Alexandra Korry – Leaving Behind a Legacy for Civil Rights Activism and Philanthropy

Millions of people face challenges and adversities due to their socioeconomic circumstances and conditions, despite the efforts of public and private institutions to resolve their issues. Some major challenges affecting millions worldwide include poverty, access to healthcare or education, human rights violations, clean water or sanitation, and environmental problems. The challenges adversely affect people and usually create a vicious and nonstop cycle of adversity that prevents the affected populations from escaping or improving their lifestyles.

However, philanthropy, humanitarianism, and social work go a long way in helping solve socioeconomic challenges. Philanthropy plays a significant role in uplifting people and improving their lifestyles. It also creates opportunities for poverty alleviation, equal opportunities, access to education or healthcare, and human or civil rights.

Philanthropy involves contributing time, money, and effort to particular causes while finding solutions for socioeconomic problems. Philanthropy does not focus merely on spending money or charitable activities but comprises making an effort and offering time to social welfare causes. Many believe that philanthropy, charity, and humanitarianism are for professional social workers, and they cannot play a role in improving other people’s lives.

Many others do not have the time, effort, and money to engage in philanthropic activities or social causes due to their busy lives. The fast-paced modern lifestyle and people’s fixation with their work and personal lives prevent them from engaging in social issues or philanthropic causes. However, some passionate and dedicated people take the time out of their busy lives to engage in philanthropic activities mainly because of their compassion. Alexandra Korry was a prominent corporate lawyer who made a mark in civil rights activism and philanthropy while working for numerous causes despite her corporate engagements.

Alexandra Korry was a corporate lawyer working in the mergers and acquisitions sector with numerous prominent clients, including Microsoft, Kodak, Philips Electronics, InBev, UBS, Wells Fargo, and China Investment Corporation. She played a primary role in several prominent mergers and acquisitions deals while offering legal advice to clients during the transactions. However, the lawyer also contributed her time to philanthropic and social welfare activities despite her busy schedule due to her commitment to social and humanitarian causes.

Korry was the New York State Advisory Committee chairperson to the United States Commission on Civil Rights. She led the committee for over a decade and played a primary role in issuing several reports regarding civil rights issues. The committee issued several reports under Korry’s leadership related to juvenile solitary confinement, policing issues related to racism, and education funding disparities.

Under Korry’s leadership, the committee issued the Solitary Confinement of Youth in New York: A Civil Rights Violation report in 2014. The report highlighted the civil rights violations stemming from juvenile solitary confinement. Korry also led the committee to publish the Civil Rights Implications of “Broken Windows” Policing in New York City and General NYPD Accountability to the Public in 2018. The report portrayed the racial disparities in the stop-and-frisk policies of the NYPD. The advisory committee also released Education Equity in New York: A Forgotten Dream in 2020, highlighting disparities in education funding that disproportionately affected racial minorities. However, as the committee’s chairperson,

Alexandra Korry’s most notable accomplishment was compelling New York City to abolish the solitary confinement of juveniles in correctional facilities. Solitary confinement adversely affects inmates, leading to several long-term implications, including anxiety, depression, personality disorders, and antisocial behaviors. Korry’s role and efforts in ending solitary conferment for juveniles were beneficial in preventing sociological and psychological disorders among juvenile offenders.

Alexandra Korry served on several boards and committees as a member of chairperson for contributing to numerous causes. Her most notable philanthropic work was working as the Harlem Educational Activities Fund (HEAF) chairperson. The non-profit endeavor helps over 300 people annually by changing their lives through academic enrichment, individual attention, and social or cultural exposure. While serving as HEAF’s chairperson,

Korry helped hundreds of students and individuals and taught some classes. Her dedication to the cause led to another project, the Norwalk Art Space, to support emerging artists by providing a public art space. Although Korry envisioned the art project as a means of helping aspiring artists, she could not see her vision become a reality due to her death on September 20, 2020. The Norwalk Art Space, abolishing juvenile solitary confinement, and serving as the civil rights advisory committee chairperson are the most prominent aspects of Korry’s legacy.

Alexandra Korry contributed to several social, humanitarian, and civil rights causes despite her busy corporate life and left behind a legacy for other professionals regarding philanthropy and civil rights activism.