Who We Are
The 20/20 Bipartisan Justice Center (“20/20 BJC” or “20/20”) is a non-profit organization founded in 2018. It is composed of 20/20 Leaders of America (“20/20 LOA”) and the 20/20 Bipartisan Research Institute (“BRI”). 20/20 BJC is a 100% volunteer organization. 20/20 BJC is headed by Founder & Chief Executive Officer Ashley D. Bell, Esq. and Executive Director Candice S. Petty, with a seven person Advisory Board. 20/20 LOA has a Republican Co-Chair, Rufus Montgomery, and a Democratic Co-Chair, Tishaura Jones. Ms. Petty also acts as Executive Director of the 20/20 BRI.
20/20 Leaders of America
Founded in March 2015 with an eye toward the 2016 Presidential election, 20/20 Leaders of America was formed initially for the purpose of hosting listening sessions and public forums with the 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. Starting with twenty Black Republicans and twenty black Democrats, 20/20 LOA has grown to an invitation-only bipartisan group of over 80 leading African American mayors, city, county and state officials, prosecutors and defense attorneys, political strategists, community leaders and activists, police chiefs and other law enforcement executives. 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.
20/20 Bipartisan Research Institute
The 20/20 Bipartisan Research Institute (“BRI”) is the research arm of the 20/20 BJC, created in 2017 to study criminal justice policy and systems as they affect persons of color in the United States and abroad. In mid-2017, the BRI brought on its first class of Junior Fellows, four young professionals that would study criminal justice policy and systems as they affect persons of color in the United States and abroad. Each Junior Fellow enhanced their knowledge of criminal justice reform theories, studies and research, reading and discussing foundational articles and books on the subject. They provided essential research to support our developing Online Policy Toolkit and local municipal programming, tracking relevant legislation on the federal and state level, and assisting with the Legislative Campaign Planning Tool for our 20/20 elected officials. At the heart of each program are central themes: public service, the power of bipartisanship, collaboration, and concentrated study of criminal justice policies.
Our mission is to fundamentally change the way in which the American political system addresses criminal justice issues, specifically as they affect the African-American community. We work toward this mission by utilizing the “20/20 Approach.” The 20/20 Approach to criminal justice reform is bipartisan, includes all relevant stakeholders from activists to law enforcement, and empowers local communities to implement meaningful and practical solutions to systemic problems in the justice system.
We are the only nationwide coalition of black professionals with both Republican and Democratic members focused on criminal justice reform. By building bipartisan relationships and hosting solution focused conversations, the 20/20 Club is uniquely positioned to be a convener for criminal justice reform.
What We DoAs a collective, we determine what laws, policies and programs result in positive outcomes for communities of color and support those in a bipartisan fashion. We build our programming and advocacy around our six "20/20 Policy Focus Areas" which we believe are the most urgent issues in need of reform: pretrial detention, sentencing guidelines, barriers to reentry, racial profiling, excessive force, and police militarization.