About Us

Those closest to the problem are closest to the solution,
but furthest from resources and power.

MISSION STATEMENT

JustLeadershipUSA is dedicated to cutting the US correctional population in #halfby2030. JLUSA empowers people most affected by incarceration to drive policy reform.

Mass incarceration is the most significant domestic threat to the fabric of our democracy. The reason for such high incarceration rates is not serious crimes but misguided policies such as mandatory minimums, three-strikes laws and reductions in the availability of parole and other early release mechanisms. Through targeted advocacy, strengthening leadership and membership support, JustLeadershipUSA believes a decarcerated America is possible.

“I believe that the launching of JustLeadershipUSA will be viewed, one day, by historians and advocates alike as a true game changer: the moment in the emerging movement when formerly incarcerated people finally had a chance to be heard, to organize, and to influence policy in major ways — even though many of them still lacked the right to vote.”

Michelle Alexander Author of The New Jim Crow and long-time civil rights advocate
JLUSA Advisory Board Member

WHAT WE DO

Leadership

Trains and supports formerly incarcerated people to become stronger and more effective leaders

Advocacy

Organizes and supports decarceration advocacy campaigns on the local, state and federal levels

Membership

Engages members to help build support and raise awareness through advocacy and activism

HISTORY

JustLeadershipUSA (JLUSA) is dedicated to cutting the US correctional population in #halfby2030. JLUSA empowers people most affected by incarceration to drive policy reform. The organization’s three pillars are Leadership, Advocacy, and Membership.

JLUSA was founded in November 2014 by national criminal justice reform advocate Glenn E. Martin, on the guiding principle that “those closest to the problem are closest to the solution, but furthest from resources and power.” The inspiration for JLUSA came from Mr. Martin’s personal experience, having been previously incarcerated for six years. JLUSA’s #halfby2030 mission came from Mr. Martin’s love for his youngest son, Joshua Martin, who will turn 18 in 2030.

As president of the organization until December 2017, Mr. Martin worked with staff to launch the bold and successful #CLOSErikers campaign, propelling JLUSA onto the national stage; engaged in unflinching and non-partisan advocacy on the federal level; and set the foundation for the agency’s multi-city advocacy work. Mr. Martin and JLUSA’s Senior Training Consultant, David K. Mensah, developed the organization’s leadership program with input from over 50 formerly incarcerated leaders from across the US, with support from the Center for Institutional and Social Change at Columbia University. The Leading with Conviction advanced leadership development program and Emerging Leaders regional trainings are an investment in the individual and collective leadership of people directly impacted by the system of mass incarceration.

JLUSA is the first organization in the country to call for the correctional system to be halved, and has inspired a movement of people and new organizations to follow our mission toward decarceration. From closing toxic jails and prisons to reforming pretrial laws, barriers to employment, and the wider system of mass criminalization, JLUSA’s bold campaigns with valued partners across the U.S. amplify the voices and expertise of directly impacted people who are leading us toward #halfby2030.

Team Members


President / CEO
DeAnna Hoskins
Senior Advisor
Tom Ochs
Chief of Staff
Valrie Fowler
Senior Training Consultant
David Mensah

Communications Coordinator
Alexander L. Bryden
Administrative Associate (Washington D.C.)
Amber Artis
Associate Director of Development
Aminah Abdul-Majeed
Membership Coordinator
Anastasija Ocheretina

New York State Organizer
Ashley Gantt
New York City Campaign Coordinator
Brandon J. Holmes
Philadelphia Community Organizer
Cara Tratner
Design & Digital Media Associate
David Etheridge-Bartow

Director of Development
David Rosen
Senior Policy Advisor
Dylan Hayre
New York State Campaign Coordinator
Erin George
NYC Community Organizer
Harvey Murphy

Policy Associate
Hassen Bashir
Fair Hiring Consultant (South Carolina)
Jerry Blassingame
Office Administrator
Jillian Dillah
New York Statewide Organizer
Katie Schaffer

South Carolina Statewide Organizer
Lester Young, Jr.
Lead National Organizer
Lex Steppling
Milwaukee Campaign Coordinator
Mark Rice
Training and Logistics Coordinator
Melissa Shillingford

Fair Hiring Project Coordinator
Megan French-Marcelin
Director of Communications
Monica Novoa
Philadelphia Campaign Coordinator
Reuben Jones
Milwaukee Community Organizer
Robert Agnew, Jr.

Director of Outreach and Alumni Engagement
Ronald Simpson-Bey
Senior Community Organizer
Sarita Daftary-Steel
Milwaukee Community Organizer
Sharyl McFarland
Community Organizer
Vidal Guzman

Board of Directors


Annabel Davis-Goff
Bruce Western
David Solomon
Jackie Mann
Julia Paliare
In Memorium
Lawrence V. Gelber
Robert Liu
Sue A. Kaplan, J.D.
Board Chair
Vivian D. Nixon

Advisory Board Members


New York
Barbara Edwards Delsman
New York
Charlita Cardwell
North Carolina
Daryl V. Atkinson
California
Dorsey Nunn
New York
Felicia Reback
New York
Francis Greenburger
Ohio
Michelle Alexander
Louisiana
Norris Henderson
New York
Piper Kerman
Michigan
William “Bill” Cabin

FOUNDATION PARTNERS

JOBS