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Ending the Incarceration of Girls and Women Funders Strategy Convening


When: Thursday, July 11, 2019 | 1:00 - 5:00 pm (followed by an informal reception)
Where: Twitter Headquarters | 1355 Market Street | San Francisco, CA

The Akonadi Foundation, NoVo Foundation, Heising-Simons Foundation, and the Race, Gender and Human Rights Fund warmly invite you to an action-oriented strategy session focused on ending the incarceration of women and girls. The gathering will take place in San Francisco, California in the afternoon on Thursday, July 11th. A growing movement of incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women and girls are leaders is leading the effort to make California the first state in the nation to end the incarceration of women and girls inove the next five years.



As a follow-up to our widely-attended briefing in February, we are excited to bring together philanthropic and movement leaders to explore the statewide strategy to end the incarceration of women and girls and to engage funders as allies, organizers, and investors in bringing this vision to life. Featured speakers will include:

Susan Burton, Founding Executive Director, A New Way of Life Re-Entry Project

Susan Burton is the founding Executive Director of A New Way of Life Re-Entry Project, which operates homes and programs in South L.A. for women recently released from prison to enable them to stay sober, get jobs and obtain life skills. Burton herself overcame a personal history of decades of incarceration and struggled with re-entry. After her release, she earned enough money working as a home health aide to purchase a modest home in 1997, which she shared with her first clients. Today ANWOL operates three residences and has helped hundreds of women start new lives. She also plays an important role both statewide and nationally advocating on behalf of women with prison records.

Hamdiya Cooks-Abdullah, Legal Services for Prisoners Admnistrative Director

Hamdiya has more than 35 years of experience working on criminal justice reform.  She is a former prisoner, having served 20 years in the federal prison system. She led Muslim women prisoners in the struggle to honor their religious practices, including headgear and fasting. She was a key organizer for Black Culture Workshops in FCI Dublin for over 15 years. Other groups followed in her footsteps, organizing among Latinas. She also spearheaded efforts inside the prison system to bring awareness of the AIDS crisis to women in prison. She learned how important organizing is to build self-esteem and capacity for women in prison, and how vital it is for women to build and keep their connection with their families outside.

Hamdiya’s responsibilities at LSPC are wide-ranging as she works to eradicate systematic discriminatory practices against formerly incarcerated people and has also coordinated the internship program at LSPC. Hamdiya holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Independent Studies from Columbia College. She continues to advocate on behalf of women inside as well as upon their release.  Hamdiya has published an article on “Islam in Prison” in the Prison Legal News and an essay profiling the lives of three women in prison in the book Schooling the Generations in the Politics of Prison.

Shalini Eddens, Senior Program Director, Urgent Action Fund

Shalini Eddens is the Senior Program Director at Urgent Action Fund. She brings to her work a passion and commitment to women/girls health and rights grounded in her deep belief for justice and equity. Shalini has over 15 years of leadership experience in the grassroots public health sector providing direct services, training, education and advocacy for women living with and affected by HIV within the United States and abroad. Shalini has expertise in facilitation/training and capacity building, program development and design. An Oakland, California native, Shalini currently resides in the Republic of Brooklyn. She holds a Masters in Public Health and is a Birth Doula.

Morning Star Gali, Ajumawi band of Pit River, Native Justice Now

MORNING STAR GALI is a member of the Ajumawi band of Pit River located in Northeastern California. Since 2007, she has served as the Community Liaison Coordinator for the International Indian Treaty Council, working for the Sovereignty and Self Determination of Indigenous Peoples and the recognition and protection of Indigenous Rights, Treaties, Traditional Cultures and Sacred Lands. She was  a Leading Edge Fellow (2016-2018) focusing on the disproportionate impact of the criminal and juvenile justice systems on Native Americans. She previously worked as the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the Pit River Tribe and continues to lead large-scale actions while helping organize Native cultural, spiritual, scholarly, and political gatherings throughout California. Morning Star serves as a board member for Sovereign Bodies Institute,  California Indian Heritage Center Foundation and Women's Health Specialists of California. Since 2008 she has been a host on KPFA’s “Bay Native Circle” and is the proud mother of four children.

Jessica Nowlan, Executive Director, Young Women's Freedom Center

Jessica Nowlan is Executive Director of the Young Women’s Freedom Center, a leadership and advocacy organization led by cis and trans women and girls of color who have grown up in poverty, experienced incarceration, worked in the underground street economy, and been criminalized by social services such as foster care, welfare, public education, and the mental health system.


Marcia Rincon-Gallardo MSW, Principal, NOXTIN: Equal Justice for All

Marcia Rincon-Gallardo MSW is Principal of NOXTIN: Equal Justice for All and Director of the Alianza for Youth Justice. At NOXTIN, she provides training, technical assistance, and consultation nationally with local communities and systems on racial and ethnic equity of Chicanx/Latinx and Indigenous youth to decrease and end use of incarceration. At the Alianza, she directs the coalition of national organizations efforts to amplify visibility and advocacy of Latinx in the youth justice reform and abolishment movements. Ms. Rincon-Gallardo has partnered with the CA Endowment, National Girls Initiative, Annie E. Casey Foundation, and the Burns Institute, to implement proven effective strategies to successfully reform the nation’s youth justice systems utilizing healing informed, community and system centered approaches. Ms. Rincon-Gallardo, recognized as a leader in the field, has written two national publications to be released in 2019, presents nationally and implements her Ollin Girls curriculum locally with returning citizens to build the bench of leaders. Ms. Rincon-Gallardo is Chicana, Mexicana, Indigenous and is the mother of Tonantzin, Ilhuicamina and grandmother to Nevaeh.


Space is limited; please RSVP using the form below. 


Special thanks to the San Francisco Department of Children, Youth and Families, California Criminal Justice Funders Group, and Twitter for sponsoring this event.