Artwork by Odera Igbokwe

Jeff Severns Guntzel

Jeff Severns Guntzel (He/Him) brings two decades of investigative and storytelling experience to the Lived Experience Project. Before coming to the project, he reported from Iraq, Palestine, and points all over the United States. His work has been published by American Public Media, New York Times, Punk Planet Magazine, Marketplace, GOOD, Utne Reader, Al Jazeera America, and others. As a journalist he learned the investigative, data, and interview techniques that are the core of our research work. His work draws on methods of investigative social research, investigative journalism, and developmental evaluation, and includes acquisition and analysis of public documents and data, the construction of custom data sets and interfaces, and relationship building with individuals who are immersed in a particular system and can serve as partners in meaning-making. Additionally, he manages our qualitative database built from the interviews conducted by Racquel Henderson and others. The purpose of Jeff’s work is to articulate systemic patterns that marginalize individuals and groups by pursuing data and relationships that illuminate patterns and irregularities in the juvenile justice system that harm youth and families and are either invisible to or ignored by the system as a whole or its components. What becomes of all this work? We share what we’ve learned with people impacted by the system and with people working in the system – in formats as varied as community forums, investigative reports, and comic books – collaborating with these audiences on meaning-making and next steps.