Our Team

Interested in joining our team? Check out current job opportunities with JAC here and volunteer opportunities here.
Wendy Jason (she/her), Founder/Director

Wendy (she/her) is a community builder and advocate who combines her background in restorative practices, mental health, and education with her passion for the arts to foster vibrant, inclusive, and nurturing communities that model and promote social justice. She has been in close relationship and/or working in different capacities with currently and formerly incarcerated people for over 25 years. Wendy holds a BA in Sociology from Eastern Connecticut State University, studied Transformative Language Arts at Goddard College, and completed her MA in Coexistence and Conflict through Brandeis University’s Alan B. Slifka Program in Intercommunal Coexistence. Her research focused on the intersection of the arts and peacebuilding and culminated in a thesis based on a year spent facilitating creative writing and peace education groups within a county jail. Wendy has taught courses on social justice and conflict transformation in Georgetown University’s Program on Justice and Peace, researched and reported on issues related to restorative justice and the arts for Change.org, and served as the manager of the Prison Arts Coalition website for nine years. In 2019, she founded the Justice Arts Coalition (JAC). Wendy is committed to supporting both individual and social change by cultivating relationships grounded in collaboration, trust, authenticity, empathy, and integrity.

Connect with Wendy at wendy@thejusticeartscoalition.org

Erica Gaines (she/her), Operations Director 

Erica Gaines, born and raised in Charlottesville, VA, has spent her entire career working in different capacities in the nonprofit sector. Her passion for making an impact and using her voice to do so is what brought her to JAC. After receiving her Bachelors of Business Administration from Strayer University, she has taken on many challenges and evolved in her work of organizational operations. She has been a major key in the growth of nonprofits in Charlottesville. Erica learned to appreciate art as a young child and social justice is deeply rooted in all that she does. Currently Erica serves on the Board of Directors for Cultivate Charlottesville, a food justice organization in her hometown. Equity and Justice isn’t just something she talks about, it’s her way of life. Erica and her family are new to Maryland and are looking forward to making it their new home. She is excited to grow into the community and continue making an impact. When she’s not working, Erica enjoys outings with her family, hiking, wineries and game nights. 

Robin McNulty (she/her), Development and Communications Director

Robin McNulty is an interdisciplinary artist, educator and nonprofit administrator who has exhibited and performed throughout North America, and taught art inside six California state prisons. She is the recipient of research grants through universities and community based organizations, and is currently a Teaching Artist with Project PAINT, a program that brings multidisciplinary art classes to people who are incarcerated at the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility and Centinela State Prison outside of San Diego, CA.

Before joining JAC’s team, Robin was a grant writer for Family Health Centers of San Diego, an organization that provides services to uninsured, low-income and medically underserved persons. Previously, she was Deputy Director of Prison Arts Collective at San Diego State University, and worked in development at Second Chance, a nonprofit organization that helps justice-involved youth and adults achieve self-sufficiency. Robin is also a member of the Transformative In-Prison Workgroup (TPW), a coalition that advocates for rehabilitative in-prison programming, San Diego Reentry Roundtable, the Los Angeles Regional Reentry Partnership’s Integrated Health committee, and the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights. She received a Master of Fine Arts from Tufts University and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of British Columbia.

Connect with Robin at robin@thejusticeartscoalition.org

Ava Dennis (she/her), Programs Manager

Ava Dennis is a graduate of American University in Washington, D.C. where she studied Art History. She is a former JAC intern who helped develop our ArtLinks program, assisted with exhibitions, and provided leadership in correspondence and art handling. Ava strives to infuse her passion for the arts in her work to advocate for those harmed by the carceral system, and is motivated by the belief that the internal freedom and visibility achieved through creation is one of the most powerful tools for wielding change. In this role, Ava will oversee and develop JAC’s programs, lead exhibition planning processes, and manage JAC’s physical collection of artwork. When she is not working, Ava is likely playing rugby, doing Crossfit, painting, or adventuring outdoors with her friends. We are overjoyed to have her back on the team!

Connect with Ava at ava@thejusticeartscoalition.org

Jayme Epstein (she/her), Volunteer Coordinator

Jayme discovered JAC while looking for ways to contribute toward the transformation of the carceral system in the United States and now cherishes the opportunity to bring others into the JAC community as volunteers. Jayme practiced law for 12 years and then worked primarily for two non-profit organizations: first, as the volunteer coordinator and program director for Yachad, Inc., which recruits volunteers and builders to rehabilitate the homes of lower income Washington, D.C. residents; and second, as a language arts and social studies teacher at Academy of Hope Adult Public Charter School. Currently, Jayme volunteers with grassroots advocacy groups in DC working on affordable housing, re-imagining community safety, and electing progressive candidates to local government. She also serves as an instructor with Negotiation Works, a tutor in the Petey Greene College Bridge program at the DC Jail, and on the steering committees of the Fair Budget Coalition and DC for Democracy.

