In our 25th year, meet 25 changemakers—the connectors, thinkers, and doers—who are transforming justice together.
Lawyers, social workers, community organizers, educators, advocates, researchers—these changemakers, with their diverse backgrounds, knowledge, and experience, play a crucial role in the work we do every day at the Center for Court Innovation. Their stories are different, but each of our 25 changemakers are leaving a unique mark in the world, motivated by a desire to change the status quo.
Together, we work towards an anti-racist, equitable, and fair justice system as we build community-created, community-led initiatives that put people first. We emphasize restorative healing and holistic services over punishment. We have long served as a bridge between government and communities, helping channel resources and strengthen partnerships to get things done. Our people are connectors, thinkers, and doers.
Throughout our year-long Changemakers in Action series, you will meet the individuals who are transforming justice together. Follow along here and on social media with the hashtag #transformingjustice.
Meet Andree Tenemas-Chavez
Citywide Program Manager, Parent Support Program
Andree Tenemas-Chavez helps non-custodial parents address challenges paying child support, but her work uplifts whole families. She says of the work, “By helping the non-custodial parent, we’re helping children and families, we’re helping kids reach their full potential. We’ve learned that once the barriers are removed, parents tend to reach out to the other parent to establish a connection with their children." Andree is the citywide program manager for the Parent Support Program, which she helped launch when she joined our organization in December 2010.Meet Andree
Meet Kellsie Sayers
Director of Restorative Practices
“This job has really shown me our deep ability as human beings to be connected to one another.” Kellsie Sayers is the director of restorative practices where she oversees the design and implementation of restorative justice programming. Kellsie joined the Center for Court Innovation four years ago to lead the restorative justice in schools project, a four-year pilot looking at the impact of restorative practices on school culture. “The foundation of restorative justice is really community building.” Learn how Kellsie uses restorative practices to build stronger, healthier relationships and communities.
Meet Jennelle Ramdeen
Program Associate of the Youth Justice Board
Jennelle Ramdeen is a social justice educator, youth worker, and activist. They have been at the Center for Court Innovation since 2018 and currently serve as program associate of the Youth Justice Board. Jennelle facilitates programming to teach youth “how to think critically, make connections, [and] have the tools to analyze and be responsible researchers."
Read more about Jennelle.
Meet Hailey Nolasco
Director of Community-Based Violence Prevention
"Community has the answers to the issues. Whatever is going on, the person who lives on the block knows how to fix it.” Hailey Nolasco is the director of Community-Based Violence Prevention at the Center and leads the RISE (Reimagining Intimacy through Social Engagement) Project, which addresses the intersection between gun violence and intimate partner violence. She says her work at the Center allows her to be creative in the ways she addresses public safety and works with community.
Read more about Hailey and her work.
Meet Chidinma Ume
Deputy Director of Policy
Chidinma Ume is a connector of both people and resources as she consults with communities nationally to implement justice reforms. Based in our West Coast office, Chidinma serves as deputy director of policy, a role that allows her to provide jurisdictions advice, support, and training in the areas of jail reduction, criminal justice debt reform, and to work with government and community leaders on evidence-informed practices. Hear from Chidinma how she approaches the work of transforming justice in an effort to co-create a fairer, more human-centered system for all.
Meet the Rev. Kevin Jones
“It’s all about loving people,” says the Rev. Kevin Jones, Save Our Streets Brooklyn’s faith-based organizer. “I don’t believe in pastoring in four walls. I believe in pastoring in community.” The Rev. Jones (or “Rev,” as friends and colleagues call him) is the only faith-based organizer among all of New York City’s 26 anti-violence Crisis Management System sites, which deploy violence interrupters with first-hand knowledge of street and gang life to mediate conflicts before they escalate.