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Our Team

Professor Peter Edelman

Faculty Director

Peter Edelman is the Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Law and Public Policy at Georgetown University Law Center, where he teaches constitutional law and poverty law and is Faculty Director of the Center on Gender Justice & Opportunity. On the faculty since 1982, he has also served in all three branches of government. During President Clinton’s first term he was Counselor to HHS Secretary Donna Shalala and then Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation.

Professor Edelman has been Associate Dean of the Law Center, Director of the New York State Division for Youth, and Vice President of the University of Massachusetts. He was a Legislative Assistant to Senator Robert F. Kennedy and Issues Director for Senator Edward Kennedy’s 1980 Presidential campaign. Prior to working for RFK, he clerked for Supreme Court Justice Arthur J. Goldberg and before that for Judge Henry J. Friendly on the U.S. Court of Appeals. He also served as Special Assistant to U.S. Assistant Attorney General John Douglas, and was a partner in the law firm of Foley & Lardner.

Mr. Edelman’s newest book is Not a Crime To Be Poor, published by The New Press. His previous books include So Rich, So Poor: Why It’s So Hard to End Poverty in America (The New Press) and Searching for America’s Heart: RFK and the Renewal of Hope (Georgetown University Press). His article in the Atlantic Monthly, entitled “The Worst Thing Bill Clinton Has Done,” received the Harry Chapin Media Award.

Professor Edelman has chaired and been a board member of numerous organizations and foundations. He is currently chair of the District of Columbia Access to Justice Commission and board chair of the National Center for Youth Law.

Rebecca Epstein

Executive Director, Georgetown Center on Gender Justice & Opportunity

Rebecca Epstein is the Executive Director of the Georgetown Center on Gender Justice & Opportunity. She has over 20 years’ experience in litigation and policy development, and she has maintained a special focus on race and sex discrimination and the policies and practices that support marginalized girls. Rebecca is the lead author of Girlhood Interrupted: The Erasure of Black Girls’ Childhood, and the co-author of The Sexual Abuse to Prison Pipeline: The Girls’ Story (2015). She is a member of the Steering Committee of the Girls @ the Margin National Alliance and the Advisory Board of Alliance 4 Girls, the Incorrigibles Project, and The Art of Yoga Project.

Previously, Rebecca served as a senior trial attorney in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Rebecca graduated with honors from Brown University and received her J.D. from New York University School of Law. She clerked for the Honorable Raymond A. Jackson in the Eastern District of Virginia, and is a member of the District of Columbia, New York, and Supreme Court Bars.

Professor Thalia González

Senior Scholar

Professor Thalia González is a Senior Scholar in the Center on Gender Justice & Opportunity at Georgetown University Law Center where she leads the Center’s national research on restorative justice law, policy, and practice. She is a Professor of Law at UC Hastings College of Law and holds a Harry & Lillian Hastings Research Chair. She is an affiliated faculty member with the UC Hastings Center on Racial and Economic Justice, UC Hastings Center on Race, Immigration, Citizenship, and Equality, and Senior Scholar in the UCSF/UC Hastings Consortium.

Professor González is a sociolegal scholar whose research and collaborative community partnerships aim to intervene in public systems to challenge the legal, political, social, and economic drivers of racial and gender disparities. As an expert in restorative justice, a core theme in her portfolio of work is the use of empirical evidence to reform laws and policies and elevate new understandings of on-the-ground practices. She also writes and teaches in the areas of health justice and the social determinants of health, critical race theory, education law, juvenile justice, and community legal practice.

Professor González’s work has been published or is forthcoming in American Law Review, Wisconsin Law Review, Utah Law Review, Fordham Urban Law Journal, Michigan Journal of Gender and Law, NYU Review of Law & Social Change, Stanford Law Review Online, Contemporary Justice Review, and Journal of Law Medicine & Ethics. In addition to leading academic journals, her work appears in The Washington Post, The Atlantic, and The New York Times and she is cited extensively in the field. Her research has been supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Grantmakers for Girls of Color, Annie E. Casey Foundation, and Atlantic Philanthropies. Professor González is an expert reviewer for federal agencies, national foundations, and numerous high-impact journals and served as a consultant for the National Institute of Justice. She is Co-Chair of the ABA Criminal Justice Section Alternative Dispute Resolution & Restorative Justice Committee and a member of the core design and research teams for the San Francisco Truth, Justice & Reconciliation Commission.

Shabnam Javdani

Senior Scholar

Shabnam Javdani is a Senior Scholar at the Center on Gender Justice & Opportunity at Georgetown Law. Professor Javdani is an Associate Professor of Applied Psychology at New York University, a founding Director of the RISE Research Team, and the Faculty Director of the NYU Prison Education Program. Javdani also works as a clinical and community psychologist who examines, and intervenes, in the health and mental health disparities promulgated by unequal social structures. 

