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Meet Our Experts

NBWJI’s experts include community organizers, lawyers, mental health providers, policy analysts, public health professionals, and criminologists.

Sydney McKinney, Ph.D, MPH, MA

Executive Director

Dr. McKinney is deeply committed to advancing rigorous research, policy, and technical assistance that lifts up the voices of system-impacted Black women, girls and gender-nonconforming people. Under her leadership, NBWJI’s research and advocacy will demonstrate the importance of centering the experiences of Black women, girls, and gender nonconforming people in efforts to end mass incarceration and how critical it is that our society advance new models of justice that are rooted in honoring the dignity of all people and promote individual and collective healing. Dr. McKinney has over 15 years of experience in the areas of child welfare and justice reform, leading and implementing research and evaluation in applied settings. She holds a Ph.D. in sociology and an M.A. in law and society from New York University, as well as an M.P.H from Columbia University.

Janaé Bonsu-Love, Ph.D, MA, LMSW

Director of Research and Advocacy

Dr. Janaé Bonsu-Love (she/her) is the director of research and advocacy of the National Black Women’s Justice Institute (NBWJI). Dr. Bonsu-Love comes to NBWJI as an activist-scholar, policy advocate, and Licensed Master Social Worker committed to ending criminalization while supporting the healing of Black women, girls and nonbinary people. She has a decade of research and advocacy experience on issues spanning the criminal and juvenile legal systems with particular interest and expertise in the areas of policing, reentry, and gender-based violence. Dr. Bonsu-Love has extensive experience designing, implementing, analyzing, and sharing research in a variety of settings, and found a passion in providing strategic research support for grassroots campaigns concerned with gendered and racialized criminalization. She holds a Ph.D. in social work from the University of Illinois-Chicago, an MA in social work, policy, and administration from the University of Chicago, and a B.A. in experimental psychology and criminal justice from the University of South Carolina.

Board of Directors

Image by Joe deSousa
Monique Couvson, Ed.D
(formerly Monique W. Morris)

Board Chair

Brooklyn, NY

Image by Joe deSousa
Isis Sapp-Grant, LMSW

Board Member

Brooklyn, NY

Image by Joe deSousa
Ayana Curry, Esq.

Board Member

Bay Area, CA

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