Macaulay’s Restorative Justice Program Coordinator Jayla J. Allen is a committed advocate, activist, and organizer. She brings a wealth of expertise in designing and implementing programs for young adults, and has a deep background in providing academic, social, and emotional support to students.
A 2022-2023 Columbia University Beyond the Bars Fellow, Jayla’s experience includes serving as Community Programs Assistant and, previously, as Youth Advisor at Trinity Church Wall Street.
Jayla holds an M.A. in African American-African Diaspora Studies from Columbia University. Her research focused on the intersections of race, poverty, and mass incarceration in the United States. She earned her B.A. in Political Science and Legal Studies at Prairie View A&M University in Texas, during which time she spent a semester in Shanghai at East China Normal University.
During her own college career at Prairie View, Jayla was extremely successful in community organizing and advocating for voters’ rights throughout the South. She served as the lead plaintiff in Allen v. Waller County, Texas, a voting rights lawsuit challenging the county’s refusal to provide on-campus early voting. Since then, Jayla has continued to fight for voting rights and to prepare Black and brown voters to cast ballots across the United States.
A Texas native, Jayla currently resides in New York City. She enjoys traveling, reading books, and spending time with her family.