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A Message of Gratitude from Taina, as she transitions from her role as Executive Director of Initiate Justice

July 6, 2022

Dear Initiate Justice Community,

It is with much joy that I share the exciting news that I am transitioning away from my role as Executive Director of Initiate Justice so that I may serve as Executive Director for our 501c4 organization, Initiate Justice Action!

I founded Initiate Justice in September 2016 with the vision of using my experience as a person with an incarcerated loved one to activate the political power of others impacted by incarceration in California. Initiate Justice began as an idea inside of a prison visiting room, and in the last almost six years, we have helped pass bills and ballot propositions, trained hundreds of system-impacted people in policy advocacy, and built a membership of tens of thousands of people in prison. 

I am proud of the work we have done, and am excited to transition into this next chapter of my leadership with Initiate Justice Action, where we will take policy advocacy to the next level by engaging system-impacted people in electoral politics. 

I am also thrilled to welcome our incoming interim Executive Director, Antoinette Ratcliffe, who joined Initiate Justice in 2019 as a participant in our Institute of Impacted Leaders and has since become an Institute Facilitator, Director of Organizing, and incredible leader overall. Over the last three years, I have watched Antoinette learn and grow and I know Initiate Justice will continue our work toward prison abolition under her strong leadership and with the support of our powerful staff.

Thank you to everyone who has supported Initiate Justice and myself as a leader. I am forever committed to this movement, and will continue to serve on our Board of Directors moving forward. I cannot wait to see what Initiate Justice does in the future – in this political moment in particular, it is so important that people directly impacted by incarceration continue to organize and make our voices heard.

If you would like to keep in touch or learn more about the work being done at Initiate Justice Action, our 501c4, please feel free to email me at:

With Love and Gratitude,

Taina Vargas

Til 7/30, you are able to sign our group card, and leave your words of goodwill for Taina here: