Mikelina Belaineh

As a program associate in Vera’s Center on Sentencing and Corrections, Mikelina contributes to Vera’s work on reducing jail incarceration through research, writing, and providing technical assistance to local jurisdictions. Prior to joining Vera, Mikelina served as the chief program officer for the nonprofit social enterprise InnerCity Weightlifting, a street violence reduction program serving street and gang-involved young adults by connecting them with new resources, networks, and opportunities.

Mikelina became interested in social justice issues in college, where she spent her four years organizing around LGBTQ issues in rural parts of Texas. In law school, she narrowed her focus to issues around criminal justice, recognizing it as a system that has implications for all areas of social justice, and therefore an opportunity to facilitate great impact.

Mikelina holds a JD from Harvard Law School and a BA with honors from the Texas A&M University. She is also a member of the MA Bar Association.