Criminal Justice and Mercy Ministries (CJAMM)
Lew McGinnis has worked in the field of real estate investing for more than 55 years. Alongside his professional activities, Lew McGinnis works to give back to the community through his support of organizations such as Criminal Justice and Mercy Ministries (CJAMM), which is conducted by the Oklahoma Conference of the United Methodist Church.
In its efforts to break the cycle of incarceration, addiction, and criminal behavior, CJAMM oversees a variety of programs for currently and formerly incarcerated individuals and their families. For youth affected by incarceration, CJAMM offers the New Day Camp, which gives children the opportunity to take part in therapeutic and recreational activities with counselors and other youth from similar backgrounds.
During the weeklong camp, participants enjoy arts and crafts activities, water sports, and therapeutic games that help promote teamwork and self-confidence. Campers also have the opportunity to make new friends and share their stories during small-group discussions with their peers.
To attend CJAMM’s New Day Camp, children must be between the ages of 8 and 14 and have at least one parent who is currently incarcerated. Each summer, CJAMM holds one session for children 8-11 and one session for children 12-14.
Master of Real Estate Development
Going only as far as the 8th grade did not prevent Lew McGinnis from eventually leading his own $400 million residential-industrial project, then the largest of its kind in Tucson, Arizona. Lew McGinnis’ real estate development achievements at one point saw him giving lectures to students at the University of Arizona (AU) to help them succeed in the real estate realm.
To develop aspiring real estate investors and developers, AU offers its Master of Real Estate Development (MRED) program through the College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture. The MRED program is best suited for professionals who desire increased knowledge of the entire building industry as well as for those who want to become real estate developers and leaders.
The program’s focus is on private/public partnerships, sustainable cities, green building, transit-oriented development, and sustainable and responsible development. Students experience real work projects, and one group’s entry was a finalist in the 2016 Bank of America Merrill Lynch Low Income Housing Project. The course can be completed in three semesters and graduates have a 100 percent employment record.
Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
Real estate investor Lew McGinnis has held leadership positions at a number of nonprofits over the years. For a period, Lew McGinnis served as director of the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum Foundation. The museum plays an important role in research and preservation of the desert.
Through the Conservation Education & Science Department, the museum spearheads ecological research of the Sonoran Desert that influences conservation policies and makes its research readily available to the public. In addition, the department offers various outreach education programs so that children and adults alike can learn about important issues affecting the desert. These educational efforts reflect the various ways that people learn with hands-on programming, as well as place-based learning and inquiry-based education.
The research undertaken by the museum is essentially interdisciplinary in nature, with experts in biology, earth sciences, botany, and ecology all working together along with specialists in ornithology and ethnobiology. Because about two-thirds of the Sonoran Desert is in Mexico, the museum also partners with researchers, educators, and conservationists across the border to ensure that findings reflect the entire ecosystem and protection efforts can be implemented across the whole desert.