay cash bail, has received the University of Virginia School of Law's award for public service.

The Colorado Freedom Fund has raised in excess of $1.3 million and has paid bond for the pretrial release of more than 1,000 people. Epps, a 2011 graduate of UVA law, is one of the three alumni recipients of this year's Shaping Justice Award for Extraordinary Achievement.

“The work of those of us who chart our own course is important, and I appreciate that being recognized," she said. Last year, Epps, who leads the Denver Justice Project, also received an award from the Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center.

She worked as a public defender in Jefferson County, where she said she saw Black, indigenous and poor communities bearing the disproportionate burdens of drug crime policing.

"The Denver Justice Project exists for three reasons, all of which are directly related to how drug use and abuse are handled in the criminal legal system," Epps said in 2018. "(1) to transform the culture of law enforcement; (2) to end mass incarceration; and (3) to achieve racial justice. Our work at DJP is aimed at dismantling and replacing the systems that allow racist drug laws to harm our community."

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.