Combatting Criminal Justice Violations: Challenging Assumptions and Winning Campaigns

Combatting Criminal Justice Violations: Challenging Assumptions and Winning Campaigns

Session Type(s): Panel

Training Tag(s): Criminal Justice, Organizing & Movement Building

Starts: Friday, Jun. 8 10:30 AM (Eastern)

Ends: Friday, Jun. 8 11:45 AM (Eastern)

Room: Ballroom D

How can social and racial justice organizations leverage technology on behalf of criminal justice campaigns? Panelists will discuss how their respective organizations utilize the internet, social media platforms and mobile devices to spread awareness about criminal justice violations impacting communities of color. Particular campaigns to be highlighted include those against the NYPD’s racially-targeted “Stop and Frisk” policy; the wrongful imprisonment of 10 innocent men in Cook County, IL, on the basis of forced confessions; the execution of Troy Davis without proof of guilt beyond reasonable doubt on the basis of unreliable eyewitness testimony; and the proposal to replace the storm-damaged Orleans Parish Prison with a massively-expanded facility. Panelists will share best practices, successes and challenges and ways to improve the efficacy of 21st century technology in criminal justice campaigns.

Combatting Criminal Justice Violations: Challenging Assumptions and Winning Campaigns

Storified by Netroots Nation · Fri, Jun 08 2012 17:22:14

Criminal justice violations disproportionately affect low income communities and communities of color. As progressives, addressing this problem is an important part of creating a more equitable society. Panelists today discussed the many challenges surrounding this intricate issue.
Starting "Combatting criminal justice violations" w/ @danaknola, Kamau Franklin & Matt Nelson of @ColorOfChange #NN12 #NN12Black #nn12cjDani McClain
There is much at stake. Communities must be united and a voice must be given to those that have suffer because of these types of injustices.
For people of color, interactions w/ cj system can go from benign to dangerous instantly says Matt Nelson #nn12cj #nn12Rania Khalek
Fighting prisons uniting Black and Brown communities uniting to fight immigrant detention centers in #nola #nn12 #nn12cjLaurie Ignacio
Dana Kaplan: ppl who had been incarcerated testify to city council to stop huge new NOLA jail: the system is destroying our lives. #NN12Austen Levihn-Coon
Vigilance is key.
Monitoring police should be part of our everyday civic engagement duties says Matt Nelson #nn12cj #nn12Rania Khalek
Kamau Franklin from Malcolm X Grassroots Movement talking about Cop Watch Program in Brooklyn to monitor police brutality. #nn12Rania Khalek
Attendees asked questions that touched on issues that are currently in legal limbo. The resulting decisions will have a significant impact on individuals rights and protections.
Question about right 2 film police. Matt Nelson & Kamau Franklin highlight recent & upcoming court cases in various states. #nn12cj #nn12Rania Khalek
The system can be changed; we do not need to stand for the status quo.
Geo Group prison company no longer allowed to opperate in Mississippi. Now we know it can be done. Matt Nelson @colorofchange #NN12Austen Levihn-Coon
RT @RaniaKhalek: Fundamental flaw in #privateprison model is profits — Matt Nelson #nn12cj #nn12Joe Moses
Attendees left the conversation with a renewed sense of purpose.
If u missed the criminal justice panel at #nn12 you should def watch it online. Best panel I’ve been to do far.Rania Khalek


Dani McClain

Dani McClain

Dani McClain joined the ColorOfChange team in 2008. Before working in online organizing, she covered education while on staff at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, reported for the Miami Herald’s metro desk, and worked to end racially discriminatory drug laws as a communications staffer at Drug Policy Alliance. She serves on the board of Allied Media Projects.

my website


Kamau Franklin


Kamau has worked as a community activist for over fifteen years in New York City and is now based in the south. In addition to his work as an activist attorney, he is a leading member of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement. An organization dedicated to human rights advocacy and building grassroots institutions in the black community. The organization works on various issues including youth development, fighting police misconduct, and creating sustainable urban communities. Kamau has helped develop community cop-watch programs, freedom school programs for youth and alternatives to incarceration programs.

Kamau has also written articles for various on-line publications, including Black Agenda, Left Turn, and Organizing. He is a featured writer in the upcoming book A Lie of Reinvention: Correcting Manning Marable’s Malcolm X. He writes regularly at his blog at Kamau is married to Edget Betru.

my website

Dana Kaplan

Dana Kaplan is the Executive Director of the Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana. Prior to JJPL, Dana Kaplan was a Soros Justice Fellow at the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) in New York City. At CCR, Ms. Kaplan worked with community groups and government on developing alternatives to detention and downsizing local jails. She was also an Organizer for a partnership between CCR and two prison family organizations that reduced the cost of all phone calls from New York State prisons by fifty percent. Ms. Kaplan has been on staff at the Brooklyn-based Prison Moratorium Project, where she helped stop the construction of a youth prison upstate and two youth jail expansions in NYC. Dana holds an MA from the City University of New York and a BA from UC Berkeley, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa and was a recipient of the John Gardner Fellowship for Public Service.

my website

Laura Moye


Laura Moye is the Director of Amnesty International USA’s Death Penalty Abolition Campaign, based in Washington, DC. She has been an active voice for human rights and abolition of the death penalty since her days as a student activist. Moye has worked in various capacities for AIUSA over the past 14 years. She started working for AIUSA in the Southern Regional Office in 1998. Her focus there was on building the human rights activist base in the South. She has organized scores of conferences and trainings and provided support to AI chapters and volunteer leaders and social justice coalitions in their human rights work. As part of her anti-death penalty work, Moye has been a leader in state legislative and clemency campaigns, including a campaign for a moratorium and study of Georgia’s death penalty and to stop the execution of death row prisoner Troy Davis.

Other sessions: From Defeat to Triumph: Erasing the Death Penalty in America

my website

Matt Nelson


Matt Nelson is the Colombian-born, Midwestern-raised Executive Director of—the nation’s largest online Latinx organizing group; advancing social justice with technology, media, and culture. He is a seasoned campaign strategist who has won hundreds of local and national campaigns and a skilled community organizer who has trained thousands of activists. Before his work at, Matt was the Organizing Director at and has co-founded several cooperative enterprises in multiple Midwestern cities. He is a long-serving community organizer who was featured in the first major book on the Ferguson Uprising, entitled, “Ferguson is America: Roots of Rebellion”. He also contributed to the book, “Welcome to the Revolution: Universalizing Resistance for Social Justice and Democracy in Perilous Times”, and is an editor of the recently released book: Turnout! Mobilizing Voters in an Emergency (Routledge Press, July 2020)

Other sessions: Organizing Outside the Lines: "Hard-to-Reach Communities" Winning Major Victories by Moving from Moment to Movement

my website