Empathy Network

Empowering Justice-Impacted Voices

The most powerful voices in the fight for criminal justice reform are those most impacted by the system.

The Empathy Network is America’s largest community of formerly incarcerated activists, families, and allies. With more than 5,000 Empathy Network members across all 50 states and Washington, D.C., we help local leaders advocate for criminal justice reform in state and federal government.

We provide our leaders with several tools and resources including an online networking community and virtual and in-person workshops. Member perks also include free access to online therapy and education.

Ready to join us? Get involved in our national and local campaigns, and our training programs - including our summer-long advocacy cohort and young adult cohort.

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Dream Justice Cohort

The Dream Justice Cohort is one of the country's leading training programs for system-impacted leaders. It provides them  with the skills they need to transform  the criminal justice system – from organizing, advocacy, and media skills.

100% of our cohort members have been directly impacted by the criminal justice system: 80% have personally experienced incarceration and 20% have a loved one who has been incarcerated.

Meet our 2023 cohort.

Day of Empathy

Our annual Day of Empathy is the nation’s largest distributed day of action for criminal justice reform led by local Empathy Network leaders advocating for policies to solve the most pressing justice-related issues in their community. Over 25 leaders lead an event in 17 different states. This year 75% of leaders were alumni from our Dream Justice Cohort.

We bring together people from all walks of life who have been negatively impacted by America’s criminal justice system – including survivors of crime, currently incarcerated individuals, loved ones on the outside and community members impacted by crime and public safety issues.

Learn more about this years events.

Empathy Network Leaders Fund

Grassroots activism has the power to transform an invisible issue into a movement with long-lasting measurable impact. Yet, the ones with solutions are often furthest from the economic resources to put an effective plan into action.

Who is advocating for the advocate? That’s where the Empathy Network Leaders Fund comes in. partner with directly impacted leaders at the state and local levels. The Empathy Network Leaders Fund is an opportunity to apply for a grant of up to $2,500 to support your activism.

Join us as we train & introduce the next generation of social justice leaders
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The future starts with a dream.
The future starts with us.
Black woman standing in front of protestors.