MOVING ADVOCACY OUT OF COURT.

Public defenders and defender offices are an untapped reservoir of expertise and energy to transform the systems that harm and deprive the people hauled into them access to justice.

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Defenders

Are 
Advocates

We fight in court, but many of the injustices we see cannot be changed from inside alone. Outside of court, we can challenge the public narrative and move lawmakers to change laws for the better.

Are 
Witnesses

We see and understand how the web of racist, unfair, and wasteful criminal laws and policies exacerbate poverty and public health issues and devastate lives without making communities safer.

Are 
Experts

We are uniquely positioned to help in the fight to end mass criminalization alongside grassroots organizers and those who are directly impacted.

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Zealous is building a coordinated community of public defender advocates. To step outside of court. To forge and strengthen alliances. To harness media. 














To create high impact campaigns. And to take the fight they bring to their work every day to the streets and halls of power to demand better for all.














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Zealous works with public defender advocates to harness:

Storytelling

Communicate experiences for maximum impact.

Collaboration

Identify key allies and build trust to fight together.

Campaigns

Use multi-dimensional strategies to change laws.

Social Media

Harness new tools to raise awareness and drive action.

Traditional Media

Work with journalists to share the injustices we see.

New Media

Propel policy advocacy with video, web, data, technology, and art.

Narrative Shifting

Command language to disrupt the status quo.

Media and Ethics

Be thoughtful and deliberate in how we share.

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The Team

people

Scott Hechinger

Founder & Director

Crystal Maloney

Chief of Innovation & Strategy

Alejo Rodriguez

Chief of Curriculum & Storytelling

Pallavi Daga

Design Lead

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Advisory Council

people

Alex Bunnin

Chief Defender

Harris County, Texas

Brendon Woods

Chief Defender

Alameda County, California

James Foreman

Writer, Former Public Defender, Professor.

Yale Law School

Jonathan Rapping

Founder & Director

Gideon’s Promise

Josie Duffy-Rice

Journalist & Lawyer

President of The Appeal

Khalil Cumberbatch

Chief Strategist

New Yorkers United for Justice

Lara Bazelon

Professor, Writer Advocate

University of San Francisco School of Law

Meena Harris

Activist and Founder

Phenomenal Woman Campaign

Rabia Chaudry

Advocate, Author, & Podcaster

Raj Jayadev

Founder

Silicon Valley De-Bug

Samuel Sinyangwe

Data Scientist, Policy Analyst, & Activist

Founder of Campaign Zero

Soledad O’Brien

Journalist, Author, & Philanthropist