Jackie Lacey, Los Angeles County District Attorney
YMCA of Metropolitan Los Angeles recently hosted its 44th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Brotherhood Breakfast at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel. The non-profit organization honored Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey with the Brotherhood Award for her exemplary leadership in LA’s criminal justice system and continuous dedication to protecting and serving the community. Lacey was joined onstage by the ceremony’s Keynote Speaker Marx Cazenave, co-founder and Former CEO of Progress Investment Management Company.
Addressing 600 guests, Cazenave delivered a compelling speech about his life journey and learning the importance of persistence, humility and service.
The LA Y’s annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Brotherhood Breakfast commemorates Dr. King’s legacy and celebrates his vision of a just and inclusive world for all. Prominent LA business, civic and community leaders gather each year to pay tribute to individuals, selected by the Y, who uphold Dr. King’s values of equality, social justice and community service.
“Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday is the perfect time to salute Jackie Lacey for her extraordinary leadership in our community,” said Alan Hostrup, YMCA of Metropolitan Los Angeles president and CEO.
“Ms. Lacey’s personal conviction for fairness and equality has led to her impressive professional accomplishments, and we cannot be more thrilled to honor her with our Brotherhood Award. She encompasses everything Dr. King stood for and is a wonderful role model for our youth.”
Lacey’s career includes successfully prosecuting LA County’s first race-based hate crime murder, which earned her national recognition. She went on to become the 42nd District Attorney in 2012, making her the first woman and first African-American to serve as Los Angeles County District Attorney since the office was established in 1850. A true pioneer, Lacey’s work has focused on protecting public safety, addressing jail overcrowding, targeting high-tech criminals, safeguarding seniors from financial abuse, etc. Her many achievements include the creation of sentencing courts for nonviolent offenders as well as leading the formation of LA County’s Criminal Justice Mental Health Project.
In addition, Lacey dedicated years to educating students at a Boyle Heights elementary school about the criminal justice system – an act which mirrors the Y’s work to educate and nurture our community’s youth.
“My favorite part of the ‘I Have a Dream’ speech is where Dr. King says ‘I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character’,” said Lacey upon accepting her Brotherhood Award.
“We have come a long way, and must continue working together to ensure a brighter future for our children.”