Mariame Kaba

 Mariame Kaba is the founding director of Project NIA (, a grassroots organization with the long-term goal of ending youth incarceration. Her work focuses on ending violence, dismantling the prison industrial complex, and supporting youth leadership development. Mariame has a long history of anti-violence organizing and education. She has co-founded several organizations including the Chicago Taskforce on Violence against Girls and Young Women (, the Rogers Park Young Women’s Action Team (, and the Chicago Freedom School ( Her current project ‘No Selves to Defend’ examines the criminalization of women of color for invoking self-defense. Mariame runs the blog: Prison Culture where she writes about issues of juvenile justice, prisons, criminalization and transformative justice.