In The Community

Brown Fox’s In the Community focus is a reflection of the firm’s Character Matters foundation. The firm is dedicated to matters of injustice and positive community growth. Brown Fox attorneys have volunteered time in West Dallas, India, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo working on matters such as estate planning, and combatting homelessness, bonded slavery, corruption, and sexual violence. Our attorneys serve on boards or have dedicated time and resources with the following organizations:

  • Advocates for Community Transformation (ACT)
  • African Leadership and Reconciliation Ministries (ALARM)
  • Akola Project
  • Brother Bill’s Helping Hand
  • Children’s Medical Center (Dallas)
  • Dallas Justice
  • Dallas United, the Dallas Chapter of Street Soccer USA (Dallas)
  • International Justice Mission (IJM)
  • Red Balloon Run & Relay (Dallas/Plano)
  • Second Saturday (West Dallas)
  • Watermark Justice (Dallas & International)

Please continue to visit the firm’s In the Community page to stay up to date on the firm’s external focus and pro bono initiatives.

Slideshow Image 6Russ Brown pressing Kenyan lawyers to think through the issues, assets, and aspirations for Kenya, March 2017
Slideshow Image 7Brown Fox Volunteers at Brother Bill’s Helping Hand for Annual Children’s Christmas Celebration, December 2016
Slideshow Image 8Robert Falay and Michael Hewitt Helping Out At Brother Bill’s Helping Hand During Service Day, April 2016
Slideshow Image 3Partner Russ Brown speaking at ALARM/Shelter from the Storm women’s conference in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo
Slideshow Image 5Dallas United, affiliated with Street Soccer USA, coached by Partner Adam Fox
Slideshow Image 9Crystal Vogt Assists a Customer at Brother Bill’s Helping Hand During Service Day, April 2016
Slideshow Image 62009 ACT Will Clinic in West Dallas
Slideshow Image 1Partner Russ Brown visiting girls’ orphanage with ALARM in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo.
Slideshow Image 10Brown Fox Employees at Brother Bill’s Helping Hand for Service Day, April 2016
Slideshow Image 3Partner Russ Brown  with little boy at Heal Africa, Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo
Slideshow Image 11The Brown Fox Team and the InspireMore Team Serving Together at Brother Bill’s Helping Hand, April 2016
Slideshow Image 7Russ Brown Assisting Client at ACT Will Clinic in West Dallas
Slideshow Image 12Some of the Brown Fox Team and Their Families Bowl After Service Day, April 2016
Slideshow Image 6Dallas United, affiliated with Street Soccer USA, coached by Adam Fox

 

Brown Fox’s Russ Brown and Robert Falay Teach Lawyers In Mombasa, Kenya

Last month Partner Russ Brown and Paralegal Robert Falay traveled to Mombasa, Kenya to teach at the Mombasa Justice and Peace Conference hosted by African Leadership and Reconciliation Ministries (ALARM), Kenya Christian Lawyers Fellowship (KCLF), and CLEAR Mombasa. The three-day conference was at full capacity, with 100 Kenyan lawyers and community leaders in attendance.

This was a special opportunity for Russ and Robert to teach together. Russ previously taught with ALARM in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2010 and 2011. After Russ returned from teaching in Bukavu, DR Congo in 2011, a colleague introduced him to Robert, a Congolese attorney in the United States on political asylum, who also happened to have lived in Bukavu. The two began a friendship and soon had the opportunity to work together at Brown Fox. Other than a brief stint working for a charitable organization in New York, Robert has worked with the Brown Fox team since 2011.

Peace and Justice Conference

In Kenya, Russ and Robert, along with a team of Dallas lawyers from their church, taught local lawyers and community leaders on topics such as self-leadership, leadership of others, conflict resolution, bribery and corruption, healing and grieving, and forgiveness.

The conference began with Kenyan lawyers breaking into small groups and writing what they believed to be Kenya’s “issues, assets, and aspirations.” Each small group then presented their lists to the entire conference, which set the table for the team’s three days of teaching. At the conclusion of the conference, the teaching team challenged the Kenyan lawyers to brainstorm strategies and solutions that would help Kenya address the issues to meet their listed aspirations.

