Zealous is a national advocacy and education initative working to topple the historic imbalance of power over criminal justice media and policy. They do this by supporting and training public defenders, advocates, and people with direct experience to harness the power of media, technology, storytelling, and the arts.
Court Watch is an A4J-funded education and awareness campaign to raise awareness about the importance of open public access to courts, drive more people to volunteer for existing court watch programs, and help expand and build court watch programs in jurisdictions where they might be less present. It is anchored by an award-winning film – The Court Watchers – a short, graphic-novel-style animated film featuring narration by Jesse Williams and a first-ever original score from acclaimed singer-songwriter and avid court watcher Fiona Apple.
Silenced is a growing archival website and exhibition project, built around letters and artwork from solitary confinement over the years. Zealous worked with artists, local social justice practitioners, and people currently incarcerated in Michigan solitary confinement to build this searchable, digital archive of 100 letters and experiences to raise awareness about the torture of solitary confinement. The zine synthesizes the digital archive of Silenced in short graphic form. Much like the website, woven throughout the zine are difficult subject matter, heart-breaking art and interpretations, and truths that are often silenced with shocking efficacy. The zine was created as part of a writer’s workshop, and continues to be a place where people find space for reflection and understanding after engaging with the brutal realities of solitary confinement.