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
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.
Jordan Bowles, M.A.
Senior Communications Associate
Jordan received her Master’s degree in Communication Studies in 2020 at Florida Atlantic University with an intersectional research focus on media representations of black women in culture, and how Black women have used digital spaces for activism and political advocacy. She also received her Bachelor’s in Multimedia Journalism with a certificate in Ethnic Studies in 2018. Jordan’s passion lies in a solid commitment to uplifting and empowering Black women and girls. She has demonstrated this through her dedication to commit sound research to issues that center the voices and experiences of Black women, and by participating in organizing and advocacy work projects that create space for Black women and girls to be seen through a lens that humanizes the issues, challenges, and triumphs that they face in this day and age. Jordan has over 10 years of overall communication, storytelling, and narrative writing experience that she will use to give voice to the values and mission of NBWJI.
Program & Operations Assistant
Saniorah is an impact-oriented social change agent with more than 10 years of experience in programming, events, and community outreach within the nonprofit sector. Saniorah has dedicated her career to creating meaningful and sustainable change in the lives of marginalized communities. With a background in the humanities and a proud Haitian heritage, Saniorah brings a unique perspective to her work. Her focus is centered on the empowerment and advancement of Black girls and women, as she is deeply committed to building a more equitable world for them to navigate.
Khaila Mickens is a former educator with a lifelong commitment to using learning and storytelling to advance social justice. Joining the team as a research assistant, she is particularly passionate about uplifting the voices and experiences of Black girls, women, and nonbinary femmes, who are often silenced while bearing the heaviest burdens in their families, workplaces, and broader society. She holds a BS in social analysis and research from Brown University and has experience employing quantitative and qualitative methods to evaluate education policy and investigate research questions around race, gender, and sexuality.
Board of Directors
Monique Couvson, Ed.D
(formerly Monique W. Morris)
Isis Sapp-Grant, LMSW
Ayana Curry, Esq.
Bay Area, CA