Loyola University Chicago

Gannon Center for Women and Leadership


Ellington Andrews

Ellington Andrews
First Year
Durham, NC

“Eliminating the long-term effects of having a criminal record is critical to our becoming a more just and humane society. Any involvement with the criminal justice system, even if it is just an arrest with no conviction, can have lasting impacts on someone’s employment and voting opportunities. I believe once people have served their time, they should be permitted and encouraged to re-enter society with a clean slate. It is especially important for kids involved in juvenile court and for African American males … I became interested in this issue through my volunteer work with the Southern Coalition for Social Justice in Durham, NC. As a volunteer, I work with the Coalition’s Clean Slate program. The Clean Slate program hosts clinics with community organizers to help individuals participate in their own change. After the clinics, I help the Coalition legal team review court records from clients and contact clerks of court all around North Carolina to determine hearing times for our clients and to get paperwork processed for expungement. It is amazing how many cases we have … One of the most important things I learned is forgiveness is a real thing. The people whose records we get expunged finally feel forgiven. Where it is a lot of paperwork for me, it is life-changing for them, spiritually, emotionally, and practically.”