December 29, 2017

Elizabeth Mills Viney ’10 was named the winner of The Dallas Foundation’s eighth annual Good Works Under 40 Award. Offered in partnership withThe Dallas Morning News, Good Works Under 40 honors up-and-coming leaders who are improving the future of Dallas and inspiring their peers to make a difference.

Viney was nominated by Guy Delcambre, director of advancement at Advocates for Community Transformation (ACT). Since 2013, Viney has logged more than 400 volunteer hours with ACT, where she works with West Dallas residents, law enforcement and the civil justice system to reduce crime.

A former attorney with Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, Viney uses her knowledge of the legal system to empower families to restore hope and dignity to the area. In addition to her own service, Viney recruited many other attorneys to volunteer with ACT, together donating nearly 1,200 hours of pro bono legal counsel.

In inner-city areas typically pervaded by intimidation and fear, “residents live like prisoners in their homes,” said Delcambre. “For residents to stand and accept the risk of retaliation against them takes an indescribable amount of courage.”

A former attorney with Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, Viney uses her knowledge of the legal system to empower families to restore hope and dignity to the area. In addition to her own service, Viney recruited many other attorneys to volunteer with ACT, together donating nearly 1,200 hours of pro bono legal counsel.

“Elizabeth is a joyful, selfless and motivated leader who has given her time and talents to serve ACT in whichever way the organization has needed,” said J. Reid Porter, president of ACT. “Her service as a volunteer lawyer is unmatched.”

Viney was honored during an award ceremony hosted by The Dallas Foundation on November 8. As part of the recognition, Viney earned a $10,000 prize for ACT. In addition to the winner, four finalists received $3,500 checks for the nonprofit agencies that nominated them. The finalists were Stephanie Giddens, president and founder of Vickery Trading Company; SMU alumna Lana Harder ’00 with Dallas Court Appointed Special Advocates; SMU alumnus Dominic Lacy ’03, board president of Deaf Action Center; and Robert Taylor, founder and director of The Educator Collective. Applications were reviewed by a committee of emerging civic leaders led by Meg Boyd of Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children.

“Elizabeth is a shining example of the commitment, dedication and passion that Good Works Under 40 aims to spotlight,” said Boyd. “She and all our finalists prove that the future of philanthropy is bright in Dallas.”

New this year is the People’s Choice Award, a $1,000 grant to the nonprofit of the finalist who garnered the most online votes from the community. Dominic Lacy received the inaugural People’s Choice Award on behalf of the Deaf Action Center.