David Simon on Mass Incarceration and Real-life Inspiration for The Wire at Lighting the Way 2016

27 May 2016

The Osborne Association was fortunate to have Special Guest David Simon, journalist, author, and television producer speak at our 2016 Lighting the Way annual fundraising breakfast. After receiving the Thomas Mott Osborne Spirit Medal, his speech addressed the crisis of mass incarceration and closed with a story about the life of Donnie Andrews, the real-life inspiration for his character Omar on The Wire.

David Simon is a Baltimore-based journalist, author, and television producer. A former crime reporter for the Baltimore Sun, he is the creator of the celebrated HBO seriesThe Wire, which depicts the political and socioeconomic fissures in an American city. His other television credits include the NBC drama Homicide and HBO’s The Corner, Generation Kill and Treme. His most recent project, Show Me A Hero, an HBO miniseries depicting the 1987-93 housing desegregation battle that divided Yonkers, New York. The author of two books of narrative non-fiction, Homicide and The Corner, Simon is a 2010 MacArthur Fellow. 

View the video of Simon's remarks below, and see this New York Daily News piece on the speech.

View photos from this year's Lighting the Way.

A very special thank you to all of our guests, David Simon, Emcee Chris Hayes, our participant speakers, and sponsors who underwrote the costs of this event so that every dollar raised at the breakfast would directly fund our work.

Special thanks to the generous guests who were inspired to support our work at this year's Lighting the Way Fundraising Breakfast, as well as those who are considering giving today.

Your contribution is essential to our future.

It is still a good opportunity to make a gift in support of Osborne’s work including our newest ventures like the Osborne Center for Justice Policy and Practice, our Elder Reentry Initiative, and the redevelopment of the former Fulton Correctional Facility into a community reentry and economic development center. 

We also welcome donations of goods and services for our program participants and their families. Please let us know if you would like to make a gift, and we can arrange details. If you have questions, or need assistance with giving options, please email Monica Tolliver.