Vera’s experts conduct research and analysis and develop policies and programs in a variety of criminal and social justice fields. Their varied knowledge, background, and experience enable Vera to address the full spectrum of national and local justice issues.
Johnetta Pressley joined Vera as senior program associate for the New Orleans Office in November of 2013. Johnetta’s work with the justice system in New Orleans began at the Orleans Public Defenders in 2008 where she was co-director of client services and later media and communications. In 2010, she began to volunteer with a group of community members who were working to bring the Chicago CeaseFire model to New Orleans and was subsequently hired by the City of New Orleans to design and implement the model. She then transitioned to working with the New Orleans Health Department to design a behavioral health program in Municipal Court. Johnetta earned her bachelor’s degree in international culture and politics with a concentration in African studies from Georgetown University. Upon receiving a University Fellowship from Duke, she studied African development economics and its interface with cultural politics in the anthropology department. Johnetta is currently a part-time student in the MPH program at Tulane’s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, specializing in culturally competent community mobilization.
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