CASES Remembers Dr. Maureen Allwood

Vice Chair Dr. Maureen Allwood (left) with Chair Lee Wood (center) and CEO Jonathan McLean (right) at a CASES Board of Trustees meeting.

As many of you know, last week, Dr. Maureen Allwood passed away. Across CASES, many of us were blessed by the opportunity to know and work with Maureen, who joined our Board of Trustees in 2015 and had been elected to the position of Vice Chair of the Board this past summer.

As a professor and researcher at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice who also taught at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, Maureen dedicated her professional life to the study and understanding of trauma, its systemic causes, its often devastating individual and community consequences, and approaches that can nurture healing. Part of what brought her to CASES was the opportunity to directly address racial injustice within the criminal legal system. Maureen was an invited speaker at international trauma conferences, an extensively published researcher, and a committed teacher.

Maureen’s passing was sudden and unexpected. As members of the CASES Executive Team, we share this news with great sadness. Maureen’s impact in her nine years as a Trustee includes

  • co-chairing the CEO Search Committee that resulted in Jonathan’s hiring
  • co-authoring the Board statement on the killing of George Floyd—this statement marked a new commitment by the Board to anti-racism organizational transformation within CASES—and then co-chairing the Board’s Racial Equity & Diversity Committee, providing oversight and support for ongoing transformation work
  • facilitating the placement of several of her graduate and undergraduate students in jobs and internships across CASES program areas
  • supporting fundraising efforts and implementation of grant-funded clinical services, including specifically youth engagement efforts at the Nathaniel Clinic

These examples of her impact leave out what we most hope you all will know about Maureen: she was kind, caring, humble, strong, and wise. In Board meetings, she consistently made sure that attention was paid to how CASES supports and takes care of staff. Always she asked about our individual well-being and our families. Always she inspired empathy, commitment, and possibility—for healing and transformation, for what CASES is and can be.

We will terribly miss her. We are holding her family, her husband Alfred, her children, and her grandchildren in our thoughts.

Rest in peace, Maureen.