NeON Inspires

NeON Featuring: Larry Miller and Laila Lacy NeON

Larry Miller and Laila Lacy

This is a past event from April 20, 2022

NeON Inspires returned after over two years as a hybrid model for the first time since Covid-19.

Larry Miller, chairman of Nike Jordan's board, and his co-author and daughter Laila Lacy sat with Andre Whitehead and Bryanna Ageday for a candid youth-led conversation.

Larry Miller started his professional life making $16,500 a year as an accountant at Campbell Soup Company and became a leader at one of the world's top sneaker brands. However, as people admired his success from the outside, Miller struggled with a secret heavy burden of guilt on the inside.

In 1965, when he was a 16-year-old gang member, he shot and killed 18-year-old David White, who Miller said was at the wrong place at the wrong time. Miller discussed why he decided on his journey, growing up, time in detention and prison, and the rise of his career. He shared that he suffered debilitating migraines and nightmares until he decided to open up about his whole life, not just that part he lived in the public eye. Laila, his daughter, encouraged him to write the book Jump: My Secret Journey from the Streets to the Boardroom because she felt that his secret and knowledge needed to be shared.

Once the book was released, they also discussed the journey to redemption with the White family, who shared their pain, and then each told him that they forgave him. The conversation was fantastic, and the clients who gathered across the city to view it on Zoom were glued to their seats. Clients received copies of the books and participated in reading and discussion groups, and a video of the event will be available online and on flat screens.

Huge supporters of the Department were in attendance, including Louis L. Reed, Senior Adviser, Reform Alliance, an organization started by Jay-Z and Meek Mill, who delivered greetings. Also in attendance were former City Council Member Tracy Boyland, Cal Hunter (Barnes & Noble), and Law and Order producer and writer Peter Blauner. Ilayasah Shabazz, daughter of Malcolm X, and Dr. Betty Shabazz attended virtually.

Larry Miller and Laila Lacy are looking forward to continuing to partner with the Department to help our clients successfully move off the criminal justice system.