Home News Center NJJN Launches Ally Week as Part of Youth Justice Action Month!

NJJN Launches Ally Week as Part of Youth Justice Action Month!

October 2, 2020

NJJN is honoring our allies for NJJN Ally Week - October 12-17, 2020!

Integral to the work that NJJN accomplishes are our allies. We sat down with some of our dedicated supporters to discuss their passions for youth justice and their hopes for the future. Here's what some of our allies had to say.

Vicki Reed
is the Director of the Kentucky Juvenile Justice Initiative and became an ally with NJJN this year. When asked what her hope for the future of youth in the U.S. is, she said, “Like a phoenix the youth of America will rise out of the ashes of this time of pandemic and social unrest to reshape the country into a more humane, just, and equitable society.” To Vicki, this more equitable society will be achieved through a transformation of our youth justice system. “Nowhere are the injustices more apparent than in the criminal justice system.,” Vicki said. “If we fix this lowest rung of the system, like tossing a pebble in a pond, the ripples will spread to society at large…less adults in prison and less disenfranchised members of society.”

Luis Ceballos 
is an NJJN ally based in Texas who works with the Alliance of Elite Youth Leadership. Luis has many hopes for the future of youth in our country, one being an increased effort in protecting girls of color. “There is also an abundance of young minority girls in need of mentoring and or counseling services by minority-driven programs to target issues relating to female empowerment, harmful perceptions, self-identity, and exclusion. This effort will help open up dialogue and help eliminate the beliefs that minority girls are deemed less in need of nurturing, comfort and protection,” said Luis.

Shana Kidd Washington
is the founder of Social Butterflii Inc. and became an NJJN ally this year. When asked about one justice issue she wished she could fix, Shana said, “No minor should be treated as an adult in the justice system. I believe the school-to-prison pipeline is one of the key factors to the system with its harsh zero tolerance policies that mainly impact youth of color and youth with special needs.  We must continue advocating for those who cannot speak up for themselves or nothing will change.” 

Krista Lofton 
became an NJJN ally this year while working towards her Clinical Psychology Doctoral Degree. When asked about her passion for youth justice, Krista said, “ As a clinician who works in mental health and forensics, I have personally witnessed the inhumanity and obstacles that our youth face, in all capacities: systemically, culturally, and socioeconomically. It is my belief that all youth are deserving of the chance to not only survive, but more importantly, THRIVE. Our youth deserve our support, but more significantly, need to be supplied with the tools to become EMPOWERED in order to make positive and meaningful impacts on the world in which they live.”

Lisa Thomas
, a former education assistant, substitute special education teacher in a regional youth detention center, general education teacher (GED) at a youth detention center, and current youth probation officer, Lisa Thomas has been an NJJN ally since 2019. In her various roles involved with youth justice, Lisa has seen the need for youth justice now. For the future of our country, Lisa said, “I would love to see a country that teaches our youth to become leaders of integrity that have compassion for all people. I hope to see a country where all systems ( juvenile justice, educational, medical, mental health, and social services) will come together to be the village that helps raise healthy, intelligent, and confident youth. The juvenile justice system should not be the system where youth are finally heard.”

Linda Genereux 
is s a Director and Producer at Defy Expectations Filmworks and became an NJJN ally this year. When asked about her hopes for the future, Linda said, “I’d hope to see all the state juvenile justice organizations work together to abolish youth incarceration facilities. The voices of young people are very powerful and this is a moment of incredible opportunity for young people to be leaders in that change. I truly believe that all levels of legislative reform are possible right now, but the only way to get our voices heard is through collective action.”

Join us in the movement to transform youth justice! Become an ally with NJJN and let the world know why you are an #allyforyouthjustice! 

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