Community Hero Susan Burton’s Path to Redemption Began in Santa Monica
November 7, 2017 2:15 PM
by Robert Graves
In 1981, Susan Burton’s life was irrevocably altered when her young son was killed in an automobile accident near their home. Understandably grief-stricken, Burton turned to drugs to numb her pain and spiraled into a life of addiction and imprisonment. After several bouts of incarceration, Burton decided to change her life and found her way to Santa Monica’s CLARE Foundation, the first step on her road to recovery.
Building on the principles learned at CLARE and in other recovery settings, Burton lifted herself out of the cycle of re-incarceration, but knew that many others would struggle on the same path behind her. Determined to help, in 1998 she founded A New Way of Life, an assistance organization for women recently released from prison. Over the past two decades, Burton has helped hundreds of women battle the demons that follow them out of prison and overcome the stigmas that often prevent them from reentering society in any meaningful way. Her efforts have won her many awards, including a CNN Hero Award, the Purpose Prize, and numerous social wellbeing fellowships, as well as the respect of those whose lives she has touched.
The Santa Monica Public Library is honored to welcome Susan Burton for a discussion of her autobiography, Becoming Ms. Burton: From Prison to Recovery to Leading the Fight for Incarcerated Women, at the Main Library’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Auditorium, 601 Santa Monica Blvd., on Thursday, November 16, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. Burton will discuss the book and her inspirational story with journalist Mekeisha Madden Toby. A book sale and signing follows their talk. This program is presented free of charge, and seating is first come, first served.