ACLU Introduces Smart Justice Field OrganizerSeptember 30, 2019, 12:55 PM HST (Updated September 30, 2019, 12:55 PM)
The ACLU of Hawai‘i announced Monday the addition of Shayna Lonoaea-Alexander, who will join the group in the capacity of Smart Justice Field Organizer.
Her position is part of a strategic expansion by the local ACLU affiliate to build its capacity and reach in order to better protect and advance civil rights for all the people of Hawai‘i, according to an ACLU press release.
Born and raised in central O‘ahu, Lonoaea-Alexander is an activist passionate about rural community outreach and youth civic engagement. In her organizing work for the ACLU of Hawai‘i, she aims to foster deep community ties while amplifying the voices of Hawai‘i families and communities, the release said.
“Far too many Hawai‘i families like mine have been impacted by incarceration,” Lonoaea-Alexander said. “Smart Justice proves there’s a path forward—that our stories don’t end when the cell doors open, and they need to be told. I’m excited to join the ACLU team and do this work so our communities can know what it means to live in a fair, safe and just society.”
Immediately prior to coming to work for the ACLU of Hawai‘i, Lonoaea-Alexander was working as an activist in Wyoming. She proudly served on Wyoming Equality, NARAL Pro-Choice Wyoming, Wyoming Tribune Eagle Editorial Board, the Young Democrats of Wyoming and Equality Hawai‘i.
Her work included organizing the Wyoming Women’s March, Cheyenne Pride, the Wyoming Gay-Straight Alliance Network and other statewide projects. She previously worked for the Wyoming Democratic Party, Hawai‘i United for Marriage and the Hawai‘i State Legislature.
“For the Smart Justice campaign to address systemic racial inequalities in the criminal legal system while reducing incarceration rates by 50%, centering the voices of impacted community members is essential,” said ACLU of Hawai‘i Executive Director Joshua Wisch. “Their stories need to be told and I’m excited for Shayna to bring her organizing knowledge and experience to our team to help make that happen. I’m confident that (by) joining forces with local communities and other local activists working hard on these issues, she will help elevate the experiences and stories of the impacted people and move Hawai‘i forward.”