Erin Davies – Executive Director
Erin became the Executive Director of JJC in July 2014. Erin previously worked at the Children’s Law Center, Inc. focusing on youth in the adult court system in Ohio, including writing two reports and starting a story collection project for youth and their families who had been through the adult system. Before moving home to Ohio, Erin worked for 6 years in Washington DC with the Campaign for Youth Justice and with two Members of Congress. She is originally from northwest Ohio and earned both her undergraduate and law degrees in the state.
Photo Credit: David Y. Lee
Amber Evans – Director of Organizing and Policy
Amber has a BA in Journalism from the Ohio State University (OSU) and a Master’s degree in Library and Information Sciences from Kent State University. She began student organizing in 2011 with a coalition to Occupy OSU, inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement. Much of this group evolved into the Ohio Student Association (OSA) and focused on a variety of campaigns from student tuition and debt to calling for divestment from exploitative practices.
After graduation, Amber was part of an OSA team that prevented a state takeover of the Columbus City School Board and secured the rights of Columbus families to vote for their elected officials. OSA went on to successfully stop the Stand Your Ground bill from becoming law in Ohio, following the fatal shooting of 17 year-old Trayvon Martin in Florida.
Presently, Amber serves as the Director of Organizing and Policy with the Juvenile Justice Coalition. She organizes youth, families, and communities to transform the criminal justice system and reallocate funding from incarceration to trauma healing and resiliency services. She has helped to steer the organization’s youth and family pilot, Voices of the Unheard, and continues to lead on JJCs plan for systemic and communal implementation of restorative justice practices locally and statewide.
Tammy Fournier-Alsaada – Community Relations and Resources Specialist
Tammy is an Author, Advocate and Community Organizer from Columbus, Ohio, whose mission is to be a voice for her community by advocating for criminal justice reform issues important to grassroots community members and their families. Tammy has served on the Franklin Prerelease Citizens Advisory Board and was also an involved member of the Franklin County Reentry Task Force as a founding member, where she chaired the subcommittee Faith, Family and Community. She has been very instrumental in the Juvenile Justice Community Planning Initiative studying Disproportionate Minority Contact (DMC) as well as a Fall Fellow and Team Leader for the 2011 Obama for America Presidential Campaign in Columbus, Ohio.
Recruited specifically for her outstanding leadership and involvement in a variety of local task forces, collaborative groups, and in the faith community, The Ohio State University chose Tammy as an Outreach Specialist and Chairperson for the OSU Youth Violence Prevention Advisory Board with Dr. Deanna Wilkinson and the Community Safety Institute where she impacted her community as a member of Ceasefire Columbus. She is currently serving as the Community Organizer for the Ohio Juvenile Justice Coalition advocating for Ohio’s youth.
Tammy is known for her published works. Her first novel, entitled P.I.E.C.E.S.: A Booster’s Story, was released by national publishing company Kensington Publishing under their Urban Books imprint in October of 2008.
Sharon Weitzenhof – Advisor
Sharon was one of the founding members of the Juvenile Justice Coalition and served as its Director from 1993 – 2014. She has been a consultant in human services and juvenile justice. Sharon has worked in the public sector (Cuyahoga County and Ohio Department of Youth Services) and the private sector (Center for Community Solutions and Youth Advocate Programs). She remains active with several juvenile/criminal justice organizations. Sharon has Master of Public Administration.
Maritza Nelson – General Counsel
Maritza works for the Law Office of Maritza S. Nelson, LLC and serves as General Counsel for JJC. Prior to forming her own law firm, Maritza spent 5 years in the litigation group at BakerHostetler and 2 years at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman. While in law school at the University of Texas, Maritza participated in the Juvenile Justice Clinic representing youth charged with delinquency offenses. Maritza’s firm offers clients a variety of services, including serving as general business counsel, litigation and dispute resolution services, and succession and estate planning.