FacultyFaculty/Author Profile
Zachary Norris

Zachary Norris

Ella Baker Center for Human Rights
Executive Director
Oakland, CA, USA


Zachary Norris is the Executive Director of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights and a former director of our Books Not Bars campaign. Prior to rejoining the organization, Zachary founded and co-directed Justice for Families, a national alliance of family-driven organizations working to end our nation’s youth incarceration epidemic.

During the seven years he led the campaign, Books Not Bars built California’s first statewide network for families of incarcerated youth, led the effort to close five youth prisons in the state, passed legislation to enable families to stay in contact with their loved ones, and defeated Prop 6—a destructive and ineffective criminal justice ballot measure.

In addition to being a Harvard graduate and NYU-educated attorney, Zachary is also a graduate of the Labor Community Strategy Center’s National School for Strategic Organizing in Los Angeles, California and was a 2011 Soros Justice Fellow. He is a former board member at Witness for Peace and Just Cause Oakland and is currently serving on the Justice for Families board.

Zachary is a loving husband and dedicated father of two bright daughters, whom he is raising in his hometown of Oakland, California.

Zachary brings a long history of organizing against mass incarceration, criminalization, and ineffective punishment solutions to his role at the Ella Baker Center. Zachary founded and co-directed Justice for Families, a national alliance of family-driven organizations working to end our nation’s youth incarceration epidemic. Under his leadership, the Ella Baker Center’s Books Not Bars campaign built California’s first statewide network for families of incarcerated youth, led the effort to close five youth prisons, passed legislation to enable families to stay in contact with their loved ones, and defeated Prop 6—a destructive and ineffective criminal justice ballot measure. In addition to being a Harvard graduate and NYU-educated attorney, Zachary was also a 2011 Soros Justice Fellow.

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