Yulise Reaves Waters, Esq. is Deputy Director of the Lone Star Justice Alliance (LSJA), a nonprofit legal organization that improves the lives of youth and emerging adults in the justice system. She oversees the Transformative Justice Model operating in Dallas County, the Second Chance Community Improvement Program (SCCIP—pronounced “skip”). This multi-disciplinary program for emerging adults (ages 17-24) identifies and addresses the unmet needs which contributed to their involvement in the criminal justice system to reduce their likelihood of recidivism. As an executive team member, Waters also helps lead LSJA’s strategy, operations, and development. Previously, Waters was a Dallas Assistant City Attorney where she co-founded SCCIP - the first-ever specialty court for young adults in the State of Texas - which was awarded the 2018 National Association of Drug Court Professionals’ Equity and Inclusion Award for “excellence and leadership in demonstrating and promoting cultural proficiency in treatment court services.”
Waters holds B.A. degrees in English, Spanish, and a B.B.A. in Organizational Behavior and Business Policy (each magna cum laude), and a Juris Doctorate, all from Southern Methodist University. She is currently pursuing an MBA in the Executive MBA Program at SMU Cox School of Business and is a member of the Inaugural Emerging Leader Board at the Dedman School of Law, which recognizes graduates over the last twenty years who have “a strong record of leadership in the legal profession and a proven commitment to public service.” She holds memberships in the Juvenile Law, Criminal Justice, and Collaborative Law Sections of the State Bar of Texas and is a member of the Leadership Dallas Class of 2020. Waters serves on the board for Family Gateway, The Sheriff’s Community Partnership Board for Dallas, and is an appointee to the Dallas ISD Racial Equity Office Trustee Appointed Advisory Council.
Nationally, her commentaries on race and justice have been featured on syndicated radio and in major U.S. city newspapers. Waters is the recipient of numerous honors including Dallas Business Journal “40 Under 40,” Prairie View A&M University Ministers Conference Outstanding Leader Award, Texas Muslim Women’s Foundation Peace Champion Award, DFW Millennial-to-Watch, Texas State Fair Juanita J. Craft Catalyst Award Honorable Mention, and the SMU Black Alumni’s History Maker Award. Waters is married to Dr. Michael W. Waters. They have three children.