Model & Strategy
The closest most Americans will ever get to prison — or to anyone impacted by the prison system — is through stories shaped by media reporting and entertainment. Too often, these stories sensationalize, trivialize, and categorize people as “felons” and “criminals” unworthy of redemption. Even reform-minded stories are often obstacle-based in framing, focusing only on the harm of the system without an affirmative vision or replacement narrative for what works and why. At the same time, advocates within the community often lack the infrastructure and strategy to effectively measure and push back on these harmful narratives with personal storytelling. This limits the public’s access to authentic experiences and solutions from those who have lived experience in the prison system. This generates a cycle of incarceration that closes the general public off to the experiences of millions of Americans, challenges the livelihoods of formerly incarcerated people, and exacerbates their experiences of discrimination around housing, hiring, voting, and access to equitable opportunities.
Represent Justice meets this challenge by turning stories into action to change the justice system while building the capacity of system-impacted communities. Represent Justice partners with community-based organizations and leaders to build narrative power at the local level to uplift affirmative, equity-based visions for the future, weaving together these narratives for national impact. Specifically, Represent Justice develops and implements films and series impact campaigns, and original content authored and produced by those impacted by the system. Through these two storytelling verticals, they mobilize audiences to action, with a focus on advancing justice for youth and women.
Central to their work is the Represent Justice Ambassador Program — a group of 30 prominent nonprofit leaders, advocates, and artists who have collectively served nearly 400 years in our nation’s prison system. Ambassadors participate in a year-long trauma-informed storytelling program that includes training ranging from public speaking to video production to negotiating legal rights to their own stories. Additionally, ambassadors produce and distribute their own short film content, participate in paid speaking engagements, and attend meetings with TV writers and showrunners to advise on story development.
By 2027, Represent Justice will impact over 500,000 individuals per year, including journalists, elected officials, formerly incarcerated individuals, and the general public. This impact number does not include the millions of storytelling views that Represent Justice has garnered; instead, it is based on direct engagements with the public through advocacy actions and screenings.
As a career nonprofit executive with over sixteen years of prior experience in nonprofit and advocacy work, Daniel leads the organization’s social impact efforts through strategic audience and community engagement as well as partnerships. Prior to joining Represent Justice, Daniel served as the Fulfillment Fund’s CFO and COO where he provided leadership and oversight to the organization’s operational activities, aiding in business decisions geared towards improving sustainability while maximizing impact. Daniel has also worked for The Raben Group in Washington D.C., overseeing the operations of eight separately-managed nonprofit organizations and fiscal sponsors. Daniel has also worked for the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, a multi-billion dollar conservation grant maker, and notably aided in the development and design of the reporting infrastructure for a variety of major funding sources, including awarded payments from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010. Daniel also serves as Treasurer on the board of directors of Guns Down America, a national gun violence prevention group, as well as the Fulfillment Fund.
Daniel is a native of the DMV and holds both an undergraduate degree and an MBA from the University of Maryland, University College.
More than 1 million people were impacted by legislation passed with Represent Justice’s direct involvement in Ohio (SB 256), California (Prop 17), and Michigan (Clean Slate) through storytelling campaigns with formerly incarcerated credible messengers.
Sparked 542,000 direct campaign actions through Represent Justice online tools; created a demand for change with over 5 million online views of story content.