PHOTOS: Gala hosted by CNN’s John Berman; Actor John Slattery presented GOSO’s Social Justice Award to “Prison Dogs” filmmaker Rudy Valdez; Awardees included philanthropists and work placement partners Harry and Alex Adjmi, and GOSO partner and sponsor Deloitte
NEW YORK, NY—Thursday, April 27, 2017—The post-prison reentry organization Getting Out and Staying Out (GOSO) clast night celebrated thirteen years of hard work both on the part of the organization and the many young men who have accessed its programs to overcome obstacles and thrive.
In 2016, the number of young people who received educational, mental health and career training programming through GOSO grew by 57 percent, and the nonprofit’s internship-to-employment program GOSOWorks placed more than 70 percent of its participants in full-time jobs with the group’s more than 50 employment partners.
CNN’s John Berman, anchor of Early Start and the CNN Newsroom, hosted the celebration which was held at The Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers. Generous contributions will allow GOSO to further broaden services in its East Harlem offices and on-site at Rikers to help more young people stay out of jail and build productive futures.
Actor John Slattery (Mad Men, VEEP), presented the nonprofit’s Social Justice award to honoree filmmaker Rudy Valdez, a New York City-based documentarian committed to making cinematic, meaningful films about social, cultural and political issues. His films have included Prison Dogs, The Conversation Series, a New York Times OpDoc and HBO’s The Last Patrol. Valdez also serves as a mentor at the South Bronx-based Ghetto Film School, which aims to educate and mentor young filmmakers.
Celebrating GOSO’s accomplishments at the event were philanthropists Harry and Alex Adjmi, who were honored for their important role in creating career opportunities in the construction industry for formerly incarcerated young men, and Anthony J. Campanelli, Partner, Deloitte Financial Advisory Services, who accepted the award on behalf of Deloitte for “Partner of the Year” for its firm’s commitment to the ongoing work of GOSO.
- 01 – Actor John Slattery arrives with actress Talia Balsam
- 02 – CNN Anchor John Berman kicks off the evening 03 – GOSO Board Member Charles Kushner, Seryl Kushner, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., GOSO President Mark Goldsmith, Josh Kushner, Wendy Neu and friend
- 04 – GOSO participants with Actor John Slattery
- 05 – Honoree Rudy Valdez and Actor John Slattery
- 06 – GOSO Supporters Josh Kushner and Seryl Kushner
- 07 – GOSO Supporters Wendy Neu and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. with filmmaker and honoree Rudy Valdez
- 08 – Dos Toros co-founder and GOSOWorks Employment Partner Oliver Kremer and friends
- 09 – GOSO Participant King Tolen, who will be graduating from Kingsborough Community College this year
GOSO was founded 13 years ago when retired New York City cosmetics executive Mark Goldsmith visited Rikers Island through the “Principal for the Day” program. Goldsmith connected immediately with the young men he spoke with, who he realized could be successful with the practical direction and tools to create stability upon reentry. He began to mentor these young men at Rikers and upon their release. Meetings were held at a local coffee shop until 2005, when Goldsmith secured funding to open the nonprofit’s community-based East Harlem location, and to develop the strong network of partnerships with NYC agencies, community organizations and local businesses that exists today.
With a staff of licensed social workers, GOSO has established a reentry model that promotes education and vocational training, provides job readiness training and employment assistance, and offers supportive counseling and social services from the day of a participant’s incarceration until he is fully integrated back into the community outside of prison. Today, GOSO is proud that it has been able to serve over 3,000 young men, both inside Rikers and beyond, by connecting them with educational and job training opportunities imperative to their success. Just over 10% of GOSO participants have returned to the prison system, compared to a national average of 67% for this age group. GOSO has also developed partnerships throughout the city in order to provide young men with paid internships that help lead them toward careers, and has increased programming dramatically to accommodate a growing number of clients as its successes have heightened its profile.
“This wonderful event tonight is really to celebrate the tremendous successes of these hard-working young men,” said Mark Goldsmith, President and CEO of Getting Out and Staying Out. “This year was a record breaking one for GOSO. Our program is growing and we were able to give more young men in both in our East Harlem office and on Rikers Island opportunities to level the playing field and thrive in their communities. It is nights like this that help us fund our critical programs and give young people the robust job training and educational foundation they need to prevent them from going back to prison.”
About the Honorees
HARRY AND ALEX ADJMI: Inspiring others to engage in and support their local communities defines the Adjmi family, both in their personal and their professional lives. The brothers Adjmi are principals in A&H Acquisitions, a Manhattan-based real estate investment company with over 150 properties in New York, New Jersey, Boston, Miami, Chicago, and Los Angeles. At its core, A&H builds teams: of contractors, financial institutions, municipal agencies, and future tenants. So, it came quite naturally that A&H – spearheaded by Alex and Harry – would invite into its professional family tree an organization like GOSO. The Adjmis, through A&H Acquisitions, provide paid internships in the construction business that will lead to permanent employment for our young men. The Adjmi brothers believe in volunteerism and support many other philanthropic causes throughout New York City and beyond GOSO is proud to honor their dedication and advocacy for formerly incarcerated young men.
DELOITTE is part of the largest global professional services network in the world, providing industry leading audit, tax, consulting, and advisory services to many of the world’s most admired brands. Deloitte has been actively involved in the lives of GOSO participants through mentorship and job readiness trainings, and shown long-term commitment, demonstrated through outstanding board service. Deloitte is dedicated to helping GOSO reach its full potential by facilitating our staff professional development day, which is held quarterly. We are proud to recognize their unwavering commitment to the staff and participants of GOSO.
RUDY VALEZ is a New York City-based filmmaker committed to making cinematic, meaningful documentary films about social, cultural and political issues. Rudy got his start as a camera operator on the Peabody Award-winning, Sundance series Brick City, and his most recent credits include: Cinematographer for Academy Award-nominated Director Sebastian Junger’s film The Last Patrol (HBO); Director of Photography on The Conversation Series, a New York Times OpDoc; Cinematographer for the BET series Second Coming?: Will Black America Decide the 2012 Election?; Director of Photography for Prison Dogs, directed by Geeta Gandbhir and Perri Peltz and premiered at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival; Cinematographer for Buried Above Ground, directed by Ben Selkow and premiered at the Woodstock Film Festival. Valdez has several projects with completed principal photography and awaiting release. These credits include: In Libro Vitae, a documentary directed and produced by David O’Russell; The Talk a Sam Pollard documentary for PBS, and a passion project, Mommy’s House, a documentary about mandatory minimums and sentencing reform that Valdez has shot and directed. Rudy co-produces Find the Funny, a variety show that has premiered several comedy shorts he co-writes, directs and creates and is a proud volunteer as a mentor for the Ghetto Film School.
ABOUT GOSO: Getting Out and Staying Out (GOSO) is a reentry, youth and career development nonprofit organization that serves more than 1,000 justice-involved young men aged 16 to 24 citywide annually. Their goal is to help participants achieve their employment and educational goals, while avoiding further involvement in the criminal justice system. By providing access to education, employment, and counselling since 2004, GOSO has helped thousands of young men gain financial independence and become contributing members of their communities. The New York Times recently profiled GOSO’s successful GOSOWorks program, which connects young people to paid internships that lead to full-time jobs utilizing NYC Works Progress Funding.