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 vast majority of people hauled into them access to justice.
Zealous is building a coordinated community of bold and strategic public defender advocates. To step outside of court. To forge and strengthen critical alliances. To harness media. To create high impact campaigns. And to take the passion and fight they bring to their work every day to the streets and halls of power to demand better for all.
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.
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.
We are uniquely positioned to help in the fight to end mass criminalization alongside grassroots organizers and those who are directly impacted.
In September 2019, Zealous launched a new community of defenders and held its first national training: An all-expenses-paid media and movement building event in Brooklyn for 52 defenders, representing 42 different offices, in 27 different states. The immersive training combined plenary sessions with interactive, small group workshops led by a range of expert facilitators from a wide variety of fields.