Erica Washington has studied the American punishment system for more than a decade with an interest in transformative models for addressing harm. She came to Impact Justice with a deep desire to disrupt narratives that normalize the harm and disposability of Black and Brown bodies. To this end, she spent almost three years with the Center for Death Penalty Litigation defending people on death row in the American South and working to challenge the racialized dehumanization that sustains the capital punishment apparatus. Simultaneously, Erica helped to build and lead a restorative justice criminal diversion program in Durham, NC, which diverts adults charged with both misdemeanor and felonies into a restorative process.
Erica joined Impact Justice in 2020 as a senior program associate for the Restorative Justice Project. In this role, she assists counties across the nation develop and launch restorative justice diversion programs that center the needs of the people and communities harmed by wrongdoing and provides opportunities for those who caused harm to be accountable for their actions.
Erica received her J.D. from New York University School of Law where she was a Root-Tilden-Kern Public-Interest Scholar. She received her B.A. from the University of Virginia in political philosophy, public policy, and law; as well as African and African American studies. She currently serves on the board of directors of the North Carolina Coalition for Alternatives to the Death Penalty.