Katie Schaffer

New York Statewide Organizer

New York, NY

Katie Schaffer is a fourth generation New Yorker. As a white person who grew up in New York City – coming of age when Amadou Diallo was murdered by the NYPD – she learned quickly that police, jails and prisons are mechanisms of racialized, class-based control. Now at JustLeadershipUSA, Katie is the New York Statewide Organizer, building power with directly impacted leaders and partner organizations across the state to decarcerate jails and challenge the fundamental workings of New York’s criminal (in)justice system. Prior to joining JLUSA, Katie oversaw the college-in-prison programs of the City University of New York (CUNY) as the Director of College Access at the Prisoner Reentry Institute. As a consultant for the New York Early Childhood Professional Development Institute, Katie launched and continues to manage a program on gender and sexuality in early childhood education. Off the clock, she sits on the leadership team of Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) NYC, runs direct action security teams, and has a serious collection of indoor plants.