From left, Karlisa Kuykindall, Allison Gibbs, Josh Spickler

Karlisa Kuykindall, United Way staff leader for the Emerging Leaders Society (left) with Allison Gibbs and Josh Spickler from Just City

Always wanting to learn new and innovative ways to help our community, United Way’s Emerging Leaders Society’s latest “Coffee and Conversation” session featured leaders from Just City, an organization that uses local crime statistics to see the differences between perception and reality on criminal activity in the Mid-South.

Just City is working to bring more awareness to the need for reforms and greater public knowledge about our criminal justice system.

Just City understands that many of the problems associated with our criminal justice system require different approaches, and “we are going to be a part of that change and do it for Memphis,” said Josh Spickler, Executive Director for Just City.

Young community and business leaders in United Way’s Emerging Leaders Society had opportunities to question and learn more as Just City program director Allison Gibbs and Spickler talked about advocating for strong and consistent adult and children’s rights to counsel, local legal policies, and the need for accelerated community-driven solutions to challenges in our criminal justice system.

United Way Emerging Leaders Society“The end goal for Just City is to broaden awareness of issues that are taking place. I think of the example of education reform. Good, bad or indifferent, everyone knows something that is going on to improve education in Memphis. There is a spotlight on Memphis and how we’re working to fix education,” Gibbs said. “Our idea is to bring a spotlight to criminal justice and the things that can happen within that system.”

imageJust City’s mission is built on three core agendas: Advocate, Serve, and Reform. These agendas don’t operate in isolation – they compliment, inform and reinforce each other in methodical ways that work together for the good of our community.

“We’re can’t to do it on our own,” Gibbs said. “It will take your friends, your community to help get this conversation going. That is one of the most important things we can do. By bringing more attention to the issues, we can reform the criminal justice system and bring good things to our community.”

The Coffee and Conversation meeting took place at The Office @ Uptown, 594 N. Second Street in Memphis.

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