The Law Journalism Justice Project is one of 181 finalist applications for the Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund grants and it’s a project that hopes to engage college students from Ireland and Northern Ireland as champions against wrongful convictions. Votes can be cast until May 27 and the final selections will be made in late June.

It is the only proposal from Ireland to have made it to the finals from the original field of roughly 1050 applications. The project is being helmed by Chris Gordon, a social entrepreneur and innovator who is a US Embassy alum and works with the Irish US Alumni Association and Fulbright Ireland. Other members of the alumni team include Anne Driscoll, a Boston-based journalist who is just concluding her 2013-2014 Fulbright post working with the Irish Innocence Project at Griffith College in Dublin, Orla O’Neill, grants and development director at St. Stephen’s Green Trust and an alum of the Irish Institute at Boston College, Oonagh Breen, senior lecturer at UCD and a Fulbright student alum, Barry Fennell, a project manager at Co-Operation Ireland and Oisin Dunne, Irish language technologist and Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching alum, Sheryl Sorby, a Ph.D. engineer, STEM specialist and 2013-2014 Fulbright scholar.


“We are building the foundations for our next generation lawyers and journalists in seeking out injustice and dealing with the issues in our past,” says Gordon. We will work with up and coming legal and law students as well as those in the legal and justice professions, bringing them together for a deep dive session on our legal systems, as well as involving journalists in more of the legal process to promote transparency, openness and public awareness. “


The Law Journalism Justice Project seeks to introduce Irish and Northern Irish law and journalism students to wrongful convictions and the innocence movement and inspire them to get involved with one of newest human rights and social justice global campaigns. If successful, the fund will allow the project to raise public awareness through conversations and workshops with exonerees and innocence work professionals and also use documentary film as a way of engagement.  The project will build on the work of the Irish Innocence Project based in Griffith College Dublin and also reach out Northern Ireland colleges as partners.  Work will commence in Sept 2014 and the final engagement event in June 2015 will include input from Irish Innocence Project Director and barrister David Langwallner, Dearbhail McDonald, Eisenhower Fellow 2012, lawyer, associate editor and legal editor for the Irish Independent and Charlotte Blease, Cognitive scientist, Public Educator from Belfast.

Please consider lending this important project your support by logging in to the State Alumni website and voting for it. To cast your vote go to https://alumni.state.gov/node/10272 . Also follow the Law Journalism Justice Project on twitter at @LawJournalism or visit LawJournalism.com