36th Annual Dinner with Piper Kerman

Event Date:

October 26, 2022

Join us October 26 in Notre Dame Stadium’s Dahnke Ballroom for an evening with the author of “Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison”

2022 Dismas House Annual Dinner to Feature Bestselling Author Piper Kerman​

Bestselling author, memoirist and social justice advocate Piper Kerman, whose book “Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison” was adapted into an acclaimed television series, will be the keynote speaker when Dismas House of South Bend, Indiana, holds its annual dinner Wednesday, October 26, at Notre Dame Stadium’s Dahnke Ballroom.

Kerman’s popular memoir chronicles her “crucible experience” — the 13 months she spent in the Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury, Connecticut, after a brief involvement with drug trafficking sent her to prison on money laundering charges.

In her compelling, moving and deeply funny book, Kerman explores the experience of incarceration and the lives of the women she met in prison: their friendships and families, mental illnesses and substance abuse issues, cliques and codes of behavior.

Kerman’s work and experiences align directly with the mission of Dismas House, a not-for-profit organization that provides housing and post-release services to people recently released from incarceration. Residents live in a transitional house with college students, forming a family — much like the women and relationships Kerman encountered — and working together to learn about making good life decisions.

What struck her the most about her experience, Kerman says, is the power of women’s communities: “the incredible ability of women to step up for each other and to be resilient and to share their resiliency with other people.” Kerman’s memoir also raises provocative questions about the state of criminal justice in America and how incarceration affects individuals and communities — and how it disproportionately impacts people of color.

Father David Link Pillar of Change Lifetime Achievement Award

On October 29, 2021, the Dismas Community lost a dear and cherished friend, Father David Link. After earning his bachelor’s and a degree from the University of Notre Dame, Fr Link spent many years devoted to the Notre Dame Law School, serving 24 years as the Dean. After his beloved wife, Barbara, passed in 2003, Fr. Link became an ordained priest at 71. Fr. Link ministered at Westville, Indiana State Prison, and the South Bend Work Release Center.

At last year’s annual dinner, our directors were proud to announce the conception of new honors in memory of the life of Father David Link. While it is deeply saddening that we couldn’t present this honor to Fr. Link during his lifetime. Some of our guests had wonderful stories of reflection on time with Fr. Link. A notable one was an unexpected, off-script story of mentorship from previous Keynote Speaker Chris Zorich. Eternal Rest Grant Upon Him, O Lord, and Let Perpetual Light Shine Upon Him. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

Below is the link to the nominations form for the Fr. David T. Link Pillar of Change Lifetime Achievement Award. We would like to ask our volunteers, donors, and friends to help us nominate and vote on the first recipient of the Father David Link Pillar of Change Award.

About the Dinner

Dinner tickets are available for public purchase at a cost of $100 each or $950 for a table of 10.

Cocktail hour with a cash bar will be from 5:30–6:30 p.m. Dinner will follow.

The choices for dinner (each dinner includes a salad and dessert):

  • Indiana Free Range Chicken Breast – mushroom marsala
  • Scottish Salmon – brown butter, lemon, caper
  • Grain Bowl – farro, quinoa, sweet potato, mushrooms, grilled tofu, cashew vinaigrette

Emcee Mark McGill will preside over a silent auction and awards presentation for outstanding community members, including:

• Sr. Susan Kintzele, Fr. Link Award
• Sheriff Bill Redmond, Jack Hickey Award
• Recovery Michiana, Community Spirit Award
• Satellite Suites, Fred Crowe Mentor Award

Dismas House of Indiana is a not-for-profit organization providing housing, services and a supportive environment to men and women returning from incarceration. Our residents consist of people returning from incarceration and junior/senior undergraduate or graduate college students; they live and work together to develop a supportive community. Through programs, services and a supportive and productive community, residents gain communication and social skills, a new respect for education and secure employment.