Gregory Jackson, Executive Director of the Community Justice Action Fund (CJAF), will receive Grantmakers In Health’s (GIH) 2023 Andy Hyman Award for Advocacy. The award pays tribute to advocacy grantees who embody a commitment to principled action, passionate leadership to advance social change, and dedication to making progress in policy and practice despite challenging political environments. Scott Moyer and Andrea Fionda of the Langeloth Foundation nominated Mr. Jackson, with support from Timothy Daly of the Joyce Foundation and Christian Heyne of the Brady Campaign.
Mr. Jackson is a community organizer, political strategist, and issue advocate. As a gun violence survivor, gun violence prevention is personal for him. While being questioned by law enforcement in his hospital bed, Mr. Jackson remembers being treated like a criminal and not like a victim. This experience and recovery propelled him into action, becoming a leading voice on gun violence prevention for Black and Brown communities.
Prior to becoming the organization’s Executive Director, Mr. Jackson served as the CJAF National Advocacy Director for two years. In this role, he worked with communities, elected officials, community leaders, and impacted residents to advocate for proactive and preventive solutions to end gun violence. Mr. Jackson led the effort to build political power through electoral participation, spearheading the 2020 Elect Justice Campaign that mobilized over 1,000 volunteers and connected with over 1.6 million voters across the country. Following his recovery, Mr. Jackson became an avid mentor to local at-risk youth. He built multiple youth engagement movements like #WeReadDC, empowering hundreds of volunteers to support Washington, DC, area youth through monthly reading events.
As the youngest member of Washington, DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser’s administration, Mr. Jackson served as Director of the Mayor’s Office of Community Relations and Services. He then went on to lead Community Engagement and Communications for Washington, DC’s Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement (ONSE). At ONSE, Mr. Jackson oversaw community events, outreach activities, policy development, violence-reducing programs, and direct engagement of residents most at risk of gun violence.
Before dedicating his life to gun violence prevention, Greg worked as a community organizer through various roles, including Co-Chair of DC for Obama; Field Director at Obama for America, North Carolina; Southern Regional Director at Organizing for Action; and National Field Director at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, where he ran the largest midterm election voter registration program in US History.
An avid runner who has completed five half marathons, Mr. Jackson enjoys recreational sports and created a citywide organization offering activities for thousands of young adults throughout the Washington, DC, area.
In selecting Mr. Jackson, the committee lauded his ability to advance the sector of violence reduction by building it into a broader public health approach and framing community violence intervention as one of the first steps to be taken to build out a comprehensive, people-centered approach to create safer and healthier communities.