Ten years is a long time to serve with an organization. It tends to grow on you and slowly become part of who you are. A bond grows up between you, the people serving and working within and the very essence of the work and mission envisioned. It extends beyond the walls of the building and into the heart and home of those involved. It becomes a very real part of us. This month, we took the opportunity to connect with one of Georgia Justice Project’s (GJP) most dedicated Board Members, the Rev. George M. Maxwell, Jr. of The Cathedral of St. Philip.
George came to GjP by way of his involvement with Emmaus House near Turner Field in 2004. As their newly placed Interim Director, he reached out to GJP’s Executive Director, Doug Ammar to be of service because he liked what we were doing in the community and saw a strong connection with his work in urban ministry. George’s background as a veteran attorney with a major law firm and eventual transition into the Episcopal priesthood was a natural match for GJP’s mission and work. He quickly became a trusted advisor and friend to the organization and in July 2005, joined the board.
George served as GJP’s Board Chair from 2009 through 2011. One of the outstanding characteristics of George’s leadership is the fact that he chaired the Board amidst the backdrop of one of the worst recessions in modern time. In his role, George helped to guide GJP as a unified team of board members and staff through a challenging and sometimes tumultuous road to the necessary shifts needed in order to sustain and grow our mission. One of the most difficult challenges the organization faced was the ultimate dismantling of the landscape business in 2010 which George facilitated with the skill and sensitivity needed to unify and support the board and staff.
George continues to support GJP as one of its Executive Committee members. His uncommon blend of keen analytic ability, appreciation for people and humanity, his breadth and depth of experience and ever positive outlook has been a key catalyst for GJP’s strategic agenda. George has been an insightful thought partner and advisor in most every area of operations at GJP including, fund raising and development -meeting with foundations and funders; strategic planning; board leadership and development; as well as staff guidance and counsel.
George’s unique leadership style and influence has left an indelible footprint on every aspect of GJP’s work. In many ways, GJP is what it is today because of his wisdom, guidance and commitment to our mission. We are privileged to have George as part of GJP’s Board and to know that GJP has played a role in shaping him as well.
The Georgia Justice Project is a group of lawyers and social workers advocating for poor people in the criminal justice system. But, if you look a little closer, you will see that they are really engaged in the work of healing the body of which we are all a part. It is sacred work.
Read what George has to say about GJP here: A Reflection on GJP>>