Remembering:
Amber Evans

Occupation

Community Activist

Community Involvement

“A former Buckeye and Lantern reporter, Evans earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Ohio State and a master’s in library and information sciences from Kent State University. In 2011, Evans began her activism on Ohio State’s campus through student organizing within the coalition Occupy OSU, inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement.

In 2012 Evans became one of the founders of the Ohio Student Association, an organization led by young people that engages in values-based issue and electoral organizing, nonviolent direct action, advocacy for progressive public policy and leadership development.

Alongside OSA, Evans’ community activism evolved even more, as she also founded the People’s Justice Projectan organization addressing police brutality and fighting against mass incarceration in Ohio.

Evans also spearheaded The Voices of the Unheard, another organization in Columbus prompting change in the community. VOU has chapters in schools and locations throughout Columbus, including the Columbus Alternative High School and the Franklin County Jail.

At the Franklin County Jail, Evans worked with many of the incarcerated young men, focusing on their empowerment, helping them find agency and allowing their voices to be heard on issues that they cared about.

In her most recent role as the director of organizing and policy of the Juvenile Justice Coalition, Evans initiated the “Counselors Not Cuffs” campaign, which focused on getting schools to implement social workers, therapists and counselors, instead of school resource officers and police officers in schools.

“Wherever she saw a group of people who weren’t having their needs met, she tried to start something to meet their needs,” Kevin O’Donnell, OSA training and data coordinator as well as close friend of Evans, said. “She saw the need to create vehicles that people could use to get power, who are typically locked out from power.” — The Lantern