founder, executive director
Norris Henderson, a former Soros Justice Fellow, has had tremendous success in his work impacting public policy and public discourse about police accountability, public defense for poor and indigent people, and reforming the notorious Orleans Parish Prison (OPP). As someone who was wrongfully incarcerated for 27 years, Norris shares firsthand experience of racism and brutality of the criminal justice system with communities of Color across Louisiana. Norris is a frequent contributor to public discourse, regularly speaking publicly in support of underprivileged communities in New Orleans, and acting as a general liaison to other community organizations in the city. Since his release in 2003 Norris has applied his 27 years of self-taught legal expertise and community organizing skills to a number of leadership positions, including Co-Director of Safe Streets/Strong Communities and Community Outreach Coordinator of the Louisiana Justice Coalition. Norris serves on a number of organizations’ Board of Directors including Family & Friends of Louisiana’s Incarcerated Children, and acts as Board President of the Louisiana Center for Children’s Rights. Email Norris
Norris' concept that 'civic engagement is the highest form of rehabilitation' is something we can all believe in. VOTE puts the formerly incarcerated person right where they need to be: out in the community, participating in productive activities, educating, advocating and standing up for their rights.
—Deborah Larussi, www.sillsfamilyfoundation.org