AF-Southwest Garden Talk | Second Chances in Colorado

March 21, 2022 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Denver Union Station - Webb Gallery Room

1701 Wynkoop St., Denver, CO 80202

Join America’s Future Southwest, Iron Light Labs, and an award-winning content strategist for a beer as we launch AF-Southwest in Colorado!

19 million Americans have a felony record. Unfortunately, many of them are prohibited from an opportunity to truly escape their past. For example, in 15 states many Americans with criminal records are disqualified from being barbers, bartenders, cosmetologists, landscapers, nurses, and dozens more careers. Colorado is one of the 15 states with barriers to occupational licensing for ex-offenders.

In Illinois, a single mother with a passion for nursing, Lisa Creason, wanted the freedom to pursue her dreams. When an unjust law prohibited her from doing so, she took the fight into her own hands and ended up opening doorways for thousands like her. Lisa’s story is featured in the short documentary, FREE TO CARE.

Join AF-Southwest, Iron Light Labs, and an award-winning content strategist to learn how they changed the law in Illinois to give ex-offenders a second chance and allow these returning citizens to thrive. This discussion will highlight Lisa’s story of redemption, and outline how Colorado can leverage storytelling as a powerful tool to help change the law here because everyone deserves the right to pursue their passion and be free to care.

Tickets are free, but must be reserved ahead of time via Eventbrite. The event includes a full cocktail bar and cheese station. No need for business attire as we will be surrounded by friends! But if you insist, we welcome attire of any kind!


6-6:30 pm NETWORKING + DRINKS (doors open with full bar)


6:30 pm Austin Jack from AF-Southwest

6:32 pm Jo Jensen, Iron Light Labs

6:35 pm FREE TO CARE short documentary

6:50 pm Austin Berg, Iron Light

7:00 pm Q&A Discussion



Austin Berg, Iron Light Co-Founder & CMO

Austin is an award-winning content strategist whose work has been featured in The Economist, Washington Post, CBS This Morning and the Chicago Tribune. He is the winner of the Buckley Award from America’s Future Foundation, the winner of two Peter Lisagor Awards from the Chicago Headline Club and was honored as one of Illinois’ “20 In Their 20s” by Crain’s Chicago Business. He co-authored “The New Chicago Way: Lessons from Other Big Cities” for Southern Illinois University Press and wrote the 2016 documentary film, “Madigan: Power. Privilege. Politics.”

Jo Jensen, Iron Light Labs President

Jo is a serial entrepreneur and has created three successful companies, led non-profits, produced award-winning films and designed high profile marketing campaigns. An invited speaker at the White House, Jo’s work has been featured in national news outlets including the Wall Street Journal, Good Morning America, IndieWire and People Magazine. Her unique collaboration style has resulted in partnerships with Amazon, Facebook, Google, and celebrities Kevin Bacon, Katie Couric and Queen Rania of Jordan. Jo has served as an impact producer for several award-winning films, including Poverty, Inc., Thomas Sowell: Common Sense in a Senseless World, Miss Virginia and Honor Flight. Her work has won more than 50 film festival awards, has premiered at top festivals like Sundance and Tribeca and been acquired by Amazon, Netflix, Focus Features and STARZ.