Meena Jagannath co-founded the Community Justice Project, Inc. in 2015. She is a movement lawyer with an extensive background in activism and international human rights. Prior to coming to Miami, she worked for the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, where she coordinated the Rape Accountability and Prevention Project, which combined direct legal representation with advocacy and capacity building of grassroots women’s groups. While using her legal skills to build the power of movements locally in South Florida, she has also brought to bear her international human rights expertise in delegations to the United Nations to elevate U.S.-based human rights issues like police accountability and Stand Your Ground laws to the international level. Meena has published several articles in law journals and other media outlets, and has spoken in numerous academic and conference settings. She received her J.D from University of Washington Law School where she was a William H. Gates Public Service Law Scholar. She also holds a Master's degree in International Affairs (human rights concentration) from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, and a B.A. in International Relations and Peace and Justice Studies from Tufts University.
Alana Greer co-founded the Community Justice Project, Inc. in 2015. She was previously a staff attorney at Florida Legal Services and Advancement Project in Washington, DC, where she worked with youth and parent leaders across the nation to fighting to end the School-to-Prison Pipeline. Originally from Miami, Alana left Florida to attend Boston College and Harvard Law School, where she was a student attorney at the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau, and returned home to support youth organizing that arose after the killing of Trayvon Martin. Prior to law school, she was a member of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps and worked with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area against the criminalization of homelessness. Alana is passionate about lifting up the voices of the community members she works with and using her legal and analytic skills to support grassroots movements seeking to dismantle structural racism and inequality. She is an Echoing Green Black Male Achievement Fellow and an advisory board member for the Dream Defenders and Law for Black Lives.
Oscar Londoño is a Skadden Fellow at the Community Justice Project, Inc. Oscar is passionate about bringing direct legal services to marginalized communities and using collaborative models of law and organizing to support community-led organizations and movements. As part of his Skadden Fellowship project, Oscar is supporting the Miami Workers Center by providing on-site legal services, community education, and strategic campaign support for their domestic worker membership. Born and raised in Miami, Oscar received his J.D. from NYU School of Law, where he was a Root-Tilden-Kern Public Interest Scholar, and his B.A. in Sociology from Cornell University. During law school, Oscar interned with various community and movement lawyering organizations, including Make the Road New York, the Community Activism Law Alliance, and the Community Justice Project, Inc., where he was part of the Bertha Justice Institute’s Ella Baker Program. Prior to law school, Oscar worked at City Year Miami, Public Allies Miami, and the Children’s Movement of Florida.
Deborah Vazquez is a AmeriCorps Public Ally at Community Justice Project. Deborah is passionate about human rights, the environment, and diversity and inclusivity. She graduated from the University of Florida with a major in English Language and Literature (concentration in Creative Writing) and holds a diploma in Teaching English as a Second Language and has taken extensive college courses in traditional arts. She has volunteered with elementary schools, the public library system, the English Language Institute at the University of Florida, and the Foreign Language Organization. She has recently completed her term in City Year serving at Booker T. Washington Senior High School where she assisted in an ESOL classroom and had students who spoke Spanish, French, Haitian Creole, and Arabic. Deborah speaks Spanish and French.
Charles Elsesser is co-founder of Community Justice Project, Inc. and recently retired. He continues to serve on our Board of Directors. He has been a member of the State Bar of California since 1972 and a member of the Florida Bar since 1992. He graduated from University of Southern California Law School in 1971. From 1972 to 1984, he worked as an attorney representing poor people, first in Delano, California for California Rural Legal Assistance and later in Los Angeles for Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles. During that same period, from 1974 through 1976, he was a Clinical Instructor of Law at University of Southern California Law Center in Los Angeles. In 1986 he became the Director of Litigation at Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, responsible for the oversight of the litigation of the more than 50 lawyers employed by the firm. In 1988 he was awarded the Award of Merit by the Legal Assistance Association of California, an annual recognition by the legal services community of California for excellence in advocacy. From 1989 to 1991, he served as a Senior Consultant to the California State Senate Rules Committee and housing consultant to the Senate President Pro Tempore, State Senator David Roberti. In 1991 he served as the Director of the Housing Department of the City of Santa Monica, California. In 1992 he relocated to Miami, Florida. Initially he was employed as an attorney at Legal Services of Greater Miami, Inc. and, since 1997, he has worked at Florida Legal Services, Inc. where he has been involved in civil rights and housing litigation and advocacy. In 2001, he was awarded the Steven M. Goldstein Award For Excellence (2001) by the Florida Bar Foundation for a series of class actions assisting immigrants to obtain citizenship. In 2008 he was awarded the Kutak Dodds Award 2008 by the National Legal Aid and Defender Association for his long record of significant advocacy. Charles co-founded Community Justice Project and joined its Board of Directors in 2017.