All posts by bwarne

SAVE THE DATE: July 7th • Free Expungement Fair for Everyday People at Amity Foundation

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Interested in getting an expungement or felony reduction?

Attorneys and paralegals from the Los Angeles Public Defenders Office will be onsite providing FREE post-conviction relief.

9:30am – 12pm

July 7th 2018

Amity Foundation’s RainMaker Hall

3750 S. Grand Ave.  LA, CA 9007


SAVE THE DATE: June 2nd Free Expungement Fair at The Amity Foundation

By | Events | No Comments

Interested in getting an expungement or felony reduction?

Attorneys and paralegals from the Los Angeles Public Defenders Offcice will be onsite providing FREE post-conviction relief.

10am – 2pm

June 2nd 2018

Amity Foudation

3750 S. Grand Ave.

LA, CA 9007

click to register


NY Times: Out of Prison, and Staying Out, After 3rd Strike in California

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LOS ANGELES — William Taylor III, once a lifer in state prison for two robbery convictions and the intent to sell a small packet of heroin, was savoring a moment he had scarcely dared to imagine: his first day alone, in a place of his own.

Read Full Article >>

From Jail to Skid Row, where ‘all healing needs are met’ LA Times

By | de-incarerate, Press | No Comments

Recently released inmates walk past the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department Community Reentry and Resource Center outside the Twin Towers jail in downtown Los Angeles in 2014. (Los Angeles Times)


Read full story >> 

Post Patriarchy – Celebrating the Feminine

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Amity’s Dragonfly Gallery opens a new show POST PATRIARCHY featuring Tucson based artist Lori Andersen who’s work of acrylic, mixed media, and bronze sculptures.

Lori’s art is an extension of her Shamanic vision and art holds the healing intention of the artist. In 2001, Lori became a supporter at a Lakota Sundance Ceremony and eventually was called by spirit to become a sun dancer.

The exhibit runs September 30th – November 30th, 2017.

Please come and enjoy the inspiration art works, good eats with a “5 CAN’T MISS FOOD TRUCK”  and the eloquent and original music of Heather Lil Mama Hardy Band on famous 4th Avenue.

Grand Opening & Fundraiser Event

October 14th, 6-9 PM

Nations Creations Food Truck

Featured in Edible Baja’s “5 CAN’T MISS FOOD TRUCKS”

Heather Lil Mama Hardy Band

Doors open at 6pm

721 N. 4th Ave. Tucson, Arizona
Free Parking


Proceeds from the Dragonfly Gallery benefit the children of Amity Foundation’s Dragonfly Village.

To learn more please visit:










Edible Baja’s 5 Can’t-Miss Tucson Food Trucks

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Nations Creations featured in Edible Baja’s 5 Must Try Food Trucks.

Nations Creations Food Truck

Fry bread can be traced back to the days before trendy food trucks, and Nations Creations food truck is giving it a healthy spin. The innovative food truck offers vegetarian-only options, from bean-and-veggie topped fry bread to fresh-squeezed juices and smoothies.

What we get: Vegan tofu taco with the juice of the day. $10. Visit their Facebook page to see where you can find them.

How Patina teamed with formerly incarcerated cooks to prepare food for the Emmys

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 Full Article Daily Dish

By Zan Romanoff

The sight of the team preparing salads for the Primetime Emmys Governors Ball dinner, the largest formal sit-down dinner in North America, resembled a laboratory more than it did a kitchen. On Sunday evening, some 250 cooks were working in the L.A. Convention Center’s heavily air-conditioned prep space, winding their way through rows of folding tables set end-to-end with 4,200 gleaming white plates.

A few hundred feet away, the Convention Center’s cavernous interior had been transformed into a backdrop fit for the Hollywood spectacular it was about to host: Gold cylinders hung from the ceiling made the room feel like the interior of an elaborate pipe organ. There were calla lilies on every table and champagne cocktails being mixed at the bars in every corner, plus a “winner’s circle” where Alec Baldwin and Nicole Kidman could have their names engraved onto their newly awarded Emmys.

But the kitchen was a kitchen — sober, modest, efficient. Each cook on the line was responsible for plating an individual element of the salad: placing tomatoes or plums or a few leaves of basil, scooping quinoa or drizzling vinaigrette. Last of all came Ernest Rich, wiping the plates, making sure there was not a grain of quinoa or a splash of oil out of place.

Most of the cooks working that night were regularly employed by Patina Restaurant Group, which has catered the ball for the last 22 years, or else came to the job through Patina’s on-call catering list.

Rich, however, was unusual: At 58, he’s new to the world of food service. In fact, he’s still relatively new to the world outside of prison, where he served 19 years for charges related to what he describes as “a gram of dope.” He went in in 1997, at the height of the three-strikes law, when Motorola was introducing the first flip phones; he emerged to drug-related sentence reduction legislation, a world of omnipresent iPhones.

Edgar Ulisses Flores, left, and James Rich — trained by L.A. Kitchen — prep salad dishes in the kitchen for the 69th Emmy Awards Governors Ball. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

“There’s a lot of things going on right now that makes it twice as hard for a person to get his life back on track,” Rich says, so he’s especially grateful for the nonprofit L.A. Kitchen, which trained him in the basics of food service work and connected him to his current job with Patina. Normally he’s in the kitchen at Rise Up Café, a site Patina manages out of the downtown California Endowment building, but today his plates would be going out to guests such as Oprah Winfrey and Reese Witherspoon.

L.A. Kitchen is the brainchild of an entrepreneur and philanthropist named Rober Egger. It runs a job training program for people interested in getting into the culinary world; classes, usually composed of about 20 people each, are about half young adults who have aged out of the foster care system and half older folks who are either formerly incarcerated or homeless and in need of job training and life-skills coaching. Rich graduated as a part of Class 9 in April; Class 12 had its first day of training last week.

L.A. Kitchen began collaborating with Patina early this year when Rise Up Café agreed to serve as an internship site for L.A. Kitchen students and prioritize hiring them after graduation. Collaborating on the Governors Ball was as a natural next step: 10 of the chefs on site on Sunday were L.A. Kitchen graduates.

It’s important to Egger that his cooks aren’t anyone’s charity case.

“That’s what I like, is that kind of surprise element of, you can’t tell, can you?” Egger says. “Guess which one of these men and women were in prison. You can’t.” They’re well-trained, with the same skill set as their professional peers. Joachim Splichal, Patina’s chef and founder, can attest to that: He was on hand Sunday to make sure everything — every single element of every single dish — was up to Patina’s standards.

The L.A. Kitchen cooks’ skills are thanks in part to the rigorous training provided by their chef instructor, Charlie Negrete, who worked at swank restaurants such as the Peninsula Beverly Hills and Bottega Louie before his father died, homeless and addicted to drugs, and inspired him to seek out more meaningful work in the culinary world.

“Chef Charlie, he’s, like, this is what you’re going to be expecting. I was just, like, yeah, yeah, OK, and then I got to the kitchen [and] it was, like: I know how to do this,” says Edgar Ulysses Flores, a baby-faced L.A. Kitchen grad, newly 30, who was also helping prep the Governors Ball. Flores spent 11 years in jail, beginning when he was 18; most of his adult life so far has passed behind bars.

Now, says Flores, “I can cook octopus with a sous vide. Shucking oysters, I learned how to do that. Speed, skill. Everything I know, I learned through them.”