Charles J. Lewis III Resilience Education Fund

The non-profit organization, Resilience Education is proud to announce the establishment of the Charles J. Lewis III Resilience Education Fund that will be managed by the Charlottesville Area Community Foundation. This meaningful gesture of generosity from the Lewis Family, in memory of their late nephew, will help Resilience to continue building more impactful initiatives in the form of higher education and professional support for incarcerated and released individuals.

Lemuel E. Lewis (MBA ’72), University of Virginia Darden School of Business alumnus, has been awarded Darden’s highest honor for his outstanding contributions to the school and wider community. Sandra Wicks Lewis (CLAS ‘72) was one of the first African American women to graduate from the College of Arts & Sciences in 1972 at the University of Virginia and recently served on the board of the Karsh Institute for Democracy. Over the years, the Lewis Family has supported the development of Resilience Education and its programs for justice-impacted communities with regular donations. This new fund demonstrates not only a lifelong commitment to formerly incarcerated people, but also provides the practical means for others to follow suit.

“I first met Tierney Fairchild several years ago when she had just started the Resilience Program. Of course, I knew Greg, her husband, from my work at Darden. During the intervening years, I stayed connected with Tierney and from time to time she gave me an update on the program’s progress. Hearing about the graduation ceremonies and the lower recidivism rates that followed made the humanity and importance of this program even more meaningful to my wife and me,” said Lewis.

“Also, during this time, we had a family member who was incarcerated and had recently been released. Although he was a UVA graduate and an Air Force veteran, he had great difficulty getting a job due to having been incarcerated. One thing led to the next and, unfortunately, he died after being out of prison for less than three years,” he explained. Life after incarceration is often fraught with complex challenges; the new fund acknowledges this by commemorating the life of “Chuckie” and financially supporting programs designed to achieve economic mobility for justice-impacted individuals.  

“The Resilience Education program is an incredible aid in helping those who have been incarcerated transition back into society with the skill sets and support that will enable them to be productive. Growing up in Lynchburg, VA, I was taught to make sure we left this world a little better than we found it. To this end and in remembrance of Chuckie, we established this fund. During my life I have invested in many different things, but I know none of them will have a greater return than this one,” said Lewis.

“Greg and I have long admired Lem and Sandra as trailblazers at UVA and Darden, and we have always appreciated their guidance and encouragement. Their leadership, service, and philanthropy at UVA, in Charlottesville and the greater Commonwealth is well known. Resilience Education is so grateful to be the recipient of this important fund honoring their nephew. We look forward to helping it grow and to expanding our impact,” said Tierney Fairchild, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Resilience Education.

With additional financial support from the Charles J. Lewis III Resilience Education Fund, Resilience will continue pushing back against employment barriers by developing education programs within correctional facilities, growing its professional support network (Resilient Professional Community) and initiating conversations in the Fair Chance Business Education Consortium.

About Resilience Education:

Resilience Education is a non-profit organization focused on breaking the cycle of incarceration by improving the economic mobility of formerly incarcerated individuals through high-quality business education and post-release support. By partnering with correctional facilities, academic institutions, and private sector allies, Resilience Education empowers formerly incarcerated individuals to excel in the workforce. For more information, visit

About Charlottesville Area Community Foundation:

The Charlottesville Area Community Foundation is dedicated to improving the quality of life for those negatively impacted by inequitable systems in Charlottesville and the surrounding seven counties. In collaboration with donors, the foundation facilitates grants, scholarships, and other non-monetary support to community-based organizations working to address the ever-changing needs of our region.