Mark Schlakman Scales Mountain for Second Year in Support of the Innocence Project of Florida and FAVACA
Tallahassee, Florida—On September 5, 2010, Florida Lawyer Mark Schlakman will make the multi-day trek to the summit of Mt. Rainier to raise vital funds and awareness for two Florida not-for-profit organizations: The Innocence Project of Florida (IPF) and Florida Association for Volunteer Action in the Caribbean and the Americas (FAVACA).
Mt. Rainier, at 14,411 feet, stands as one of the tallest mountains in the United States.
Last year, Mark made his first ascent of Rainier, facing challenging, white-out conditions. This year he will again climb for two worthy causes.
“Mt. Rainier represents a challenge well beyond my comfort zone but it pales by comparison to the challenges faced every day by the people of Haiti after the earthquake and by individuals wrongfully convicted for crimes that DNA evidence indicates they didn’t commit,” said Schlakman, Senior Program Director for the Florida State University Center for the Advancement of Human Rights, and Chairman of Board of Directors for both IPF and FAVACA.
IPF works to free innocent people who have been wrongfully incarcerated by relying upon DNA evidence that excludes them from participation in the crime. Most recently IPF represented and secured the release of James Bain and William Dillon, who spent a combined 62 years wrongfully incarcerated for crimes which DNA testing proved they did not commit. FAVACA has been promoting social and economic development in Haiti and throughout the Caribbean region since 1982, when it was created by then-Governor of Florida Bob Graham. Their efforts have been integral in the wake of devastating earthquake in Haiti on January 12, 2010.
IPF and FAVACA could not be more pleased with the initiative and the potential vital support it will bring. “Mr. Schlakman’s decades-long commitment on these critical issues of justice and poverty reduction is only matched by his determination to accomplish this daunting climb,” said Demian Pasquarelli, Executive Director of FAVACA. Seth Miller, IPF’s Executive Director continued, “Some people walk for charity. Others run. Mark climbs mountains. His effort to raise the profile of injustice for those wrongfully convicted is an inspiration to us all.”