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Youth Justice Action Month

Youth Justice Action Month is an annual month-long campaign where advocates come together to organize digital and in-person events and activities to raise awareness and inspire action on behalf of young people impacted by the justice system.

YJAM is powered by the Coalition for Juvenile Justice (CJJ), National Juvenile Justice Network (NJJN) and youth justice advocates like YOU across the country!

White House Proclamation

#YJAM2023 Theme: "Justice Is____." 

Our theme, “Justice Is____.” gives impacted youth, families and allies an opportunity to collectively imagine new possibilities for systems of support, healing and restorative justice. We can only create a true vision of justice, equity, and opportunity when we hear directly from those who are most impacted by the systems we are fighting to change. That means centering directly impacted youth voices in any transformations we advocate for.

This year, we call on anyone who cares about helping youth reach their fullest potential to center the experiences and leadership of youth and families impacted by the legal system.

5 Ways to Participate in Youth Justice Action Month #YJAM2023

  1. Use our #YJAM2023 social media kit to amplify the importance of youth justice advocacy all month long!
  2. Organize a virtual or in-person youth policy roundtable! Use our #YJAM2023 How to Create Youth-Centered Policy Roundtable toolkit to get a step-by-step guide on how to convene conversations and roundtables between youth advocates and state and local policymakers.
  3. Post and Share your #YJAM2023 photos with us- share photos of your work and the ways you are taking action for Youth Justice Action Month - make sure to use the #YJAM2023 hashtags/ tag us to keep us in the loop!
  4. Change your profile picture and/or Twitter + Facebook banner to the #YJAM2023 graphics. (download #YJAM2023 profile pics and banners HERE)
  5. Using the theme #JusticeIs, create your own graphic with what Youth Justice means to you. Use the premade template graphic or create your own! Make sure to tag us and use the #YJAM2023 hashtags so we can amplify!

Special Action Dates
Keep your eye out for our #YJAM Special Action Dates this month:

  1. [Virtual Event] Oct. 3rd - OJJDP YJAM Kickoff Webinar, 1-2 p.m. ET, Learn More
  2. [Virtual Event] Oct. 12th - Justice Is Ours: Youth Justice Movement Across the Country, 2-3:30 p.m. ET, Learn More
  3. [Social Media Day of Action] October 27th - Girls’ Justice Day, hosted by Rights 4 Girls opportunity to collectively imagine new possibilities for systems of support, healing and restorative justice. 

[Virtual] OJJDP YJAM Kickoff Webinar
October 3, 2023
1-2 p.m. ET

Join Administrator Ryan from the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention for a kickoff to YJAM with:

  • Tracey Tucker, Executive Director, National Juvenile Justice Network (NJJN)
  • Alani Rouse, NJJN Youth Program Organizer
  • Myla Round, Emerging Leaders Committee Member, CJJ 

[Virtual] Justice Is Ours: Youth Justice Movement Across the Country
October 12, 2023
11 a.m. PT/ 1 p.m. CT/ 2 p.m. ET

Join NJJN and the Coalition for Juvenile Justice for a discussion on the youth justice movement across the country. Hear from advocates on:

  • The history and importance of YJAM
  • The current state of youth justice as a movement across the country
  • Current issues and campaigns
  • The future of the youth justice movement, and
  • Ways allies and everyday people who care about the future of young people can plug into the work

[Virtual] IG LIVE: Safe Space for Youth Discussion
October 17, 5:30 p.m. CT
Instagram Live: www.instagram.com/dbinola
Hosted by: Daughters Beyond Incarceration

Join Daughters Beyond Incarceration for an Instagram LIVE @dbinola! During the livestream, mentees (ages 8-18) will define youth justice, explain how DBI impacts the youth justice landscape, and how adults who advocate on behalf of youth can elevate their voices. For more information, email Sunshyne@dbinola.org.

[In-Person] YJAM Youth Discussion with MCYJ & YVAC
October 18, 6 p.m. ET
Detroit, MI
Hosted by: Michigan Center for Youth Justice & Young Voices Action Collective

NJJN member Michigan Center for Youth Justice and its partner Young Voices Action Collective will host a conversational workshop focusing on Michigan's youth legal system. Through interactive dialogue, participants can offer their perspectives on youth justice-related legislation and deepen their understanding of advocacy on a statewide level. For more information, email kmartin@miyouthjustice.org.

[In-Person] Community Conversation on Mandatory Bindover

October 24, 5:30-7:30 p.m. ET
Columbus Main Library Auditorium, Columbus, OH
Hosted by: Juvenile Justice Coalition, Children's Law Center and R Strategy Group

NJJN Member Juvenile Justice Coalition in Ohio will host a powerful event highlighting the harmful effects of mandatory bindover policies in Franklin County with a diverse panel consisting of the Franklin County prosecutor, impacted families, attorneys, and more. For more information, email alleana@jjcohio.org. 

[Virtual] #Right2RemainSilent Online Teach-In
October 26, 4-5 p.m. ET
Hosted by #Right2RemainSilent

#Right2RemainSilent invites you to an online teach-in about the #Right2RemainSilent campaign. This is a great event for power-building and poetry as it relates to #R2RS and Youth Justice.

[Virtual] Justice is Authorship: Million Dollar Cage Film Screening & Discussion
October 30, 6-7:30 p.m. ET | 3-4:30 PT
Hosted by NJJN + Represent Justice

NJJN and Represent Justice invite you to a conversation discussing the ways that justice must include storytelling agency and authorship for those impacted by oppressive systems. Together, we will screen Million Dollar Cage, a film directed by Kyndra Kennedy, produced by Represent Justice, and co-produced by Kent Mendoza, Gretal Truong for Represent Justice, and Kyna Media Films. Following the film, Kent Mendoza and director Kyndra Kennedy will join staff from Represent Justice in a conversation on the importance of storytelling agency and ethics in advocacy.

[Virtual] Webinar: Gun Violence Reduction Strategies
October 31, 3-4 p.m. ET
Hosted by: The Annie E. Casey Foundation

This free, one-hour webinar will cover effective gun violence reduction strategies and roles for youth justice practitioners, community services providers, local government partners and law enforcement within those strategies.

In this webinar, the National Institute for Criminal Justice Reform (NICJR) will deliver an abbreviated version of its training on building a sustainable strategy for gun violence reduction. Also, the webinar will review near-term interventions such as life coaching and street outreach. It will include Healthy, Wealthy, & Wise, a culturally relevant, trauma-informed, cognitive behavioral therapy program developed by NICJR to reach youth and young adults at high risk of participating in or being a victim of gun violence in the immediate future.

For more information, email Carol Abrams at cabrams@aecf.org.

Learn More About Youth Justice: If you’re an ally who is new to learning about and understanding youth justice, make this a month to learn about key issues related to transforming youth justice. Each week, take on one topic. Here are links to get you started.  

Donate to Youth Justice: Youth justice advocacy needs financial support from individuals who care about the safety, protection and future of all youth. Take action this month by making a donation to a youth justice advocacy organization in your state or a national organization like CJJ or NJJN

Stay Connected: Stay committed to youth justice all year long by joining our email lists for future news and action alerts.

Got questions about YJAM? Email info@njjn.org.