Justice in Jersey

Justice In Jersey Podcast

Action Together New Jersey (ATNJ) is excited and proud to announce the release of its first ever podcast series entitled #JusticeInJersey.

The #JusticeInJersey Podcast Series is hosted by Moira Nelson, Director of Drug Policy Reform for ATNJ, and Rachel Green, ATNJ Civil Rights Director. The #JusticeInJersey series will discuss civil rights, social justice, racial justice, criminal justice reform, environmental justice, drug policy & intersecting issues with leaders throughout the state of New Jersey.

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Justice in Jersey, Episode 1Episode One features the esteemed faith leader and activist, Rev. Dr. Charles Boyer. Rev. Boyer is an outspoken faith leader calling for the abolition of the War on Drugs, mass incarceration, school segregation and youth detention centers. Most recently, he has joined the coalition of leaders who’ve created the “94% campaign.” Ninety-four percent of black voters cast their ballots for Governor Phil Murphy in 2017. But nine+ months into his administration, black leaders feel that Governor Murphy has not focused enough on critical issues facing the 94%.Listen to Episode One to hear about the 94% Campaign, their efforts to connect with Governor Phil Murphy and their plans to “hold his feet to the fire,” and the upcoming “Rally for the 94%” scheduled for Saturday, October 27th, 2018 at the Mount Calvary Missionary Baptist Church at 231-251 Seymour Avenue in Newark, NJ at 12 noon. The Reverend calls on each of us to speak truth to power and to lift up poor, underserved and traditionally oppressed communities.

Episode 1 – October 25, 2018

Episode Two features Dianna Houenou. Dianna serves as Policy Counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey (ACLU.) In this role, she has been a leading voice on racial and social justice issues with respect to cannabis legalization in New Jersey, and has been one of a few advocates to consistently push for legislation that addresses the harms of prohibition. She also coordinates the New Jersey United for Marijuana Reform coalition and analyzes legal and policy issues for several ACLU-NJ advocacy campaigns. Her work largely focuses on issues related to criminal justice reform, police reform, and immigrants’ rights. Her influence can be seen on a variety of measures that have gained traction in the Legislature, including independent prosecutors after police-involved deaths, championed by Senate President Steve Sweeney; restoration of voting rights for people with criminal convictions, sponsored by Senator Rice, and financial aid eligibility for undocumented students, which was signed into law in May. Listen to Episode Two to hear a discussion with Dianna where we debunk some of the myths surrounding cannabis which, unfortunately, have been perpetuated for decades.

Episode 2 – January 9, 2019

Episode Three Dianna Houenou of the ACLU-NJ joins us again for Episode Three where we discuss the legalization of cannabis in greater depth (now that we’ve debunked some of the myths that have been peddled for decades!) Subscribe to #JusticeInJersey to get the lowdown as New Jersey is on the precipice of legalization.

Episode 3 – January 21, 2019

Episode Four Episode Four features Brandon McKoy, Director of Government and Public Affairs at New Jersey Policy Perspective (NJPP.) At NJPP, Brandon helps to ensure that NJPP’s research, advocacy and government relations activities are successfully driving a state policy agenda for economic justice and shared prosperity. He also produces timely, credible and accessible research and analysis on issues including, but not limited to, economic security, the social safety net and economic opportunity. Brandon’s research interests include: the minimum wage, paid sick leave, the earned income tax credit, equitable internet access, affordable housing, urban planning and criminal justice.

In this Episode, we discuss the Fight for a Clean $15 Minimum Wage bill. Legislation was introduced late last year to increase NJ’s minimum wage to $15/ hour. But, it was written with carve-out’s for certain workers. Is this equitable and fair? Let’s hear what Brandon thinks and debunk some of the fears that have been brought up by small business owners and other interests. (Note that since this episode was recorded, Governor Murphy and Senate President Steve Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin have come to an agreement which modifies some of the carve-out’s and the phase in’s. The bill is expected to be put up for a vote in the coming weeks.) For details on the latest agreement, click here:


Brandon earned a BS in Social Psychology from The College of New Jersey and a Master’s in City and Regional Planning from the Edward J. Bloustein School for Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University.

