Strategic Plan

Over the past three years, Represent Justice has used the power of storytelling to reach millions of people with firsthand stories about the legal system, generating hundreds of thousands of advocacy actions, building out an engaged audience of over 180,000 supporters, and growing the visibility, influence and connectivity of dozens of system-impacted movement leaders.

Through this work, what has become urgently clear is the need for continued growth of narrative infrastructure: equipping system-impacted storytellers with the tools, knowledge, confidence and platforms to strategically reach the right audiences, together — at the right time, in the right places—with firsthand stories that inspire people to act. To act in favor of policy or legislation, but also to act on the belief that their stories matter, and that change is possible.

We are now taking everything we’ve learned and entering a new phase of our work.

We surveyed and interviewed Ambassadors, film participants, organizational partners, board members, and funders. We conducted a series of in-person meetings with staff and convened the board of directors to discuss the legal reform landscape and risk analysis for our organization moving forward. We are deeply grateful to all involved for their thoughtful responses and dedication to helping chart the path forward for Represent Justice.

Strategic Plan Highlights

Here’s how we’ll represent justice in 2024-2026, creating transformative opportunities through storytelling with every system-impacted individual and community we’re privileged to stand with.

  • Launch of Speakers Bureau. This year we’ll launch a mission-driven speakers bureau representing the extraordinary ecosystem of system-impacted movement leaders, exonerees, artists, campaign leaders, filmmakers, and film participants who work in partnership with Represent Justice to transform the legal system. Building upon trauma-informed learnings from our Ambassador Program, the Represent Justice Speakers Bureau will be a full-service bureau that provides mental health support and capacity-building opportunities, in addition to traditional speaker’s bureau services.
  • Expanded creative and technical skills training for Ambassadors. We’re doubling down on the care, confidence, and community that helped build the Ambassador Program into what it is today. Our new curriculum includes production mentorship, more mental health support, increased focus on social media and digital storytelling, and partnership opportunities with our Alumni who have been mobilizing audiences around the country.
  • Film campaign support for Ambassador Story Projects. Each Ambassador will work closely with our team to strategically distribute their short films for advocacy. This means community screening and panel discussions, partner toolkits, paid appearances, message testing, audience surveys, access to our partnership and online supporter network, digital action pages, media pitching – and even film festival outreach.
  • Community Storytelling Launch. Building on our successful Ambassador Program, we’re launching community storytelling pilots in California and Louisiana to: build connectivity among storytellers and advocacy organizations, share narrative strategy, co-produce short film content, and support impact campaigns that address the narrative gaps most resonant with our partners.
  • Expanded Geographic and Narrative Priorities. Represent Justice plans to enter six new states by 2026, broadening our Ambassador Program and Film Campaigns’ reach to geographies covering a total of 1.26 million incarcerated people, or a critical mass of 70% of the total population. The six new states are: Alabama, Texas, Florida, Michigan, Oklahoma, Indiana, and Virginia. Also, we’re defining advocacy outcomes responsively, based on the needs and desires of our Ambassadors and other community partners, who have identified the following key issue priorities: Gender-inclusive justice | Youth justice | Alternatives to incarceration | Reentry and opportunity