Karina Velez

Leadership Administrative Associate

New York

Karina Velez is the Leadership Administrative Associate at JustLeadershipUSA (JLUSA). In her role, she provides logistical support for the Leading with Conviction and the Emerging Leaders trainings. Previously, Karina worked as the Career Pathways Training Associate at the Prisoner Reentry Institute (PRI) located within John Jay College of Criminal Justice. She was responsible for co-facilitating and administratively supporting the Navigator Certificate in Human Services and Tech 101 trainings for students impacted by the criminal justice system. Fortifying Karina’s passion for social justice and advocacy for disenfranchised groups, she previously traveled through six different locations in Tanzania teaching abroad with Dramatic Adventure Theater ( DAT) — an international service arts organization and theater company that teaches healing through play. While in Tanzania, she co-taught storytelling workshops to displaced persons with albinism, students from the University of Dar es Salaam, and adolescents from Children’s Villages throughout the base of Mount Kilimanjaro. Karina holds a BA in Forensic Psychology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Her preferred research topics are mass incarceration, the sociology of race & racism, and the history of U.S. inequality. Beyond JLUSA, Karina is a performing arts enthusiast and a native New Yorker living in the Bronx.