What is REAL Hope?

The MISSION of the Real Hope Committee is to provide a comprehensive process to change the typical outcome.

The REAL Hope Committee Executive Board is composed of public and private sector leaders within the State of Texas that are dedicated to driving tangible results in the areas of prison and justice reform with the state. The Executive Board members are responsible for identifying barriers and issues to be addressed via subcommittees. The Executive Board meets on a quarterly basis.

Subcommittee members are composed of members in the community and they are responsible for developing solutions to be presented to the applicable bodies for evaluation and implementation. The community subcommittee members submit areas of focus and consideration as it relates to prison or justice reform whether local or statewide to the Executive Director. There are currently five (5) subcommittees:

  1. Legislative Engagement
  2. Criminal Justice Reform
    1. Judicial Process
    2. Law Enforcement/Policing
    3. Prison Reform
    4. Probation/Parole
  3. Community & Faith-Based Engagement
    1. School to Prison Pipeline
  4. Corporate Engagement
    1. Education & Training
    2. Workforce Development
  5. Health & Mental Health Care

Annually, a Hope Summit is organized by the REAL Hope Committee. The purpose of the Summit is to provide a platform and opportunity for the REAL Hope Committee to share their progress, to educate and share best practices and to provide community updates on prison reform efforts underway.

Visit and bookmark our virtual flyer for up-to-date information including discussion topics and scheduling:

Sign-up here and submit the form below to receive event reminders and to reserve your seat at the REAL Hope Summit.

Summit Organizers

Carl Sherman, Chairperson

Carl O. Sherman, Sr., a husband, father, grandfather, businessman, and civic leader, served two-terms as the Mayor of the All-America City of DeSoto, Texas. Sherman's tenure as Mayor included a litany of progressive victories for southern Dallas County. Under his leadership, DeSoto became one of the first cities in Texas to provide body cameras for all police officers.

He is currently serving as the Texas State Representative of District 109.


Dawn Freeman, Executive Director

Dawn Freeman is the President and CEO of The Securus Foundation. She is not a stranger to incarceration or recidivism. Several of her immediate family members have gone in and out of jail and prison over the years due to poor decision-making and mental illness. Additionally, Ms. Freeman has several family members with backgrounds in law enforcement and corrections.

These experiences have provided her with a multi-faceted perspective on the challenges of pre-release programming and reentry.


Upcoming Keynote Speaker

Stedman Graham is the Chairman and CEO of S. Graham & Associates, a management and marketing consulting firm. He is the author of twelve books, including two New York Times bestsellers and one Wall Street Journal bestseller.

As a businessman, educator and speaker, Graham lectures and conducts training programs for corporations and educational organizations worldwide on the topic of Identity Leadership, based on the philosophy that one cannot lead anyone else until you first lead yourself. He has delivered Identity Leadership programs in The Netherlands, Germany, China, Canada, the UK, Bermuda and South Africa.

With dedication to community development, Graham is the founder of the Concerned Citizens of Whitesboro and the Concerned Citizens of Lake Wacamaw, North Carolina. He is also the Co-founder of the Community Alliance for Youth Success (CAYS) and a member of Horatio Alger.

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