A MORNING OF HOPE
In 2008, the first HopeWorks Breakfast was held as an opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments of the year .
SInce then, the Morning of Hope has become a tradition that is anticipated by the staff and supporters of HopeWorks. It continues as a gathering where the gains of the year are commended, and the hopes for the future are proclaimed. As one of our largest fundraising initiatives of the year, the money raised contributes to the sustainability of the programs that are making a difference in Memphis; the programs that are giving hope and a job to the segments of our community that are striving to overcome generational poverty and consequences of unfortunate decisions.
William E. Arnold, Jr., Ed. D., has 20+ years of experience in higher education and community engagement, particularly in the areas of reentry and criminal justice reform. A native of Memphis, TN and a PROUD product of the Memphis City School Systems, Dr. Arnold uses his professional training and recent life experiences to create a platform that views successful reentry through a labor focused lens as a viable way for returning citizens/justice involved individuals to restore dignity, decrease recidivism and add value to the workforce.
He has lead discussions at on the national level at conferences, universities, state agencies on the growing need for criminal justice reform, personal risk management and broader, more substantive reentry efforts. In 2013, he was wrongfully convicted of crimes that he did not commit in Nashville, TN. His conviction was unanimously overturned by an Appellate Court in 2020 and he was the first person to receive relief from the Davidson County Conviction Review Unit. On a local level, he served on the transition team of current District Attorney Steve Mulroy and chaired the subcommittee to establish Shelby County Justice Review Unit. The Shelby County Justice Review Unit is the second such criminal justice reform unit in the state.
A servant leader and Ted Talk Alum, Dr. Arnold is the current Director of the Office of Reentry at the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development. This office stands as the first state funded; comprehensive, non-Department of Corrections related office of reentry situated in a Department of Labor in the nation. He is a graduate of the University of Tennessee, where he received his Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and Tennessee State University where he received his Doctorate of Education in Higher Education Administration.