Jett Jonelis is the advocacy manager for the ACLU of South Dakota.
As the advocacy manager, Jett builds the ACLU’s public education and advocacy programs through coalition-building, leadership development, communication, and lobbying. They ensure that supporters of the ACLU of South Dakota have the tools, information, and opportunities to be effective advocates on issues like LGBTQ+ and Two Spirit rights, Indigenous justice, and criminal justice reform.
Prior to joining the ACLU, Jett served as an AmeriCorps VISTA and Public Ally in their hometown of New Haven, Conn. During their program years, they worked in community organizing and capacity building for New Haven Legal Assistance Association and Neighborhood Housing Services of New Haven. They also volunteered with community placemaking organizations and engaged in organizing around ending police violence, increasing access to safe and truly affordable housing, and decriminalizing homelessness.
Jett recently graduated with a master’s degree in public administration from Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. At Maxwell, Jett worked on initiatives aimed at developing anti-racism and anti-oppression curriculum for the Public Administration and International Affairs Program. They graduated with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Southern Connecticut State University where they served on the board for the Opportunities for Women’s Leadership Series.
Jett is dedicated to working in community with activists, organizers, and changemakers across the state to create a more just and equitable world for all South Dakotans.