Connect with Jayme at jayme@thejusticeartscoalition.org


Shayna Lonoaea-Alexander (they/she), Development and Communications Assistant 

Shayna joined JAC as a Development and Communications Assistant in June 2023. They work with incarcerated loved ones, staff, donors, and media to share stories that address carceral harm and nurture politicized healing. 

Previously, Shayna was an organizer with ACLU Hawai’i and Wyoming Democratic Party and as a legislative aide to lawmakers in Hawai’i and Wyoming. She has nearly a decade of experience in advocacy with a focus on queer liberation, prison abolition, and reproductive and sexual health having served as a board member with Wyoming Equality, NARAL Wyoming, and Wyoming Tribune Editorial Board. 

She currently volunteers with GSA Network on their Two-Spirit Initiative and as an Essie Justice Group Facilitator breaking isolation and bringing women and trans people with incarcerated loved ones into a powerful community confronting mass incarceration. She also strives to deepen her relationships to art, safety, and the DMV through organizing with Baldwin House Community Collective and DC Safety Squad. Rejuvenating rest for Shayna means fangirling out on their partner, houseplants, dogs, sci-fi shows, and people in and of Hawai’i and the Pacific where she comes from.   

Connect with Shayna at shayna@thejusticeartscoalition.org

Marilyne Njuraita (she/her), Development and Communications Assistant

Marilyne is a recent graduate from Howard University with a B.A. in Sociology and a double minor in Swahili and Community Development. She has a deep passion for justice-impacted individuals and the pursuit of a just society. As a member of many marginalized groups, she seeks to assist my communities in advancing their livelihood in every sense. She has experience working in the non-profit sector with returning citizens and in communications on prison justice and voting rights issues. Additionally, in the fall she will start classes at Columbia University as a Masters in Social Work candidate continuing her dedication to academia and advocacy.

As a D.C. transplant, Marilyne enjoys adventuring D.C. and exploring the many creative DMV spaces. On any given weekend you can find her viewing art exhibitions, visiting music shows, scouring thrift stores, or resting at home with her pet rabbit. She is excited to join the JAC team in their Development and Communications department as we envision a new and just world through the transformative power of the arts.

Connect with Marilyne at marilyne@thejusticeartscoalition.org

Janie Ritter (she/her), Programs Assistant

Janie is a graduate of George Mason University with Bachelors of Arts in Art History and Clinical Psychology. Dedicated to developing methods of audience engagement and making museum environments accessible to all persons, Janie previously worked at the Phillips Collection in Washington D.C. and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis MN, developing and expanding their education programs to welcome and educate visitors of all backgrounds and expertise. A former JAC intern, Janie now works as a Programs Assistant, developing JAC’s art-centered and community-focused programming. Believing that a work of art functions as an object of shared experiences, Janie’s work focuses around the idea that nurturing the potential for true viewer engagement allows the free public to come together over a work of art and bear witness to and end the epidemic of mass incarceration. A native Northern Virginian, outside of work Janie enjoys the changing seasons, lifting weights, and reading.

Connect with Janie at janie@thejusticeartscoalition.org

Erin Bonner (she/her), Programs Assistant

Erin is a native of Knoxville, TN, who has spent her adult life in Atlanta, GA cultivating her art practice and service to liberation. She received her BFA in Sculpture from Georgia State University. Her work explored domesticity in the Black American home, through multidisciplinary practices, using items such as synthetic fibers, discarded furniture, and found objects. She has contributed to the development and success of numerous art programs and exhibitions. Erin has worked in the political realm with organizations like, Working Family Parties to social movement coalitions including, Movement For Black Lives.

Upon her move to Washington, DC, she was a Fellow with abolitionist defense hub Harriets Wildest Dreams, where she remains a member. As a Programs Assistant, Erin is overjoyed to work at the intersection of art and justice to support and amplify the voices of those most affected by the carceral system. She will continue to disrupt systems of oppression through creativity until we are free.

Connect with Erin at erin@thejusticeartscoalition.org

View our Board of Directors and Advisory Council