Local Civil Rights Lawyer and Reform Advocate Wins Prestigious Fellowship In Youth Justice

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(Cincinnati, Ohio) Rickell Howard, Ohio Litigation and Policy Director of Children’s Law Center, has been chosen to be a Fellow in the Youth Justice Leadership Institute. The Institute is a prestigious national fellowship program run by the National Juvenile Justice Network (NJJN) in Washington, DC for juvenile justice reform advocates. Applications to the year-long leadership development program—which is targeted at advocates of color—are extremely competitive and only ten people are selected nationally each year.

Although communities of color are generally those most heavily-impacted by juvenile justice policies, advocates of color are surprisingly underrepresented in reformer leadership. The Youth Justice Leadership Institute seeks to address this imbalance by offering fellowships to develop the leadership and advocacy skills of people of color who are in the youth justice field.

“It is both an honor and privilege to be selected to be part of this year’s Youth Justice Leadership Institute,” said Rickell Howard. “I look forward to learning from national leaders in juvenile justice reform and using new strategies to affect positive changes for youth and families in Hamilton County.” Over the next year, Rickell Howard will complete an advocacy project centered on reducing racial disparities in Hamilton County’s Juvenile Justice System.

“There’s a critical need to develop strong and effective leaders of color in the youth justice movement,” said Diana Onley-Campbell, who coordinates the national program for NJJN. “We believe that the voices and leadership of individuals of color are crucial tools in reforming the biased juvenile justice system and will help build a fairer, more equitable and developmentally appropriate juvenile justice system for all youth and families.”