Professor Javdani has authored numerous publications relating to sexual and reproductive health, the juvenile justice system, and the mental health of girls in detention facilities. With a focus on social justice, Javdani utilizes a variety of methodological approaches: quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-methodologies. By studying the intersection of mental health and unequal social structures, Javdani works towards reducing the development of inequality-related mental health and illuminating institutional responses to these various challenges. 


Dr. Camille Quinn

Senior Scholar

Dr. Quinn is a Senior Scholar at the Center on Gender Justice & Opportunity at Georgetown Law. She is an Associate Professor of Social Work at the University of Michigan.

Dr. Camille R. Quinn is a health criminologist in the fields of Black girls and young women’s health and mental health equity and the development of tailored interventions to promote their wellness and crime desistance.

Dr. Quinn has authored several publications on African American adolescents, including girls’ correlates of health and mental health disparities associated with their justice-involvement with a focus on their rehabilitation and treatment.

Mei Copacino

Administrative Program Associate

Kaitlyn Powell

Legal Justice Fellow

Kaitlyn Powell is a recent graduate of Georgetown University Law Center and the Institut d’études Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po) where she received her Juris Doctor and Master’s in Law respectively. While in law school, she was a Public Interest Fellow, Human Rights Associate, and member of the Women’s Legal Alliance, the Georgetown Law Socialist Student Union, the International Refugee Assistance Project, and If/When/How: Lawyering for Reproductive Justice. She has many years of experience working on the rights of women and girls and was a Student Attorney in the International Women’s Human Rights Clinic at Georgetown Law as well as a legal intern focused on immigration- and refugee-related litigation at Legal Services New York City and the Rapid Defense Network. Kaitlyn was a Research Assistant at the Center on Gender Justice & Opportunity before she joined the Center as the current Legal Justice Fellow, where she continues to provide legal research and writing related to the rights of girls of color, particularly as it relates to adultification bias, the criminalization of girls in schools, and the issues girls face when they are sexually abused and face detention, incarceration, or other forms of criminalization as a result of that abuse.
Before law school, Kaitlyn received a bachelor’s degree with distinction in Political Science from the University of Colorado Boulder where she focused on international human rights, civil rights, politics, and public policy.

Lauren Krauskopf

Research Assistant, Georgetown Law '25

Isabel Miller

Research Assistant, Georgetown Law '25

Lana Aguon

Intern, Georgetown College '24

Alison Karki

Intern, Georgetown College '24

Youth Storytellers

Logan Green

Youth Storyteller in Residence

Makayla Rivera

Youth Storyteller in Residence

See the Brilliant Work of Our Youth Storytellers

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Academic Advisors

Sheryll Cashin

Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Law, Civil Rights and Social Justice

Sheila R. Foster

The Scott K. Ginsburg Professor of Urban Law and Policy; Professor of Public Policy; Associate Dean for Equity and Inclusion

Kristin Henning

The Blume Professor of Law; Director of the Juvenile Justice Clinic and Initiative

Alicia Plerhoples

Professor of Law

Attorney Advisory Board

Lisa Collins

Intellectual Property, Indemnity and Litigation Partner, BakerHostetler

Alyssa Harvey Dawson

Chief Legal Officer and General Counsel, Gusto

Sara Farabow

Partner, Seyfarth Shaw LLP

Leslie Turner

Former Senior VP/Secy/General Counsel, The Hershey Company

Dawn Porter

Founder, Trilogy Films

Colin Murray

CEO for North America, Baker & McKenzie LLP

Schools for Girls of Color Project Team

The Center founded Schools for Girls of Color Learning Network. We co-lead the Learning Network with the National Black Women’s Justice Institute. Young women and girls of color act as our
Youth Advisory Committee.


Dr. Sydney McKinney

Executive Director, National Black Women’s Justice Institute

Dr. Sydney McKinney has over a decade of experience developing and managing child welfare and criminal justice research and evaluation in applied settings. She has extensive experience in the areas of performance measurement and implementation assessment. Prior to joining NBWJI, she worked at a large social service provider in New York City where she oversaw data analytics for the organization’s behavioral health clinics, child welfare, and housing programs.

She also worked at the Vera Institute of Justice performing research and evaluation on topics such as restorative justice, stop and frisk, status offense reform, and alternatives to incarceration. Dr. McKinney holds an MPH from Columbia University, an MA in Law and Society from New York University, and a Ph.D. in Sociology from New York University.

Youth Advisory Committee

Samantha Giles

Glen Allen, VA

Jade Thompson
Miami, FL

Karsen Thomspon

Pittsburgh, PA

Marie Smith

Columbus, OH

Adria Weaver

Ellicott City, VA

Chailea Harvey

Suffolk, VA

Tiffany Ofori

Columbus, OH