In a memorable moment, all conference participants bravely stood and committed not to participate in bribery or corruption. This was remarkable given Kenya is considered one of the most bribe-driven and corrupt nations in the world. Bribes are a way of life in Kenya, including matters ranging from transactions at the corner store to speeding tickets to the prospect of significant prison time. It was only last year that an IJM lawyer, his client, and their cab driver were brutally beaten and murdered after an appearance in court that made it clear he planned to testify against corrupt police officials and their abuse of power. (Brown Fox is a regular supporter of IJM and Russ and his wife Renee served as chairs of the 2016 IJM Dallas Benefit.)

The conference was widely considered a great success by the attendees, organizers, and teaching team. While Robert, Russ, and the teaching team returned to the United States, ALARM, Dallas Justice, and Watermark Justice remain committed to Kenya and will continue to train and equip leaders in Nairobi, Mombasa, and neighboring cities and regions. One Kenyan lawyer shared at the conclusion of the conference, “I learned a lot in this training. I learned that leadership starts with leading yourself.” This same lawyer added, “we will be the salt of the world . . . [w]e will be the light of the world. That is what this conference brought us.”

ALARM’s Long-Term and Ongoing Investment of Resources and People in Africa

ALARM has offices in Kenya, DR Congo, Tanzania, Burundi, Uganda, Rwanda, Republic of South Sudan, and Sudan. The organization’s mission is to “develop servant leaders in the African church and community who reconcile and transform lives affected by conflict and injustice.” ALARM equips and trains church and community leaders, including lawyers, on “culturally relevant principles of servant leadership, good governance, mentorship, diversity appreciation, and community initiatives.” When requested by ALARM, Dallas-based lawyers affiliated with Dallas Justice and Watermark Justice regularly travel and teach other lawyers and community leaders in ALARM’S focus countries.

If you would like to learn more about ALARM, click here. If you would like to read about Brown Fox’s other involvement in the community, click here.

Brown Fox’s Commitment to Serving the Local and International Community

Community service and philanthropy are at the heart of the firm’s Character Matters foundation. Brown Fox is actively involved with local and international charities and ministries, including Advocates for Community Transformation (ACT), International Justice Mission (IJM), African Leadership and Reconciliation Ministries (ALARM), Akola Project, and Brother Bill’s Helping Hand. If you would like to learn more about Brown Fox’s outreach, visit the firm’s In the Community page.

About Russ Brown and Robert Falay

Russ Brown is a Dallas-based employment attorney. After working for multiple large, international law firms, Russ co-founded Brown Fox with corporate attorney Adam Fox. Russ has been recognized for his legal skills and business acumen, including honors by his colleagues, Dallas Business Journal, Texas Monthly, Law & Politics, and D Magazine. His practice is focused on employment law, but Russ often quarterbacks key client relationships with legal needs beyond employment law, including corporate/transactional and business litigation matters.

Russ also dedicates a portion of his practice to pro bono service and training.  He represents several local and international ministries and regularly teaches overseas. He has volunteered and taught lawyers overseas with ALARM and IJM four times in the past decade, including stints in India, DR Congo, and Kenya. Russ also leads the regional Christian lawyers’ group, Dallas Justice.  Most recently, Russ and his wife Renee served as chairs for the record-breaking 2016 IJM Dallas Benefit, raising over $1.75 million to fight slavery, sex trafficking, and other injustices. Russ has lived in Dallas since 2002 and is married with three children. He regularly coaches his boys’ baseball and football teams. Read more about Russ by visiting his firm and LinkedIn bios.

Robert Falay is a Congolese attorney, fluent in five languages. Robert serves as a paralegal for Brown Fox in Dallas, Texas, where he resides with his wife and three children. Robert is an avid “football” fan (soccer) and coaches his oldest son’s soccer team. To read more about Robert’s challenging and amazing journey to the United States, click here and here.


Russ Brown pressing Kenyan lawyers to think through the issues, assets, and aspirations for Kenya


Kenyan lawyers gather in a small group to draft list of issues, assets, and aspirations.

Robert Falay sharing his story with Kenyan lawyers as he explains the importance of forgiveness.

Brown Fox Volunteers at Brother Bill’s Helping Hand for Annual Children’s Christmas Celebration

Brown Fox participated in its second Service Day of the year at Brother Bill’s Helping Hand preparing for their annual Children’s Christmas Celebration. Brother Bill’s Helping Hand has hosted the Christmas Eve event for over seventy years. This year they will be providing gifts and Christmas cheer for over 1,000 West Dallas children and their parents. The non-profit organization was founded in the early 1940s to provide food, clothing and spiritual encouragement to those living in West Dallas. Today, Brother Bill’s Helping Hand is well known for its grocery store which provides food for over 300 families each week. They have expanded their services over the years and now provide services like English, computer, and exercise classes, women’s counseling, and a Community Clinic.  To see a complete list of all the services Brother Bill’s Helping Hand provides and to learn how you can volunteer or donate check out their website at www.bbhh.org or click here.

