When my friend Erin Ellis approached me with the prospect of joining the EJUSA Associate Board, I jumped at the opportunity. EJUSA’s work to make the criminal justice system more fair, effective, and responsive is right in line with the values my work at the National Network for Safe Communities at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Ending the death penalty and developing a just, trauma-informed response to crime and violence are new frontiers for me in the complex fight to reform the justice system.
Working with EJUSA also gives me the opportunity to explore other strategies for creating social and systemic change. At the National Network, we provide direct technical assistance to law enforcement, community leaders, and social service providers in cities across the country to enhance public safety, minimize the use of incarceration, and reconcile police and communities of color. Much of our work involves building close relationships with stakeholders who can change institutional practice and culture from within. But EJUSA’s long and impressive track record of grassroots organizing clearly demonstrates the importance of moving the ball forward on multiple tracks – as advocates seeking to educate the public and lawmakers and as trusted advisers to decision-makers in the field.
Finally, working with the Associate Board is an exciting opportunity for mutual growth at an exciting time for justice reform. The advantages for me are obvious: working with smart, interesting, likeminded people in the pursuit of a common goal, while gaining exposure to new tactics and concepts in the struggle for a more equitable society. But I hope that I have something to offer as well: my time and energy; my experience with communications, recruitment, and fundraising; and, perhaps most usefully, the perspectives and networks I’ve developed while working with the National Network.
As the U.S. undertakes the messy, and necessary, process of reconsidering its justice system, it seems important to make sure that those with similar visions for the future work closely together where it makes sense. I’m ecstatic to have the privilege of contributing my energies to EJUSA’s mission.
Are you a New York City-area professional who shares our vision, loves to network, and wants to make an impact? Then the EJUSA Associate Board is looking for you! Build bridges and your resume; make an impact nationally and support a locally-based nonprofit; share your passion for justice and have fun doing it. For more information or to apply, contact Andrea at firstname.lastname@example.org or (718) 801-8946.