The Florida Justice Center Welcomes Melba Pearson to its Board of Directors
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Oakland Park, FL (September 21, 2020) —
The Florida Justice Center, a group of attorneys, mental health experts, and passionate individuals united in shifting the system for justice-involved people, is delighted to welcome former Deputy Director of the ACLU Florida, Melba Pearson, to its board of directors.
“I’m honored to have the opportunity to join the board of the Florida Justice Center to support the mission of ensuring our returning community members are able to rebuild their lives effectively and with dignity,” Pearson said.
An accomplished attorney, Pearson worked as the Assistant State Attorney in Miami-Dade County for sixteen years. During that time, she spearheaded new initiatives to provide innovative ways to reduce crime and provide outreach in the community. Later she served as the Deputy Director for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Florida for three years, where she was on the leadership team that was instrumental in passing Florida Amendment 4, an amendment that re-enfranchises justice-involved people by allowing them to vote after they have served their time.
“Melba has been a beacon of change throughout her career,” said Jonathan Bleiweiss, Executive Director of the Florida Justice Center. “Her values align perfectly with FLJC and it’s a privilege to have her join us.”
Melba joins the board at the end of a highly contentious bid for Miami-Dade State Attorney against incumbent Katherine Fernandez Rundle. She ran on a platform of rehabilitation over punishment, stronger accountability for law enforcement, and breaking the school-to-prison pipeline. With that, she was able to win over 150,000 votes.
With the latest wave of social justice awareness matriculating throughout the state, FLJC is committed to turning words into action by providing help to the marginalized, the disenfranchised, and the voiceless. It is imperative to have board members whose vision aligns with their mission, and Pearson has proven time and again that she holds these values. Throughout her admirable career, Pearson’s devotion to racial justice has echoed through the years. She has forged a path for women and people of color, and she has taken on a leadership role in several charity organizations.
Other accomplishments include:
- Past President of the National Black Prosecutors Association.
- President of the NBPA Foundation.
- Co-Chair of the Prosecution Function Committee of the American Bar Association.
- Immediate Past President of the Gwen S. Cherry Black Women Lawyers Association in South Florida.
- Director of policy and programs for Florida International University’s Center for the Administration of Justice.
ABOUT FLORIDA JUSTICE CENTER
Florida Justice Center is the state’s only legal aid organization dedicated to helping people with justice-involvement. Authorized by the Florida Supreme Court, FLJC works to lower the effects of an arrest through free and low-cost legal services, as well as connections to community service providers.
With a mission to empower individuals by providing legal support, community education, and removing barriers to success caused by the criminal justice system, FLJC succeeds in helping thousands of individuals each year.