Brown Fox Sponsors East Texas Human Needs Network’s 2016 Data Release Summit

East Texas Human Needs NetworkBrown Fox is proud to sponsor East Texas Human Needs Network’s 2016 Data Release Summit on Tuesday, November 29th. East Texas Human Needs Network uses data from the Comprehensive Community Needs Assessment to improve efforts in education, employment, healthcare, housing and transportation. Click here to learn more about the organization and how you can get involved.

RUSS BROWN SERVES AS PANELIST AT CLE LUNCHEON TITLED “CREATED FOR GOOD WORKS: ATTORNEYS SEEKING JUSTICE IN OUR CITY AND BEYOND”

ACT-header
On August 18, 2016 at the Belo Mansion in downtown Dallas, ACT presented a panel discussion with attorneys who have served in Dallas and/or internationally through their provision of pro bono legal services and legal-related trainings. To better equip attendees with both the challenge/inspiration and tools to take on pro bono representations or to otherwise serve using their legal skills, the panel shared tips and best practices for representing pro bono clients, discussed lower-time-commitment/high-impact ways to serve despite a busy schedule, and presented opportunities to further justice causes on a broader scale.  The program provided information about the current availability of pro bono resources in Dallas, as well as a discussion of the related need for legal volunteers.  Learn more about ACT by clicking here.

Brown Fox Graffiti Wall at ACT Benefit

The Brown Fox graffiti wall photo booth was a huge success! Thanks to everyone who came out to support ACT and their commitment to empower inner-city residents to take a stand against crime. Learn more about ACT and how you can help by visiting actforjustice.org.
ACT_photobooth

$1.75 Million Raised to Fight Slavery and Cybersex Trafficking at Dallas IJM Benefit

IJM Dinner
Dallas’ generosity did not disappoint at International Justice Mission‘s Benefit Dinner last month. Attendance and fundraising records for this amazing organization were shattered thanks to the dedicated Benefit Committee, great sponsors, and generous giving. Renee and Russ Brown were honored to chair this sold-out event with over 1,100 in attendance and $1.75 million raised. Consider the potential impact from this special evening:

$1.75 Million collectively funds1 the costs of:

  • 36 national lawyers for one year
  • 17 undercover surveillance systems
  • 80 days of investigation
  • More than 100 rescue operations
  • Medical care for 850 survivors of violence
  • 850 aftercare packages for survivors of violence
  • 4,250 hours of counseling for survivors of violence

Congratulations to the IJM team and all the volunteers who helped put together such a successful event. Brown Fox looks forward to continuing its support of IJM in the future. Visit IJM.org to learn more about how you can get involved and help fight against violence.

1Based upon 2016 statistics provided by International Justice Mission.

Renee & Russ Brown Serve as Chairs of 2016 IJM Dallas Benefit Dinner

IJM Benefit DinnerAn estimated 36 million people are currently held in slavery. Globally, 4 billion people face lawlessness on a daily basis. International Justice Mission (IJM) runs headfirst into the battle against injustice, seeking the rescue and freedom of thousands and the protection of millions. IJM assists local authorities to find those suffering from violence and oppression; fights to put rapists, slave owners, and traffickers in jail; restores victims through trauma therapy and counseling; and works to strengthen justice systems. Most importantly, IJM gets results. For example, after four years of work in Cebu, Philippines, outside auditors concluded that the availability of children for commercial sex dropped 79%.

Brown Fox Partner Russ Brown has been working alongside IJM for close to a decade, training investigators and lawyers in Asia; performing research for offices in Africa and India; hosting speakers in Dallas from IJM’s offices in Rwanda, Dominican Republic, and Washington, DC; and fundraising locally in Dallas. Click here to read an archived post by Russ regarding IJM’s work.

In less than two weeks over 1,000 friends will come together in downtown Dallas to raise money for this essential fight against injustice. Brown Fox is proud to help sponsor this important evening, with Russ and Renee chairing the event. To learn more about IJM, please visit www.ijm.org or click here to watch this short video on IJM’s work. To visit the Dallas Benefit page, click here.

