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Breaking News! Susan Burton Named 2012 Purpose Prize Winner!

Susan Burton | CNN Hero of the Year Finalist for Prisoner Re-entry Program

The awards keep rolling in for Susan Burton, whom we interviewed in 2010, and her A New Way of Life Reentry Program. She was named a CNN Hero in 2010 for her amazing work helping formerly incarcerated women have the sober, safe shelter and other support services they needed to get back on their feet.

Today, Forbes.com just announced that Susan is a 2012 Purpose Prize Winner! The Purpose Prize, along with $100,000, is awarded by Encore.org to people 60 years of age and older who are truly making a difference in the world. Congratulations, Susan!

Susan will be a guest on The Women’s Eye Radio Show December 29-30, 2012 on 1480KPHX.com

Women’s Eye Reflections for the New Year–#2

More ideas and wisdom from the 2010 EYE Interviews to reflect on for the New Year…

Cheryl Dorsey--Echoing GreenCheryl Dorsey

“I’ve always walked between two worlds–the inner city and the hallowed halls of Harvard; my black and white friends; Wall Street and the social entrepreneurs I give money to. I try to bring strange bedfellows together to make things better for family and community.” Photo: Tony Deifill

Amy ErnstAmy Ernst

“It’s chaos in every direction; I truly don’t know how these incredible women wake up every day and keep fighting to survive. I can say I’m helping them, but in truth, despite being in the midst of such suffering and pain, they’re renewing my faith in the strength and spirit of humanity.”


Rebecca TraisterRebecca Traister

“…when most women I know cry, it’s out of anger, frustration or exhaustion…It’s a way of expressing fury, and the reason that fury comes out in tears I’m sure has a lot to do with the way we’ve long been conditioned not to express our fury in other ways –not to yell or throw things.”


Angie ChauAngie Chau

“Write and keep at it; as you never want to stop growing as a human being, never stop growing as a writer. Be patient with yourself. ..If a girl who arrived in this country with no English can prevail, so can you.”



Susan BurtonSusan Burton

“I never thought I would have ended up at Harvard or a ‘Top Ten Hero’ or have built an organization like ‘A New Way of Life.’ I just wanted to help. I wanted at end of the day to have done something good.”

Susan Burton, CNN Hero Of The Year Finalist, On Prisoner Reentry

Susan Burton | CNN Hero of the Year Finalist, On Prisoner Re-entry

UPDATE: 5/7/17: A Modern-Day Harriet Tubman by Nicholas Kristof

UPDATE 8/28/13: The First Ever Criminal Justice Film Festival on Oct. 20/21 in Los Angeles grows out of Susan’s efforts.

UPDATE 12/11/12: Susan’s new documentary “Susan” debuts online

UPDATE 12/3/12: Susan will be a guest on TWE Radio 12/29 -30/12.

UPDATE 12/2/12: “A New Way of Life” celebrates with their 14th Annual Fundraising Gala Dec. 9th in Los Angeles.  Guests will preview a new documentary, “Susan,” based on Burton’s life and how she has transformed the lives of over 600 women. 

UPDATE 9/20/12: Susan appears on The Ricki Lake Show

By Pamela Burke/October 10, 2011

Susan Burton is the founder of an award-winning reentry program for female ex-offenders in South Los Angeles. To date, her non-profit organization “A New Way of Life” has helped more than 500 women once incarcerated get back on their feet.

Susan knows how difficult life can be. After her 5-year-old son was accidentally killed in 1981, she ended up in prison six different times. She got clean in 1997 and never looked back.

This year she was nominated to be CNN’s Hero of the Year and is now one of the final ten candidates from more than 100 countries. The winner is decided in November by people who vote online here. The total prize is $125,000.

I interviewed Susan eight years ago for womensenews.org. I sensed then she was someone with very special talents. When I heard about her recent success, I was thrilled for her and wanted to find out about this Hero of the Year nomination and how her reentry program was doing.

” I just thought if I could help a few women like me who were trapped come back home to South LA, that was my goal. It just sort of took on its own steam and synergy”…. Susan Burton

When I spoke to Susan, she told me she was on her way to Harvard University. She’ll explain… [Read more…]