Welcome Joyce Hilton–Number 500!

Women’s Voices recently reached an important milestone when Joyce Hilton became our 500th member. Joyce says she was inspired to join Women’s Voices after reading in our newsletter about our positions on social justice issues, especially advocacy for children.

In January she came to her first monthly meeting at the Heights. She was interested in hearing our speaker, Blake Strode of ArchCity Defenders, a nonprofit law firm that provides legal services to those in need. Joyce has witnessed problems with our criminal justice system first-hand. She helped her learning-disabled nephew when he was arrested for a crime that he didn’t commit and could not afford an attorney. Her nephew’s public defender was overloaded with other cases. So Joyce stepped in to provide background information to assist with his defense. She explained her nephew’s plight to people from his job, church, and school, and many responded with letters attesting to her nephew’s good character. She also met with the prosecutor several times. Upon her nephew’s release, the prosecuting attorney told Joyce that without her work, her nephew would have gone down a much different path. Of the time-consuming, year-long ordeal Joyce says, “It wore me out. It made me think differently about how things happen. I saw how a young person gets caught up in the system with no help, no lawyer.”

Joyce continues helping others by participating in the many volunteer programs that her employer, CitiBank, supports. We are proud that she has joined Women’s Voices, bringing experience and commitment that will be an asset as we shape our future activities.