Brown Fox Announces Sponsorship of Generation Justice Party Benefitting Advocates for Community Transformation (ACT)

Brown Fox photobooth

Brown Fox is proud to announce its sponsorship of ACT’s Generation Justice Party, which will be held on April 28, 2016. Brown Fox’s sponsorship will include providing a fun photo booth for guests. Renee and Russ Brown also are serving on the Host Committee. The theme this year is Lights in the Inner City. Expect music, good food and drinks, and great people coming together for a wonderful cause. To purchase tickets ($50/each) please visit actforjustice.org or click here.

Advocates for Community Transformation (ACT) works in West Dallas and South Dallas and empowers inner-city residents to fight crime on their street, using the justice system to educate and encourage residents to take a stand. According to a recent Baylor University study, crime has reduced 50% in the neighborhoods where ACT is focused. To learn more visit www.actforjustice.org.

ACT2

Service Day at Brother Bill’s Helping Hand

Brown Fox participated in its first Service Day of the year alongside InspireMore at Brother Bill’s Helping Hand. Brown Fox In The Community - Brother Bill's Helping HandBrother Bill’s Helping Hand was founded in the early 1940s to provide food, clothing and spiritual encouragement to those living in West Dallas. Today, Brother Bill’s Helping Hand is well known for its grocery store which provides food for over 300 families each week. They have expanded their services over the years and now provide services like English, computer, and exercise classes, women’s counseling, and a Community Clinic. To see a complete list of all the services Brother Bill’s Helping Hand provides and to learn how you can volunteer or donate check out their website at www.bbhh.org or click here.

Finding Justice for All – Russ Brown Featured in Briggs Freeman ‘Extraordinary Lives – Extraordinary Homes’ Section of the Dallas Morning News

Dallas Morning News
July 17, 2015 -In the Friday edition of the NeighborsGo section of the Dallas Morning News, realtor Briggs Freeman featured Brown Fox attorney Russ Brown’s work outside the office with Dallas Justice and other local and international ministries.

DMN-FindingJusticeForAll

Read Article Dallas Morning News - Finding Justice For All - Russ Brown

 

The Tremendous Work of International Justice Mission: Why it Matters & How to Help

By Russ Brown
February 11, 2014 – Several years ago an old law school friend invited me to a social event introducing the work of International Justice Mission (IJM).  My friend told me this group, comprised mostly of lawyers and founded by a former Department of Justice lawyer, bravely took on the great injustices of our time (e.g., child prostitution, slavery, and other forms of violent oppression), freed and rehabilitated victims, and helped prosecute the perpetrators.  Eyebrows raised, I agreed to join him at the event.

At the event lawyers shared first-hand accounts of how IJM investigators uncovered a brick kiln profiting on the backs of modern day slaves.  IJM provided the evidence to support a police raid on the brick kiln, provided aftercare to the newly freed victims, and sought tangible legal consequences against the perpetrators.  IJM was confronting the great evils of the world by freeing victims of violent oppression, punching back and landing blows by successfully prosecuting perpetrators, and restoring victims through aftercare.  I left the meeting mesmerized and committed to joining the cause.

A year later I was assisting with a legal training program for IJM lawyers and investigators in Asia.  During my visit, I enjoyed freshly cracked coconuts in a remote village with former slaves freed through IJM’s work.  That same trip I spent time with a young girl freed through IJM’s work. She had been forcefully kidnapped into a world of sexual slavery and involuntary servitude.  However, she spoke of her freedom with a smile and cast a vision of someday becoming a police officer to help others who are brutally oppressed.  There’s certainly deep emotional scarring from her experience, but IJM also was there for aftercare and healing.  The problem of global injustice is massive, but these were very real lives freed from bondage and despair as a result of IJM taking on the seemingly impossible.  IJM was shifting the balance.

IJM’s Groundbreaking Work is Producing Eye-Popping Statistics

I’ve seen IJM’s operations from top to bottom on three continents and my experience each step of the way has shown that not only are their efforts noble, but the backend statistics are groundbreaking.  For example, after four years of partnership between IJM and local authorities in Cebu, Philippines, the availability of children for commercial sex dropped an astounding 79%!  Just last year IJM relieved more than 3,400 victims of oppression and restrained more than 300 violent criminals.

