Katie has served as Executive Director since Healing Justice was founded in 2015. Prior to joining Healing Justice, Katie served as Senior Advocate for National Partnerships with the Innocence Project, where she worked to develop support for and collaboration on innocence-related reforms with other national criminal justice stakeholders, including crime victims, police, and prosecutors. Before that she was Executive Director at the Rocky Mountain Innocence Center and Senior Counsel at the Constitution Project and the US Commission on Civil Rights. Katie received her law degree from George Mason University and has taught law school courses on wrongful convictions both at George Mason and the University of Utah. She has served on the Board of Directors for the National Innocence Network and the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project and on the Victim Services Committee of the International Association of Chiefs of Police. Katie’s interest in wrongful convictions began in 1992, when her mother was wrongly convicted in Virginia. Katie spearheaded a legal battle to free her mother, which was won in 2003.
Brittany joined the Healing Justice team after her interests in restorative justice and criminal justice reform led her to a year-long internship coordinated via her Master of Social Work program. After graduating with an MSW from UNC-Chapel Hill and an MDiv from Duke University, she officially joined the staff of Healing Justice in July 2017 as the Coordinator of Programs and Services. In this role, Brittany’s primary task is to develop resources and programs that promote the mission of Healing Justice in seeking to bring healing to individuals who have been harmed through wrongful convictions. Her experience in qualitative research, evaluation, and program development will help strengthen our existing programs and provide new opportunities to engage the communities we serve.
Maya Simpkins joined Healing Justice as the Program Assistant after completing her Masters of Public Administration at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). She earned a certificate in Nonprofit Management and a Bachelors of Arts in Gender, Sexuality & Women’s Studies and African American Studies from her Alma Mater. Prior to joining Healing Justice, Maya worked at VCU in various administrative roles supporting Housing, the Division of Inclusive Excellence, and Academic Advising. Maya has been involved in her community volunteering as a grant writer for a dance theatre, as a Director of Administration and Finance for a mentoring program in Charlottesville (LADYS), and as a member on Richmond’s Citizens Advisory Board Commission on Alternatives to Incarceration. In the spring of 2018 she was awarded the Phillip G. Davies Graduate Student Presentation Award by the Association of Ethnic Studies and the 2018 Outstanding Scholar Award from the VCU L. Douglas Wilder School of Government & Public Affairs.
Social Work VoluntEER
Ami is a Master’s level social work student from Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Social Work. Her background is in public policy, project and program management, and strategic planning. Her focus of study for previous graduate work was gender-based violence and hate crimes. In this career shift to social work, she hopes to focus on trauma-informed care for clients and is passionate about learning the skills that will enable people to improve their lives. Ami enjoys reading novels, working out, and going for walks in the woods.