Shaka Colon is an Apprentice Community Organizer with the Katal Center for Health, Equity, and Justice. Through his experience as a formerly incarcerated Brooklyn resident, he was exposed to our deeply broken criminal justice system and the harsh conditions of Rikers Island. His experiences drove him to challenge the justice system through educating and building power among members of the Brooklyn community.
Prior to Katal, Shaka joined the Common Justice program – which develops and advances solutions to violence, transforming the lives of those harmed, and fostering racial equity without relying on incarceration. Shaka completed this program and upon completion, all of his charges were dropped, and his case, dismissed. He stayed dedicated to his personal development throughout the duration of the program, by simultaneously maintaining two jobs in restaurant kitchens.
Shaka comes to Katal as an apprentice to learn community organizing tools and tactics in order to effectively tackle injustice within New York communities, build power among residents, and increase the number of people informed on criminal justice issues in order to bring about real change across New York State.