Emerging Leaders Committee

CJJ’s Emerging Leaders Committee (ELC)
The Emerging Leaders Committee (ELC) is a partnership between CJJ and young people in the field of youth justice, many of whom bring lived expertise to their work. This group consists of young people ages 16 to 27 years old from across the country. ELC Members may serve on their State Advisory Group, have previous or current youth justice involvement, and/or are interested in youth justice reform. Each member serves for one calendar year. CJJ supports the Emerging Leaders Committee to ensure that youth perspectives are represented in all aspects and functions of CJJ’s work, as well as CJJ’s communications with state and federal policymakers.
 

Emerging Leaders Committee members help to shape the overall program and policy agenda for CJJ and perform several other important duties, including: 

  • Organizing the Youth Summit, a virtual and in-person gathering that allows young people to come together to explore how they can collaborate and lead in juvenile justice reform;  
  • Coordinating, reviewing, and selecting the recipient of the annual CJJ Spirit of Youth Award;
  • Developing and implementing educational training programs for youth and adult SAG members;
  • Convening committee meetings and networking events for youth members at CJJ conferences; and
  • Orienting new youth members to the work of the SAGs and CJJ, through the publication of resources and ongoing information sharing.

Emerging Leaders Committee Members develop leadership and advocacy skills and learn about the youth justice system.                                                                                                                                                          

ELC Members 2024:

2024 Emerging Leaders Committee Members

Gabrielle Henry (GA)

Edgar Calixto (WA)

Audi Wodrazka Espinoza (IA)

Raymond Vincent (LA)

Marika Luneau (OR) 

Rebekah Arnold (CO)

 

Chris Ford (WA)

Erin Condon (MA)

Mike O'Key (SC)

Ron Ackerson (WA)

Myla Roundy (IL)

Emilio Carranza-Davis (CA)

Stephanie Lorenzo (Guam)

The Emerging Leaders Committee (ELC) is a partnership between CJJ and young people in the field of youth justice, many of whom bring lived expertise to their work. This group consists of young people ages 16 to 27 years old from across the country. ELC Members may serve on their State Advisory Group, have previous or current youth justice involvement, and/or are interested in youth justice reform. Each member serves for one calendar year. CJJ supports the Emerging Leaders Committee to ensure that youth perspectives are represented in all aspects and functions of CJJ’s work, as well as CJJ’s communications with state and federal policymakers.

Highlights from the 2023 Emerging Leaders Committee:

In 2023, CJJ's ELC held a Youth Summit, “Empowering, Enriching, and Inspiring Youth: Making Policy Personal,” in Tacoma, Washington. This event explored issues such as leadership & advocacy, self-care, youth justice, sentencing reform, mentoring & re-entry. The event aimed to cultivate and empower the next generation of leaders by providing them with the tools they need to leverage their lived experience. Attendees included over 100 young people from across the country interested in youth justice reform.

The 2023 ELC also had several opportunities to build on policy recommendations made at the federal level during YJAM 2022. In 2022, the ELC and youth from the National Juvenile Justice Network met with the Office of Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) Administrator Elizabeth Ryan, her youth justice team, and other OJJDP staff, to share policy recommendations to change youth justice on a national level. 

This year, ELC members and NJJN youth expanded on their work by co-presenting the webinar “Planning YJAM 2023: Bringing Youth Visions of Justice to State & Local Policymakers." During this webinar, the youth members shared their thoughts, insight, and experiences from the policy round table and make recommendations to others looking to host a similar event. 

The Emerging Leaders Committee was also able to assist CJJ staff with the development of a reentry guide. When released, this guide will be used to help advisory groups take action and reform current re-entry processes. Members also assisted in the development of a reentry app designed to connect youth across the country with resources.