Home News Center Youth Justice Advocates Win Prestigious Fellowship: 2017-18 YJLI Fellows

Youth Justice Advocates Win Prestigious Fellowship: 2017-18 YJLI Fellows

September 26, 2017


Josh Gordon, 217-801-2009




Fellowship Supports Advocates of Color in Juvenile Justice Reform

WASHINGTON 10 youth justice advocates have been chosen to be a fellow in the Youth Justice Leadership Institute. The Institute is a prestigious national fellowship program run by the National Juvenile Justice Network (NJJN) in Washington, DC for juvenile justice reform advocates. Applications to the year-long leadership development program—which is targeted at advocates of color—are competitive and only ten people are selected each year.

Why is the Institute needed? Although communities of color are generally those most heavily-impacted by the juvenile justice policy, advocates of color are surprisingly underrepresented in reformer leadership. The Youth Justice Leadership Institute seeks to address this imbalance by offering fellowships to develop the leadership and advocacy skills of people of color who are in the youth justice field. During the year-long program, Institute fellows increase their knowledge about the juvenile justice system’s structures and reform needs, and effective advocacy and organizing techniques necessary to achieve system change. They are also matched with experienced advocates, who mentor them over the course of the year.  

“There’s a critical need to develop strong and effective leaders of color in the youth justice movement,” said Diana Onley-Campbell, who coordinates the national program for NJJN. “We believe that the voices and leadership of individuals of color are crucial tools in reforming the biased juvenile justice system and will help build a fairer, more equitable and developmentally appropriate juvenile justice system for all youth and families.”

Over the next year, the fellows will partner with various juvenile justice organizations to complete advocacy projects. Photos, videos, and more information about the Institute and previous fellows can be found here.  

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The National Juvenile Justice Network is composed of coalitions, organizations and alumni of the Youth Justice Leadership Institute across 44 states and the District of Columbia, all of whom advocate for a fairer justice system for children and teens. For more information, visit www.njjn.org.

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