Emergent Justice

Storytellers of the Movement

Participatory Defense

Changing outcomes & transforming communities

A cooperative organizing model that provides guidance, support, and community for people facing charges, along with their loved ones, and empowers them to directly impact the outcome of cases, to begin healing, and ultimately transform the landscape of power in the criminal system.


Our weekly hub meetings provide space for individuals & families to come together to share knowledge and experiences, review cases, learn how to become a part of their loved ones’ defense and collaborate on strategy.

We work with families and individuals to create social biographies that accurately reflect the lives of individuals who are facing charges, and their importance to their families and communities.

By regularly attending and monitoring court proceedings, we provide support for defendants and families, and identify individual and institutional bias so that those who perpetuate harm in the name of “justice” can be held accountable.

The Participatory Defense model is designed to complement and support the work of defense attorneys, not undermine it. Our partnership with local public defenders offices is a meaningful part participatory defense; a mutually beneficial relationship in which we can learn from them, and they from us.

Silicon Valley De-Bug organizer, Raj Jayadev


The Emergent Justice team is led by and inclusive of people who have ben directly impacted by the system, along with others who are passionate and committed to transforming it. By sharing our experiences and expertise, we create an accessible knowledge base that allows us to better advocate and navigate, and build relationships centered in healing for those who have experienced pain and trauma at the hands of an unjust and dehumanizing system.