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The Florida Justice Center Welcomes Melba Pearson to its Board of Directors


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, the 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 the Florida Justice Center:

The FLJC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that is dedicated to providing individuals with connections to defense attorneys and services to reduce their likelihood of future involvement in the justice system.  With pro bono attorneys, bail assistance, access to social services, and behavioral health services as the pillars of the ground-breaking organization, the FLJC team hopes that its success grows with each additional supporter.

3469 N Dixie Highway

Oakland Park, FL 33334


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Melba Pearson
Board Member Melba Pearson

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