FREE ALAS Board of Directors
Will is the New Orleans Director of the Vera Institute of Justice. In this role, he continues and strengthens Vera’s existing partnerships with criminal justice actors and community leaders while identifying new collaborative relationships with government entities and community organizations. The collaborations focus on improving criminal justice systems in the South. Prior to joining Vera, Will was a public defender for five years representing New Orleanians in all stages of a case from arraignment to trial. Will also developed a focus and specialization in advocacy around reforming the procedures, systems, and policies around jury duty in an effort to promote diversity and representativeness in the jury box. Will also launched The Juror Project—an initiative aiming to increase the diversity of jury panels while changing and challenging people’s perspective of jury duty.
Joy Okoro is a dynamic and proven leader with over a decade of experience in the nonprofit and educational sectors. She currently serves as the Executive Director of Teach For America Greater New Orleans. In this position, Joy leads a network of approximately 1,300 corps members and alumni teaching in underserved schools and working across different sectors to positively impact educational opportunities in the Greater New Orleans area. Joy’s journey with Teach For America began in 2008 when she joined the Teach For America Greater New Orleans corps as a pre-GED math and special education teacher in Jefferson Parish.