Lead National Organizer
Mark Rice is JustLeadershipUSA’s Lead National Organizer. In this position, Mark works closely with JLUSA’s campaign partners and members, and the advocacy and policy teams to develop and execute strategy for our national criminal justice reform agenda to reduce the US correctional population in #halfby2030. Previously, Mark served as the JustLeadershipUSA Milwaukee Campaign Coordinator. In that role, he coordinated the #CLOSEmsdf Campaign, aimed at decarcerating Milwaukee, shuttering MSDF (Milwaukee Secure Detention Facility), and redirecting resources saved to build communities. Mark chairs the Post-Release Issues Workgroup of WISDOM, an organization that links communities across Wisconsin to work for justice. He serves as a board member for EXPO (EX-incarcerated People Organizing), an organization that drives WISDOM’s ROC (Restoring Our Communities) Wisconsin Campaign to end mass incarceration. In addition, he serves as a board member for Project RETURN, a nonprofit organization in Milwaukee that helps people leaving prison make a positive and permanent return to the community.
The State of Wisconsin forced Mark to spend 26 months in Wisconsin prisons and eight years under the supervision of the Wisconsin Department of Corrections. His experience with the state’s punishment system inspired him to become a leader in the movement to dismantle this unjust system. Mark has earned an M.S. in Urban Studies and an M.S. in Nonprofit Management & Leadership from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. In 2016, he received the Distinguished Leadership Award from MICAH (Milwaukee Inner-city Congregations Allied for Hope) and a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition from US Congresswoman Gwen Moore for his work to end mass incarceration. Mark has contributed his expertise on the penal system to numerous media outlets including USA Today, Wisconsin and Milwaukee Public Radio, PBS, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Capital Times, Truthout, WRRD Resistance Radio, NBC 26, WISN 12, CBS 58, the Daily Beast, and the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.