Vernice Heard

George Mason Shinnyo Fellow

Vernice earned her bachelor’s degree in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from the George Mason University Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution in 2023. Upon graduating, Vernice was selected for the Carter School’s Shinnyo Fellowship, allowing her to join the PJI team through the spring of 2024. In her role, Vernice works primarily on supporting PJI’s reentry work.

At the GMU Carter School, Vernice studied issues surrounding incarceration such as the use of solitary confinement, zero-tolerance policies, and the school-to-prison pipeline as it pertains to youth development. Vernice has also studied the historical and current use of restorative justice practices within prisons and academic institutions. In addition, Vernice has researched and presented on the topic of Racial Minimization in the legislative trajectory of the CROWN act at the Carter School Spring 2023 symposium. Through the content of her studies, Vernice has developed a passion in advocating for individuals currently and formerly involved in the United States justice system. In her free time, Vernice enjoys hiking, creating digital artwork, and painting her nails.