Founded in March 2015 with an eye toward the 2016 Presidential election, we began with twenty Black Republicans and twenty black Democrats - the 20/20 Leaders of America. We have grown into an invitation-only, bipartisan group of over eighty African American mayors, city, county and state officials, prosecutors and defense attorneys, political strategists, community leaders, activists, police chiefs and other law enforcement executives.
20/20 was initially formed for the purpose of hosting listening sessions and public forums in partnership with Google, Facebook and BET, with the 2016 Presidential candidates and national party representatives, inviting them to identify their proposed criminal justice reform platform with specific, measurable and articulable goals to be reached by the year 2020. This effort resulted in the first of its kind programming, some of which can be seen here.
Since the 2016 election, we have expanded our activities to include research, local level grassroots reform and coalition building, advocacy and awareness at the federal, state and local level. In 2018, we became a 501(c)3 non-profit organization under our new name – the 20/20 Bipartisan Justice Center.
20/20 is headed by Founder & Chief Executive Officer Ashley D. Bell, Esq., and Executive Director Candice S. Petty, Esq., a Board of Directors, and an Advisory Board. We have a Republican Co-Chair, Rufus Montgomery, and a Democratic Co-Chair, Tishaura Jones.
Our mission is to empower local leaders to implement innovative and practical solutions to problems in the criminal justice system. We use an approach that is bipartisan and includes all relevant stakeholders. We are the only nationwide coalition of Black Republicans, Democrats and Independents focused on criminal justice reform. By building bipartisan relationships and hosting solution focused conversations, we are uniquely positioned to be a convener for criminal justice reform, activating relevant stakeholders to create solutions to injustice at the local level.