NYJN State Organization Membership Application 

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Background on Membership

Thank you for your interest in joining the National Youth Justice Network (NYJN)!

The membership application process entails a screening call with NYJN staff, completion of this application form, and an interview with NYJN’s Membership Committee.

There are 3 core parts to this application.  

  1. Agreement with our Core Values and Principles of Transformation.
  2. Description of your organization, its structure and work.
  3. Commitment to the ongoing work of becoming an anti-racist organization.

Your application will not be considered complete unless all 3 parts are submitted. 

Once completed, an NYJN staff member will submit your materials to the Membership Committee for consideration. The Committee meets bi-monthly to interview and approve new members. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. All State Organizational Members must be approved by the Committee to officially be part of NYJN.

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Membership Agreement

I agree to the following membership requirements:


  1. I embrace and promote NYJN’s Core Values and Principles of Transformation, which guide our work toward systemic change:

Core Values:

  • Anti-racism: We ground ourselves in the principles of anti-racism to combat the centuries-long practice of targeting Black, Brown and Indigenous youth in the legal system, and we commit to the work of racial equity and justice.

  • Intersectionality: We center the compounding negative impact of justice involvement for youth who also identify as LGBTQ+ or gender non-conforming and those who have disabilities.

  • Shifting Power: We emphasize the critical importance of developing leaders of color and amplifying the work of people-of-color-led and people-of-color-serving grassroots organizations.

  • Dignity for All Youth: We honor currently and formerly incarcerated youth by pursuing transformation that does not leave behind those already caught in the system.

  • Community: Our policy pursuits are grounded in non-carceral, community-based youth legal system transformation.

  • Transformation: We are progressive and transformative in our analysis of what true youth justice looks like, and we are committed to a future away from policing and prisons.

  • Integrity: We work with integrity and commitment to the mission – always.

Principles of Transformation:

  • Transformation: We advocate for a total transformation of our nation’s response to youth needs – away from punishment and incarceration to one that values young people and views our collective duty as supporting them in their development into adulthood. 

  • Prevention: Transforming youth justice means creating an ecosystem of health, educational, recreational and economic resources that help youth grow into successful adults who never have to encounter the legal system.

  • Restoration: We advocate for age appropriate accountability guided by restorative justice and community healing.

  • Opportunity: Justice is ours when we make deep investments in historically disenfranchised communities in order to build opportunities for youth to dream and fulfill their life potential.

  1. I agree to undertake the responsibilities of membership, including:

  • Sign the pledge to work toward becoming anti-racist and conduct their work in a manner consistent with NYJN’s core values.

  • Engage in policy advocacy or systems change strategies that align with one or more of our Principles of Transformation.

  • Participate in the NYJN community by engaging with the listserv and social media, serving on committees, participating in working groups, and attending NYJN events.

  • Fill out questionnaires and surveys as requested by the national office.

  • Actively support NYJN’s policy positions and calls to action.

  • Pay annual membership dues on a sliding scale. We are committed to inclusivity and offer a sliding scale of payment options for membership dues.


  1. I acknowledge the privileges of membership in NYJN:

  • Access to policy and advocacy support, including exclusive access to trainings and technical assistance

  • Opportunities to participate in NYJN’s virtual and in-person gatherings

  • Access to members-only listserv, state strategy calls, and working groups

  • Assistance with communications and narrative organizing

  • Connections to a robust network of national advocates, experts and funders

  • Support for organizational and leadership development 

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Organizational Background

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Pledge to Become and Anti-Racist Organization

NYJN has made a commitment to work toward becoming an anti-racist organization and community. For more information about this shift in approach, please visit NYN's website, where you'll find additional resources.  

Pledge to Work Toward Becoming an Anti-Racist Organization

As an organizational member of NYJN, my organization acknowledges that racism is deeply embedded in the society, systems, and organizations that drive young people into the legal system. We believe that doing our best work for young people means that we - as an organization - must purposefully and intentionally work to combat racism, both internally and externally.


NYJN's Racial Justice Steering Committee has defined an anti-racist organization as one that actively identifies and counteracts the persistence and impact of racism by changing systems, organizational structures, policies, practices, and attitudes, so that power is redistributed and shared equitably.


My organization commits to engaging in an anti-racist organizational growth process, including: 

  • Formally committing to working towards becoming an anti-racist organization; 
  • Conducting an organizational self-assessment; 
  • Identifying priority areas of growth; and 
  • Completing an annual reflection on our work.

We understand that NYJN will support our efforts by providing technical assistance, identifying resources, and making connections to other members.