Transforming justice together means working together. It means understanding we all have something to learn from each other and that if someone is in the room, they have something valuable to share.
Shane Correia, deputy director of Government Partnerships, has worked at the Center for over three years, but his connections go back much further.
“My path to the Center started when I was a 15-year-old truant high school student in New York City. Out of 180 school days in the year I would miss at least 90 of them. At 15, I joined the Youth Justice Board, and it introduced me to perspectives I didn’t know existed. The Board taught me how to learn about things you don’t know about, that it’s okay not to know something, and there are people you can ask for help.”
Shane’s participation in the Board—which recently evolved into a new program, the Youth Action Institute—ultimately led him on a path to law school.
“I thought, I want to work where people think like this,” he said, but his true calling has always been public service. Shane is motivated by a desire to share knowledge and resources. “A lot of people are doing really cool things at the Center. If they have access to information like government processes, they can expand their impact. If I have insight or inside knowledge, I want to share that with programs so they can do more.”
Part of that resource-sharing requires juggling the needs of nearly 30 different programs at the Center and finding ways to connect them to funding and policy-advocacy opportunities. “It’s taking incredibly big and lofty goals and turning that into direct impact—getting the funding, doing the hiring, and creating models for other parts of the country to one day emulate.”
The Center’s work in Queens exemplifies what Shane likes about his work. “I’m really proud of the Rockaways office of the Queens Community Justice Center getting off the ground and my small role in that larger group effort working with various teams at the Center—Community Development and Crime Prevention, Data Analytics and Applied Research, Communications, and programs like Brownsville Community Justice Center to make the Rockaways a reality.”
“During the pandemic I adopted a shiba inu who I named Tango. Fun fact: the breed is known for having a very unique scream, which Tango uses whenever he gets caught in his leash, and startles everyone in earshot.”