Episode 4 – January 25, 2019

Episode Five Episode Five features immigration attorney Yolanda Garcia-Balicki. Yolanda is an associate attorney with Helmer, Conley, & Kasselman, P. A. in the firm’s Bridgeton and Vineland offices. She is fluent in Spanish and English and represents immigrants in pursuit of lawful permanent residence and citizenship in the United States. She also works in matters involving family petitions, asylum, withholding of removal, adjustment of status, and consular processing for immigrants in removal proceedings in Immigration Court. She also represents parolees before the NJ State Parole Board in matters concerning parole revocation.

Prior to joining Helmer, Conley, & Kasselman, P. A., Yolanda was employed with the NJ State Parole Board for 33 years. After graduation from law school she served in many positions from entry level positions as a Hearing Officer to a Governor’s appointment as Deputy Executive Director. As an advocate of fairness and equality she would volunteer to serve as the Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action Officer for several years in addition to her own work responsibilities. Because of her legal skills and her commitment to fairness, Ms. Garcia Balicki was also assigned the most complex hearings from parole hearings to departmental level employee disciplinary hearings. She also assisted the Agency in matters litigated in the Office of Administrative Law as well as matters referred to the Governor’s Office of Employee Relations.

Ms. Garcia Balicki was recently sworn in as the 2nd Vice President of the Gloucester County NAACP, and is a member of the Cumberland County College Board of Trustees, a member of the NJ State Bar Association, the Cumberland County and Gloucester County Bar Associations as well as the Cumberland County College Hispanic Advisory Board. Ms. Garcia Balicki earned her Juris Doctor degree in 1990 from Rutgers Law School-Camden and her Bachelor of Arts degree from Rutgers University in 1982. She is admitted to the bar of New Jersey, the Third Circuit District Court, and the Federal Immigration Court.

Episode 5 – February 4, 2019

Episode Six Dr. Khyati Y. Joshi is a public intellectual whose social science research and community connections inform policy-makers, educators, and everyday people on issues of race, religion, and immigration, and social justice in 21st century America. She is the author and editor of multiple books, as well as articles in the peer-reviewed and popular press. Some of her publications include Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice, 3rd edition (Routledge, 2016) and New Roots in America’s Sacred Ground: Religion, Race, and Ethnicity in Indian America (Rutgers University Press, 2006), Asian Americans in Dixie: Race and Migration in the South (University of Illinois Press, 2013); Understanding Religious Oppression and Christian Privilege (Sense Publishers, 2008). In addition to numerous presentations to U.S. academic conferences, Dr. Joshi has been invited to present her research on Hindu communities at the White House; to advise policy-makers at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Vienna, Austria, on the racialization of religion as it relates to the development of policies to prevent and combat hate crimes; and to address academic faculty and popular audiences in India on the experiences of the Indian Diaspora. She was a consultant for the Pew Research Forum’s groundbreaking survey on Asian Americans and Religion. She is currently finishing a book project on race and religion in America to be published by NYU Press. She is a Professor of Education at Fairleigh Dickinson University.

Episode 6 – May 6, 2019

Episode Seven Dr. Khyati Y. Joshi, Part 2

Episode 7 – May 13, 2019

Episode Eight Since before he was elected to public office in 2012, Passaic County Freeholder Director John Bartlett has worked as a lawyer to protect voting rights. Among many other cases, he served on the DNC’s legal team in the longest-running federal Voting Rights Act case in U.S. history, Democratic National Committee v. Republican National Committee. He has advised numerous federal, state, and local candidates; represented minority communities and disability advocates in a suit challenging Chris Christie’s two-election scheme in 2013; and was named as the New Jersey Globe’s Voting Rights Lawyer of the Year for prevailing in two different voting rights cases in Passaic County in 2018. He has trained hundreds of New Jersey lawyers to protect the vote on election day, and is a public voice against the GOP’s false narrative of “voter fraud.” Educated at Harvard Law School, he is a partner at Murphy Orlando LLC.

Episode 8 – June 4, 2019

Episode Nine John Bartlett – Part 2

Episode 9 – June 4, 2019