Jon Spack, MS’08

  • Executive Director, Discovering Justice

Discovering Justice is nonprofit leader in civic education whose mission is to prepare young people to value the justice system, realize the power of their own voices, and embrace civic responsibility by connecting classrooms and courtrooms. From our home in the Moakley U.S. Courthouse (Boston, MA), we offer innovative in-school curriculum, afterschool programs, and courthouse field trips that teach elementary and middle school students about justice, the role of law in a democracy, and the fundamental importance of good citizenship.

We work with teachers, judges, attorneys, and other community members to educate and inspire young people to practice justice in their lives and be confident, active members of their communities. We place special emphasis on bringing our programs to economically disadvantaged Massachusetts communities to provide civic learning opportunities for all children. To date, Discovering Justice has served more than 175,000 people, primarily students.

I am deeply passionate about how Discovering Justice increases educational and civic access for under-resourced schools and communities to directly alter the current opportunity gap in our country. When young people feel connected to our justice system in a positive manner and when they have access to adult volunteer mentors, it has a profound impact on their participation in positive activities. What drives me most about Discovering Justice is our ability to impact young students both at the Moakley U.S. Courthouse (Boston, MA) and in the classroom. It is a critical time in our country to prepare young people to value the justice system, realize the power of their own voices, and embrace civic responsibility. I am thrilled by the impact Discovering Justice had just this past year: Over 20,000 elementary school students and 738 teachers in 85 schools across Massachusetts used our Children Discovering Justice curriculum; over 300 middle school students argued constitutional rights in front of federal judges at the Moakley U.S. Courthouse in Boston as well as courthouses in Lowell, New Bedford, and Springfield; and over 1,500 people learned about the justice system through Moakley U.S. Courthouse Tours. What is most remarkable is that all of this was accomplished by a staff of only eight. I am extremely excited to work closely with our Staff, Board, and existing partners in Boston, Cambridge, Lowell, Lawrence, New Bedford, and Watertown to serve even more students and educators this year.

“I decided to apply to the Nonprofit/NGO Leadership Program to further enhance my executive leadership track and build a high level skill set to both manage and lead powerful nonprofit organizations in the education reform field.”

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