WOW Festival Baltimore to Feature Criminal Justice Reform Advocate Cyntoia Brown-Long

FEBRUARY 6, 2020

WOW Festival Baltimore to Feature Criminal Justice Reform Advocate Cyntoia Brown-Long

The Women of the World Festival Baltimore (WOW Festival Baltimore) will feature criminal justice reform advocate Cyntoia Brown-Long.

WOW Festival Baltimore, the region’s largest festival dedicated to women, will take place on March 7, 2020, at the Columbus Center in Baltimore. First hosted by Notre Dame of Maryland University (NDMU) in 2016, WOW celebrates the power of women and girls in Baltimore and around the world. The unique festival model creates numerous pathways for participants to take part in WOW projects, amplify their own causes, or start new initiatives that have a wide impact on communities. It is, internationally, the biggest, most comprehensive and most significant festival dedicated to presenting work by women and promoting equality for women and girls.

Cyntoia Brown-Long, an author, speaker, and advocate for criminal justice reform had a difficult start to life, born to an alcoholic, teenage mother who was also a victim of sex trafficking. Brown too became a victim of sex trafficking and, at the age of 16, was arrested for killing a man who had solicited her for sex. She was tried as an adult and was sentenced to life in prison without a chance of parole for 51 years.

Her memoir, Free Cyntoia: My Search for Redemption in the American Prison System, written while in prison, documents her early years and the 15 years she was incarcerated and takes readers on a coming-of-age spiritual journey. Set against the shocking backdrop of a life behind bars and the injustice of sentencing sex-trafficked juveniles as adults, Brown shares her struggle to overcome a legacy of family addiction and a lifetime of being ostracized and abandoned by society.

WOW will feature artists, writers, politicians, performers and activists to promote inclusivity, honor the strength and inventiveness of women, and actively break down societal barriers through events, workshops, lectures, debates, activities, and performances. Tickets are $40 per person. For more information about WOW Festival Baltimore, and for tickets, visit

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