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Youth Justice Emerging Leader Award

Purpose:

To honor an individual advocate for youth justice who embodies passion, boldness and perseverance, and is committed to raising up the voices, experiences and expertise of system-involved youth and people of color to ensure that those most directly impacted by injustice are at the forefront of the youth justice movement.

Criteria:

The nominee should: 
1. Use advocacy as a key tool to effectively promote fair treatment of youth in trouble with the law.
2. Be committed to empowering system-involved youth, people of color, and families of youth who are system-involved as leaders in the youth justice movement. 
3. Demonstrate a commitment to racial justice in their youth justice advocacy.
4. Have engaged in youth justice advocacy for no more than 5 years. 
5. Represent a directly-impacted community.
This includes any of the following:
a. formerly incarcerated or otherwise system-involved youth
b. person of color
c. family member of a system-involved youth
d. person harmed by crime, or survivor of crime

NJJN encourages nominations of individuals of all ages who are engaged in youth justice advocacy -- including youth under the age of 18.
 
Who can Nominate Someone for this Award?

Nominations must come from an NJJN member (either state organizational member or Youth Justice Leadership Institute member), or NJJN partner organization. Anyone affiliated with a member or partner organization may nominate themselves for the award.

Awardees Receive

1. Presentation of a plaque at NJJN’s annual Forum.
2. Travel and hotel expenses covered to come to the Forum, if these otherwise wouldn’t be covered.
3. Assistance with garnering local press for themselves and their organizations around receipt of the award.
4. National press release sent out by NJJN. 
5. A dedicated page on the NJJN website honoring the recipient.  
 
How to Nominate Someone

Please submit your written nominations via email to info@njjn.org by 11:59 pm EST on Friday, May 4, 2018. 
 
1. Full name of nominee, organizational affiliation, position title, description and how long the nominee has been in that role. 
2. All nominees must represent a directly-impacted community. How has your nominee been directly impacted by the juvenile justice system? How has that impact informed their advocacy work around youth justice reform?
3. How does the nominee use advocacy to effectively promote the fair treatment of youth in trouble with the law?
4. How does the nominee use advocacy to empower system-involved youth, families, and people of color as youth justice movement leaders?
5. What has the nominee done to prioritize racial justice in their youth justice advocacy?
6. How has the nominee been a trailblazer in youth justice reform at the local, state or national level?
 
NJJN’s Membership Advisory Council will review all nominations and select the winner.

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The National Juvenile Justice Network is composed of coalitions, organizations and alumni of the Youth Justice Leadership Institute across 43 states and the District of Columbia, all of whom advocate to shrink our youth justice systems and make what remains fair and effective.

Purpose of the Emerging Leader Award

To honor an individual advocate for youth justice who embodies passion, boldness and perseverance, and is committed to raising up the voices, experiences and expertise of system-involved youth and people of color to ensure that those most directly impacted by injustice are at the forefront of the youth justice movement. 
 

Emerging Leaders are... 

... passionate advocates working to empower system-involved youth, people of color, and families of youth who are system-involved as leaders in the youth justice movement. In addition:

  • They are committed to racial justice as a crucial tenet of youth justice system reform. 
  • They represent a directly-impacted community, such as formerly incarcerated or system involved youth, people of color, families of system-involved youth, and/or a person harmed by crime. 
  • As an "emerging" leader, they have been involved in youth justice reform advocacy for no more than 5 years - and may even be youth under the age of 18 themselves. 

Please note: Only NJJN members, partner organizations, and staff are eligible to nominate folks for these awards, though anyone affiliated with a member or partner organization may nominate themselves for an award.

Past winners:

2018

Valerie Slater of RISE for Youth. Learn more.

2017
Amber Evans of Ohio's Juvenile Justice Coalition. Learn more.

2016
Jeree Thomas of the Legal Aid Justice Center. Learn more.