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Message from Executive Director

January 27, 2020
Ricky Watson

Dear NJJN Members, Partners and Allies,

I hope the new year is off to a great start for you all! It’s been almost a month since I’ve been in my new seat as NJJN’s Executive Director. I am incredibly grateful for the leadership of NJJN’s staff, board of directors, membership advisory council, and our former executive director Sarah Bryer for supporting my transition into this role.

New beginnings offer new hope, and I wanted to take a quick moment to share the things that I’m looking forward to as we grow together. First, I am excited to engage with and find new ways to highlight the work of NJJN members. We do not have to look outside of our own membership to see the way forward for youth justice, and I fully embrace elevating all of your work to ignite change throughout the country.

Secondly, as an alum of our Youth Justice Leadership Institute, I know the amazing work being done by YJLI Fellows, past and present. Some of the most creative and innovative thinking is taking place right here amongst our YJLI family, and I am committed to supporting and highlighting our fellows to elevate their leadership even further in the youth justice space. As an organization, we know it is equally important to invest in the leadership of youth advocates, and I am committed to increasing youth participation within NJJN in a genuine way.

Throughout all of these efforts, incorporating a racial-equity analysis into all of our work will be a top priority to strengthen our foundation as an anti-racist youth justice organization.

Thank you to those who have welcomed me graciously and I look forward to working with you all as we continue moving towards a truly just and dignified system of safety and care to help all young people reach their highest potential.

In Solidarity,


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