Board of Directors Announcement

October 24, 2022

The Appeal, a worker-led nonprofit newsroom that exposes the harms of the criminal legal system, announced its new Board of Directors today.

“With expertise in criminal justice, journalism, community advocacy, and organization-building, our board members bring skills and insights that touch all aspects of The Appeal’s work,” said Molly Greene, The Appeal’s legal and strategy director.

In July 2021, The Appeal relaunched as a worker-led newsroom, after former leadership shut it down. Staff resumed publishing last November.

Since relaunching, The Appeal has published over 100 original stories, launched a weekly newsletter with over ten thousand subscribers, and been cited everywhere from Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, to the New York Times, to legal filings to protect abortion rights. The Appeal’s reporting has received recognition from leading journalism organizations. Senior Reporter Meg O’Connor won an Institute for Nonprofit News award for Best Investigative Journalism for her reporting on the New York Police Department’s Special Victims Division, which helped spur a federal investigation.

“The Appeal produces some of the most intelligent, thoughtful, and important reporting today that not just influences, but entirely shifts the national conversation on criminal justice issues,” said Josie Duffy Rice, board member and former president of The Appeal. “It is an essential voice and a critical defense against efforts to roll back criminal justice reforms and expand mass incarceration.”

Rice, along with Craig Hunter and Jody Armour, has served as The Appeal’s Board of Advisors for the past year; all three will join the newly formed Board of Directors.

The Appeal Board of Directors are:

Craig Hunter is VP, Editorial Director of One Day Studio at Teach For America. He leads a team of journalists and other content creators in exploring systemic barriers to equitable educational outcomes. Prior to joining TFA, Craig was a senior editor at The Appeal, producing original journalism about the criminal justice system. Craig spent the majority of his career in a variety of roles at The New York Times, culminating in his work as deputy media editor. He is the co-founder of HeadStepper Media, a multimedia company that produces award-winning podcasts.

Ethan Corey is The Appeal’s Research & Projects Editor. His investigative research and reporting has been featured in many outlets beyond The Appeal, including In These Times, The Nation, New York Focus, Retro Report, and BuzzFeed News. As the longest-tenured member of The Appeal’s staff, Ethan’s abrupt firing—and subsequent un-firing—in May 2021 helped kick off a series of events that would ultimately lead to our relaunch as a worker-led publication.

Jasper Wang is a co-owner and the Vice President of Revenue & Operations of Defector Media, the employee-owned sports and culture website founded in 2020. He was previously a longtime management consultant and led the internal Global People Analytics function at Bain & Company. While at the Robin Hood Foundation, he worked on the early development of the sharing economy & jobs website, which was designed to connect consumers with immigrant-led working cooperatives.

Jody David Armour is the Roy P. Crocker Professor of Law at the University of Southern California. A widely published scholar and popular lecturer, he studies the intersection of race, law, morality, psychology, politics, ordinary language philosophy, and the performing arts. His latest book, N*gga Theory: Race, Language, Unequal Justice, and the Law, looks at America’s criminal justice system — among the deadliest and most racist in the world — through deeply interdisciplinary lenses. Armour is a Soros Justice Senior Fellow of The Open Society Institute’s Center on Crime, Communities & Culture, and he is on the Board of Directors for LEAP (Law Enforcement Action Partnership), an international 501(c)(3) non-profit of police, prosecutors, judges, corrections officials, and other law enforcement officials advocating for criminal justice reform.

Johnny Perez draws on the wisdom of thirteen years of direct involvement with the criminal justice system in his work as the Director of the U.S. Prisons Program for the National Religious Campaign Against Torture, an interfaith membership organization comprised of 325 religious organizations working to end U.S.-sponsored torture, and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.

After three years in solitary confinement, he now leads a national movement to end the practice in coalition with the Unlock the Box Campaign. In addition to The Appeal, he serves on the Boards of Directors for the Juvenile Law Center and the Urban Justice Center, both non-profit public interest law firms advocating for the rights, dignity, equity, and opportunities of underserved populations. His commentary has been published by The New York Times, The Fordham Law Journal, Ebony Magazine, the Daily News, the Washington Post, and USA Today, where he was recently nominated as a USA Today 2020 Leader of Change.

Josie Duffy Rice is a journalist, writer, podcast host, and consultant whose work is primarily focused on prosecutors, prisons, and other criminal justice issues. Currently, she’s a co-host of What a Day, Crooked Media’s daily news podcast. She is also the creator and co-host of the podcast Justice in America. Until May 2021, she was President of The Appeal, a news publication that publishes original journalism about the criminal justice system. Her writing has been featured in The New York Times, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, and Slate, among others. She has written for TV, including the upcoming FX show The Premise. Josie has also consulted for numerous television shows, movies, and other creative projects, and was a consulting producer for Campside Media’s Suspect, which recently hit #1 on the podcast charts.

Josie is currently a Type Media Fellow and was previously a 2020 New America Fellow and a Civic Media Fellow at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg Innovation Lab.

Liliana Segura is a senior reporter at The Intercept, where she covers the U.S. criminal legal system, with a longtime focus on harsh sentencing, the death penalty, and wrongful convictions. Her writing has also appeared in The Nation, the Washington Post, and Colorlines, and has been reprinted in outlets ranging from prison magazines to the anthologies “The Best American Legal Writing” and “Against Equality: Prisons Will Not Protect You.”

Her work has garnered numerous awards, such as the 2016 Texas Gavel Award, the 2017 Innocence Network Journalism Award, and the 2021 Izzy Award from the Park Center for Independent Media for her coverage of the Trump administration’s federal execution spree. She frequently appears as a guest on various news outlets, including National Public Radio, MSNBC, CNN International, and Democracy Now!

Zara Rahim is a strategic communications expert, cultural and political commentator, producer, and advisor. Zara’s aim is to elevate stories that deserve to be heard, challenge how they’re told, and shape how they’re carried. Her experience spans across media, identity, culture, social justice, fashion, tech, public policy, and digital advocacy. Some of her more recent clients include A24, Mariah Carey, Slow Factory, and Blacktag. Zara was the Communications Director for Vogue Magazine and began her career in politics over a decade ago, having served on two presidential campaigns and in the Obama White House. A first-generation Bangladeshi-American and proud daughter of Florida, she lives in Brooklyn, New York.