Introducing the 2013 Soros Justice Fellows

The Open Society Foundations today announced an award of $1.2 million to the 2013 cohort of Soros Justice Fellows. The fellows include investigative journalists, lawyers, grassroots organizers, policy advocates, and scholars. The 14 fellows will take on a range of U.S. reform issues that relate to broader Open Society efforts to curb mass incarceration, eliminate harsh punishment, and ensure justice system accountability in the United States.

2013 Soros Justice Fellows

Amanda Alexander, Detroit, MI

Host: Detroit Center for Family Advocacy, Michigan Law School

Through direct legal services, client education, targeted litigation, and advocacy, Alexander will work to minimize the ways an entire family suffers when a parent is incarcerated.

Maureen Barden, Philadelphia, PA

Host: Pennsylvania Health Law Project

Barden will develop and implement model policies and practices to help realize the Affordable Care Act’s potential for vastly improving the physical and behavior health of the thousands of Pennsylvanians coming home from prison and jail each year.

Calvin Duncan, New Orleans, LA

Host: The Promise of Justice Initiative

Duncan will seek to vindicate the post-conviction rights of people incarcerated in Louisiana prisons by increasing their access to court records and quality representation and by raising awareness around the inequities in the post-conviction process.

Tanya Erzen, Seattle, WA

Erzen will write a book describing how and why the United States has become a faith-based prison nation, and what this means for criminal justice policy and practice.

Mujahid Farid, New York, NY

Host: Correctional Association of New York

Using research, mobilization, and advocacy, Farid will address the plight of older people in New York State prisons and promote the use of mechanisms that would lead to their release.

Joshua Gravens, Dallas, TX

Gravens will educate Texas policymakers, law enforcement, the legal profession, and the general public about the harms associated with placing children on sex offense registries.

Ian Mance, Durham, NC

Host: Southern Coalition for Social Justice

Mance will use powerful and newly-available statistical evidence to expose and directly challenge the systemic practice of racial profiling in several North Carolina counties.

Marbre Stahly-Butts, Brooklyn, NY

Host: Center for Popular Democracy

Stahly-Butts will organize and support those affected by drug-related evictions in New York City to protect their rights and advocate for the end of such policies.

Jackie Sumell, New Orleans, LA

Sumell will launch a new media campaign that exposes the widespread use and abuse of solitary confinement and supports existing advocacy campaigns.

Kylee Sunderlin, New York, NY

Host: National Advocates for Pregnant Women

Sunderlin will create a network of expertly trained counsel to represent mothers facing termination of parental rights based on their enrollment in methadone maintenance treatment.

Charity Tolliver, Chicago, IL

Host: Black Youth Project, University of Chicago

Tolliver will form a grassroots campaign that challenges the policies and practices that push Illinois foster youth into the juvenile and criminal justice systems.

Olga Tomchin, San Francisco, CA

Host: Transgender Law Center

Tomchin will challenge the inhumane treatment of indigent transgender people in immigration detention and improve their access to quality deportation defense representation.

Luis Trelles, San Juan, PR

Trelles will produce a series of print, web-based, video, and audio pieces that describe the complications and contradictions surrounding the use of the federal death penalty in the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico.

Tyrone Werts, Philadelphia, PA

Host: Father’s Day Rally Committee

Through workshops, community meetings, and public education, Werts will develop and promote the leadership of incarcerated and formerly incarcerated men in addressing the problem of crime and violence in their communities.