March 1, 2017 — On  March  1st,  2017,  the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice, along with its partners My Brother’s Keeper-Newark , Youth Justice New Jersey, and Yendor Arts, will  join  #Cut50 in celebrating the Day of Empathy, a national day of action devoted to creating empathy for those incarcerated in hopes that this empathy will help reform the Criminal Justice System. #Cut50, founded by CNN commentator Van Jones, is an initiative of The Dream Corps, a national bipartisan effort to smartly and safely reduce America’s incarcerated population by 50 percent over the next 10 years.

To recognize this day, New Jersey organizations will host an arts workshop for youth on March 1 led by Master Teaching Artist Rodney Gilbert. Workshop participants will create art that expresses their feelings about the juvenile justice system.

“Our mission is to engage young people in art and advocacy to visually depict their ideas for transforming the juvenile justice system,” said Retha Onitiri, PMP, Youth Decarceration Campaign Manager with the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice. “Youth, particularly youth of color in New Jersey, are most directly impacted by our juvenile justice system. It is essential that the movement to transform this system is led by their voices and vision.”