The Community Leaders Speaker Series is bringing to campus local experts and organizations who have been working---through research, policy reform, and direct service---to address major systemic injustices. The aim of this speaker series is to center the voices of system-involved individuals: experts who have had first-hand experience with the foster care system, the criminal justice system, and housing instability.Partnering with the Law School, the School of Engineering, and the School of Journalism, we hope these events will encourage interdisciplinary research, interventions, and support that align with avenues for change voiced by affected communities and community leaders.
Young Women’s Freedom Center works to transform the systems that keep us stuck in cycles of poverty, violence, and incarceration. For 25 years, they have been leaders in lifting up young women, girls, transgender and gender non-conforming (TGNC) youth, providing direct services and leadership programs, changing policy and legislation, advocating for the rights of young people, and doing research to examine intersectional issues that system-involved youth face. Most of the YWFC’s staff were once themselves incarcerated in San Francisco’s youth jail and know firsthand how this system is failing our young people.
Join us in welcoming Executive Director Jessica Nowlan and Research Director Alezandra Melendrez, who will share with us the work YWFC does, the policies their organization has pushed through, and the pressing issues they’re currently working to change.
In YWFC’s Bill of Rights they state, “We have the right to be consulted when institutions want to create, revise, and eliminate policies, legislation, rules, or laws that will impact the way we experience systems.” We look forward to this speaker series as a first step in that process, in consulting young women and TGNC youth on potential policies surrounding housing, homelessness, and the criminal justice system.
Snacks will be provided.