Preparing for the Models for Change Conference

by Zerline Hughes

The Models for Change conference is just around the corner – and it’s not too soon to start participating online!

This year, we are especially excited to engage with conference attendees and juvenile justice practitioners online through social media.

We will live-tweet all three days of the conference and encourage you to follow along and join in by tweeting and retweeting with the hashtags #MFC7 and #Models4Change. (When you want to tell something specific about some issue or subject, you can prefix your subject with #. The more people that re‐tweet your message and/or use the same # with their own tweets, the # or subject acts like a keyword and becomes searchable and more popular.) For those not yet on Twitter (join here), this is the perfect chance to dabble in social networking to promote your organization’s issues and Models for Change. Images, graphs, quotes, workshops and photographs will be featured and we hope you share your own thoughts/tweets on this medium. And remember, when you tweet, make sure to include @models4change. Start following us there as well.

We will also feature the conference on the Models for Change Facebook page. Make sure you LIKE the page so you can easily follow the conference updates.

As an added treat for this year’s conference, we will podcast various segments of the conference for archival and downloading purposes. Our National Resource Bank participants – and anyone, for that matter – will be able to embed video clips on their own websites, blogs and social media sites as well. Blog posts will be posted and shared following the presentation of various workshops including “Getting Smart on Crime: Improving Juvenile Diversion Decisions on the Front line,” and “Cops and Kids of Color.” These, too, will be pieces that we encourage all to share with their networks and beyond as they will be authored by the actual presenters themselves – direct contact!

To provide an idea of all that is in store this year, conference logistics and offerings will be offered via a special portal over the next few days to easily keep abreast of Models for Change Conference action.

Remember, social media is a way to connect with associated issues, current events, resources and to promote your organization and network with like-minded, or even different-minded organizations and individuals to change the conversation. Participating in social networking is truly a win-win situation!

And finally, we will be launching the new Models for Change website at the conference. We appreciate the contributions received from so many of you during its development. Those attending the conference should stop by our booth to check out the new website at

Zerline Hughes is Communications Director of the Justice Policy Institute. In this capacity, she interacts with media and helps execute JPI’s communications strategy. She helped produce "Blocking the Exit," a short documentary on the parole process in Maryland for people serving life sentences. Prior to joining JPI, Zerline was the Communications Manager for The Sentencing Project, a national nonprofit focused on criminal justice reform by way of research and advocacy. While there, Zerline maintained and wrote for the website and participated in advocacy and communications campaigns that resulted in legislation reform and national media attention. She also helped produce a short documentary entitled “Crack the Disparity: It’s Not Fair. It’s Not Working.” which was screened throughout Washington, D.C. and on Capitol Hill. Zerline has also worked as a public relations consultant and newspaper reporter and freelance writer for publications including the Boston Globe, Baltimore Sun, Ventura (Calif.) County Star and Dance Magazine. Zerline earned a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and photography from Howard University and a Master of Science in Communication Management from Simmons College.