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Ending the Criminalization of Poor Women and Girls of Color

Friday, February 1, 2019 -
9:30am to 12:00pm PST
Northern California Grantmakers
160 Spear Street, Suite 360 | San Francisco, CA 94105
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In-person registration is now closed. Please register via webinar if you would like to join us. 

Please join the Akonadi Foundation, NoVo Foundation, Rosenberg Foundation and Zellerbach Family Foundation for a conversation about the criminalization of poor women, girls, trans and gender nonconforming people of color. The briefing will highlight findings from the Young Women’s Freedom Center’s just-released research on system-involved girls and young women in the Bay Area, and unveil a strategic, multi-pronged plan for system transformation focused on decriminalization, decarceration and healing. The strategic approach includes the following:

  • Research and Data
  • Legal advocacy and impact litigation
  • Building a broad-based movement 
  • Statewide policy change
  • Local and regional systems transformation


TaMeicka "Ifasina" Clear, Spiritual Coach, Body Positive Coach, and Community Educator, Clear Understandings

TaMeicka L. Clear also known as Ifasina, is a queer, Black, intellectual and spiritual creative. Their lived experiences brought them to organizing and social justice work around issues of gender, race, class, and sexual orientation. Ifasina has spent the last 11+ years doing systems change work at the intersection of collective healing and personal transformation. At the core of their work, Ifasina seeks to transform the way that we engage communities of color around their own practice of liberation.


Meredith Desautels, Youth Justice Attorney, Youth Law Center

Meredith Desautels is a staff attorney at the Youth Law Center and and was previously a Leading Edge Fellow with the Rosenberg Foundation. Her work focuses on ending the criminalization of childhood, and on replacing youth incarceration with positive, developmentally-appropriate supports that are rooted in family and community. 



Alezandra Zargoza Melendrez, Research Director, Young Women's Freedom Center

Alezandra Zaragoza Melendrez is the Research Director at the Young Women's Freedom Center a grassroots organizing and leadership non-profit. She works on participatory and community-led research that centers the voices of those most impacted and uses research as a tool for social transformation.



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.


Jennifer Rodriguez, Executive Director, Youth Law Center

Jennifer Rodriguez is Executive Director of the Youth Law Center, a public interest law firm that has worked for four decades to transform foster care and juvenile justice systems across the nation so every child and youth can thrive, employing a diverse array of child-focused, research-informed advocacy strategies.



Lindsay Rosenthal, Project Director, Vera Institute's End Girls Incarceration Initiative

Lindsay Rosenthal is the Project Director of the Vera Institute’s End Girls Incarceration Initiative, an effort to prevent and end the incarceration of girls in America by reforming unnecessarily punitive law enforcement practices and creating pathways to long-term well-being, safety and justice for girls in their communities. The Initiative has six sites leading the way for the country by working to zero out girls’ incarceration: Santa Clara County, New York City, Philadelphia, Maine, North Dakota, and Hawaii. Ms. Rosenthal has also served as a member of OJJDP’s National Girls Initiative core team of technical assistance providers and the steering committee of New York City’s Young Women’s Initiative. She is a co-author of The Sexual Abuse to Prison PipelineThe Girl’s Story and Girls Matter: Centering Gender in Status Offense Reform.


Cecilia Chen, Public Policy Director, Northern California Grantmakers (moderator) 

As the Policy Director, Cecilia advances NCG’s mission to build healthy, thriving and just communities through public policy. Prior to joining NCG, Cecilia served as a Deputy Attorney General at the California Attorney General’s Office advancing the Attorney General’s policy priorities around criminal justice reform and childhood trauma. Cecilia was previously the Associate Director of Policy at the Center for Youth Wellness where she led statewide efforts to prevent and address childhood adversity and the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences on children’s health. She was also the 2011-2013 Thurgood Marshall Civil Rights Fellow at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area. 

Target Audience

This program is open to the public. 


California Criminal Justice Funders Group