University of Denver

A Special Thank You to IAALS’ Donors, Who Are Helping Change the Justice System for the Better

Communications Coordinator

On September 25, IAALS hosted a virtual donor appreciation reception to recognize and thank the many generous donors who make all our work possible.

 “We all share something in common, I think,” said Sam Walker, interim executive director, as he opened the program, “Which is an appreciation for something that might strike some as an abstraction—the rule of law. But it’s not an abstraction, because it’s a pillar of our American way of life and our democracy. And the fact that you have chosen to be involved in our work and to contribute time, talent, and resources to it means so very much to us.”

The philanthropy of individual donors, organizations, and foundations have played an integral role in IAALS’ story. “It has been part of IAALS since the beginning—private philanthropy, visionaries, characters in our story, who have been critical to conflict resolution and solving problems,” said Carol Miller, director of strategic partnerships. “You and they are the heroes, the protagonists in our story. Each one of you, individually and collectively. IAALS wouldn’t even have a story to tell without you.”

A number of donors gave remarks during the reception about why supporting IAALS and its mission is so important, and we unveiled a commemorative plaque with donors’ names, which will be displayed prominently in the foyer of IAALS in John Moye Hall on the University of Denver campus.

Rebecca Love Kourlis, IAALS’ founding executive director, provided some keynote remarks during a fireside chat with Sam Walker, and expressed her gratitude for the continued support of IAALS’ future, especially in these uncertain times. “It gives meaning to everything we have done together—to all of the successes—and it is a promise for successes yet to come.”

Becky and Sam also discussed the next chapter in IAALS’ story, as we look toward the future with four goals in mind:

  • To imagine “access to justice” as broadly as possible at scale in the American legal system
  • To elevate the voices of the people who go through our justice system and to actually listen to their experiences on a systemic level, whether it is in seeking and obtaining legal advice or going through the  court process
  • To be data-driven—to seek truth from data and to go where that data leads
  • To be a convener of disparate, fractious voices for the sake of solving problems

“The reality of IAALS relies not just on the vision of the executive director and of the whole team,” Becky said. “It relies on the vision of the donors, because it’s a hard thing to wrap your head and heart around: to talk about we’re going to change the justice system for the better, to have justice we can all believe in, to have access to real, impartial justice for every American.” Donors have to share that vision—one that’s big, bold, and requires constant vigilance—and IAALS’ donors are unique in their capacity to internalize that vision and drive that work forward.

IAALS wouldn’t be what it is without the generosity and support of our extraordinary, visionary donors, and we’re grateful to everyone as we work toward justice we can believe in. Click here for ways to get involved, donate, and invest in IAALS and the future of the American legal system.