Office for Victims of Crime Recognizes Alliance for Safety and Justice Leader for Outstanding Victim Support

Aswad Thomas Receives the 2024 Office for Victims of Crime Survivor Voices Award 

WASHINGTON – The Office for Victims of Crime today recognized individuals and organizations that demonstrate outstanding service in supporting victims. Among the honored awardees is Aswad Thomas, vice president of Alliance for Safety and Justice and national director of Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice (CSSJ). Receiving the 2024 Survivor Voices Award, Aswad is a gun violence survivor turned victim advocate with more than a decade of experience championing for and defending victims’ rights, supporting crime survivors and family members of slain victims, conducting research to enhance services for victims and communities impacted by violence, and more. 

“It is a great honor to receive the 2024 Office for Victims of Crime Survivor Voices Award,” says Aswad Thomas, vice president of Alliance for Safety and Justice and national director of Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice. “After surviving gun violence and battling post-traumatic stress without any support from the justice system, I knew that I wanted to be the change for my community and for communities most impacted by violence nationwide.” 

On August 24, 2009, Aswad was 26-years-old and just three weeks from going to Europe to play professional basketball. As he was leaving a convenience store, he was approached by two men intent on robbing him and suffered two gunshots to his back. The shots ended his basketball career and nearly his life. 

Like most victims of color, Aswad wasn’t offered victim assistance funding, safe housing, mental health support, or any other victim services to help him to heal and recover. Months later, he learned that one of the young men that shot him was a victim of gun violence a few years before his victimization and was also released from the hospital without any support. 

As leader of CSSJ, Aswad has made incredible strides to improve access to victim services that disrupt cycles of violence. Within the last ten years, the organization has secured millions of dollars in funding to bring trauma recovery centers to communities most impacted by crime and violence and has reformed countless policies to ensure that crime survivors have access to the crucial services and support that they need to heal and recover safely. 

To learn more about Aswad Thomas, visit 



Alliance for Safety and Justice (ASJ) is a national advocacy organization that aims to replace ineffective criminal justice system policies with what works to keep people safe. We represent diverse crime survivors as well as people living with old records as key public safety stakeholders. ASJ brings our members together with state leaders and coalition partners to win reforms that stop cycles of crime, reduce costly incarceration, and make communities safer. We support a range of “shared safety” reforms, including crime prevention, community health, rehabilitation, economic mobility, and trauma recovery. For more information, visit: