Editor and Reporter
Kelly Williams is an author and former TV news reporter who serves as national director of communications and media relations for Youth Advocate Programs (YAP), Inc. She has an extensive background in national nonprofit leadership, multicultural engagement marketing and international corporate communications. Kelly has a master’s degree from the University of Missouri School of Journalism and a bachelor’s degree from Lincoln University in Missouri.
Opinion Writers/Subject Matter Experts
Shaena Fazal, Chief of Public Policy for Youth Advocate Programs (YAP), Inc., published the report, “Safely Home,” and authored the report “Beyond Bars,” published by the National Collaboration for Youth. A Soros Justice Advocacy Fellow, she co-founded the Long-Term Prisoner Policy Project at the John Howard Association of Illinois, where she recruited and trained pro bono attorneys to represent aging prisoners at their parole hearings and worked to advance sentencing reform in Illinois. She is a founding member of the Illinois Coalition for the Fair Sentencing of Children and former board member and general counsel for the Illinois Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Black World Studies from Miami University and a law degree from Chicago-Kent College of Law.
A few examples of her work:
As Chief Executive Officer, Youth Advocate Programs (YAP), Inc., Jeff Fleischer leads the only nonprofit exclusively dedicated to providing alternatives to youth incarceration and other out-of-home placement while advocating for youth justice and child welfare systems change. Under his leadership, YAP has seen significant growth now serving more than 100 communities in 24 states and the District of Columbia –and growing as more communities look for time-tested alternatives to youth prison and institutionalization for young people with autism and intellectual disabilities. Jeff has dedicated his entire career to empowering young people facing challenges with tools to succeed. In his home state of New Jersey, his advocacy led to passage of the Bring Our Children Home Act, which ended the state’s practice of sending youth to out-of-state institutions and encouraged safe family and community-based alternatives. In the 1970s and 1980s, he developed programs serving gang-involved youth in Newark, and in the 1990s, he developed effective gang intervention programs for youth involved in the Bloods, Crips and Latin King conflicts in Fort Worth, TX. Jeff serves on the board of directors of the National Human Service Assembly and is the Chair of the National Collaboration for Youth. Jeff earned a bachelor’s degree and a master’s in social work from Rutgers University. He also received a certificate in Global Change Agents from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
Selected News Features/Op-eds