A Great Way to Get Involved: 2014 IJM Dallas Benefit Dinner

IJM is diving in the most brutal circumstances in dangerous regions of the globe and establishing justice.  Their work matters and impacts thousands of lives every year.  There are many ways to join the cause, but financial support is needed now more than ever.  Brown Fox is a proud sponsor of IJM’s work and again will be sponsoring a table at the 2014 IJM Dallas Benefit Dinner.  As a member of the 2014 IJM Dallas Benefit Dinner Committee, I’d love to invite you or your company to support IJM by sponsoring a table at this year’s dinner.  Please contact me at russ@brownfoxlaw.com if you’d like to get involved or simply learn more.  Please join us in supporting a brave organization of lawyers, investigators, and social workers making a real difference.

Below is short video about “Suhana’s Story,” which is an amazing account of how IJM rescued Suhana from forced prostitution, not once, but twice.
Ray of Hope

About International Justice Mission
IJM is a human rights agency that brings rescue to victims of sexual exploitation, slavery, and other forms of violent oppression in the hot spots of the world.  To learn more, visit www.ijm.org
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Team Brown Fox Prepares for October 22, 2011 Red Balloon Run & Relay Benefitting Children’s Medical Center of Dallas

Slideshow Image 8 September 5, 2011 – For the second year in a row, the law firm of Brown Fox Kizzia & Johnson PLLC will participate in the Red Balloon Run & Relay benefiting Children’s Medical Center.  The event will take place on October 22, 2011, and will feature several competitive and “fun run” racing options, along with a host of family activities following the race.  Managing Partner Russ Brown also is a member of the Founders Board for the Red Balloon Run & Relay.  To learn more about the Red Balloon Run & Relay, or if you’d like to support Team Brown Fox, please click here.

Partner Adam Fox Working With Others to End Homelessness Through Sports

Slideshow Image 6 Spring/Summer 2011 – Nationwide more than 650,000 homeless persons have to live in degraded conditions on the streets or in parks – every day and every night. The national non-profit organization “Street Soccer USA” (SSUSA) utilizes the power of team soccer to improve the lives of the homeless. In January of 2011, Street Soccer USA added a Dallas team to the already impressive list of participating cities. Formed by Matthew Valentine and supported by volunteer coaches, like Adam Fox of Brown Fox Kizzia & Johnson, Dallas United’s mission is to use a team platform to deliver a curriculum of job and life-skills training and other specialized services, ultimately connecting participants to jobs, education and housing.

In the first nine months, Dallas United’s players have joined together to form a team, practicing twice per week (some learning soccer for the first time); traveled to Washington D.C. to participate in the Street Soccer USA Cup; and hung out with players from FC Dallas (including Daniel Hernandez and Brek Shea, pictured above). Although these experiences are significant, they pale in comparison to the progress and development of the lives of the players outside of soccer. Dallas United players have found new jobs, taken advantage of educational opportunities, and committed themselves to supporting their teammates.

Anyone wishing to become involved with Dallas United should visit our page on the Street Soccer USA website at www.streetsoccerusa.org/teams/dallas, which also includes a link for joining the team’s fan club. Dallas United can also be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/StreetSoccerDallas.

Managing Partner Russ Brown Returns From Second Trip to Meet with Lawyers in War Zone of Democratic Republic of Congo

Slideshow Image 7 May 2011 – In May, Russ Brown traveled to Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo and worked with local lawyers on issues such as conflict resolution and leadership. The trip was part of a partnership between Watermark Justice and African Leadership and Reconciliation Ministries (ALARM). ALARM is an African led and African based organization that focuses on equipping African leaders with the skills, tools, and knowledge needed to truly transform their communities. ALARM operates in eight countries of east and central Africa, including Kenya, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia.

Russ dedicates a significant portion of his practice to faith-based, social justice initiatives and charitable organizations, including International Justice Mission (IJM), African Leadership and Reconciliation Ministries (ALARM), Watermark Justice, Advocates for Community Transformation (ACT), and the Red Balloon Run & Relay (benefiting Children’s Medical Center of Dallas). Over the past three years, Russ has traveled internationally to work with attorneys on issues such as bonded slavery and child prostitution in Bangalore India, and to combat sexual violence and rape genocide in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo.

To learn more about ALARM, visit www.alarm-inc.org or contact Brown Fox at email@brownfoxlaw.com.