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Presented by the Collaboration for Justice



April Preyar

Partner, Shiller Preyar

Jarard & Samuels Law

April Preyar is civil rights attorney in Chicago. She founded an online movement called the JustUs Junkie. The name “JustUs” refers to the notion that true justice has historically been unavailable to Black and brown people, which, in turn, makes people of color alienated and isolated from the court system and frightened and terrorized by law enforcement.


April frequently serves on educational panels and conducts “Know Your Rights'' seminars for elementary school children, teenagers, and adults.

Cathryn Crawford

Director of Holistic Legal Services

Lawndale Christian Legal Center

Cathryn is a graduate and former professor of Northwestern University’s School of Law. With a decades long legal career, she joined LCLC due to its unique community-based holistic legal representation model. Before coming to LCLC, Cathryn worked in Texas representing clients on death row.


Cathryn hopes to reform the justice system by making it holistic instead of punitive and to eliminate the pernicious racism that characterizes it.

Tanya Woods

Executive Director

Westside Justice Center

Tanya Woods hails from the West Side of Chicago near the same neighborhood where she is the Executive Director of the Westside Justice Center, a non-profit, holistic legal aid clinic in East Garfield Park.


She is a certified Mediator and Trainer at the Center for Conflict Resolution and adjunct faculty member at Loyola University School of Law. Prior to becoming a licensed attorney, Tanya worked in the higher education, non-profit, and corporate sectors.

Sharone Mitchell, Jr.

Public Defender for Cook County

Sharone Mitchell, Jr. is a lifelong resident of Chicago, attending Morgan Park High School and growing up in the West Pullman neighborhood. Before becoming Cook County Public Defender in April 2021, he was Director of the Illinois Justice Project, focusing on pretrial issues, sentencing policy, and violence prevention.


Sharone has often appeared in the media; his analysis has appeared in print, TV, and radio.

Sarah Staudt

Senior Policy Analyst & Staff Attorney

Collaboration for Justice

Sarah Staudt has been with Chicago Appleseed and the Chicago Council of Lawyers since 2018. After graduating from the University of Chicago Law School in 2013, Sarah was an attorney with Lawndale Christian Legal Center where she focused on juvenile justice matters.


Sarah was also part of the team that planned, created, and launched the North Lawndale Community Court – which was managed by Chicago Appleseed staff for about a year.


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