With the generous support of the San Francisco Foundation, the California Criminal Justice Funders Group (CCJFG) has researched existing fellowship programs for formerly incarcerated people within the criminal justice field. At this hybrid in-person/virtual briefing, we will present the research as well as best practices for supporting fellowships for formerly incarcerated people and hear directly from people who run such program and have participated in fellowships.
The in-person briefing will include lunch. Virtual attendees will receive information later on how to connect to the briefing.
Linda Evans, California Criminal Justice Funders Group, Fellow
Linda Evans has been an advocate for social justice throughout her life, starting with organizing to end the U.S. war in Vietnam in the 1960's. Active in the women’s liberation movement and a leader of the John Brown Anti-Klan Committee, she fought against white supremacy and the KKK. In 1985, she was sentenced to 40 years in federal prison for actions protesting U.S. government policies. She completed both her B.A. and M.A. degrees in prison. In 2001, she won a Presidential pardon and was released from prison. Shortly after her release, she received a Soros Post-Graduate Fellowship. With others, she co-founded All of Us or None, a grassroots civil rights organization of formerly-incarcerated people and our families. Linda was the national coordinator of the “Ban the Box” campaign, which has eliminated the conviction history question from public employment applications in 29 states, including California. She is currently an active member of California Coalition for Women Prisoners, a member of several Advisory Boards, and working with immigration defense efforts in Santa Rosa.
George Galvis, Executive Director, Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice (CURYJ)
George is co-founder of CURYJ (pronounced “courage”). Drawing from personal experience and his indigenous roots, he helps young people, particularly those involved in the criminal justice system, become community leaders for positive change. He also advocates for at-risk youth, prisoners and formerly imprisoned individuals with children. As a board member of Legal Services for Prisoners with Children, he helped create All of Us or None, which fights for the rights of formerly and currently incarcerated people and families.
He has led statewide advocacy efforts to transform punitive school and juvenile justice policies that disparately impact youth of color and serves as the co-Director of the California Alliance for Youth and Community Justice (CAYCJ), a broad coalition working collectively to end youth incarceration, youth treatment as adults, and build community capacity for alternatives to incarceration that empower young people in California. In addition, George has sponsored numerous state youth justice legislation and is a co-author of California’s Proposition 57 passed by voters in 2016.
Karen Hsueh, Chief of Staff & Co Facilitator, Insight Garden Program & California Criminal Justice Funders Group, Fellow
Karen Hsueh is the Chief of Staff and a Co-Facilitator at Insight Garden Program, an in-prison program that connects people in prison to self, community, and the natural world. She also provides freelance consulting to multiple criminal justice reform groups including the Transformative In-Prison Workgroup (TPW), a state-wide coalition of community organizations advocating for the use of healing and transformative modalities as opposed to punishment. She strongly upholds the leadership and perspectives of those who have been most affected by systems of oppression and incarceration. Her life's work strives to create intentional and inclusive community building for healing and transformation, and to embrace each and every person's inherent ability to love, be loved, and meaningfully contribute to the world.
Malachi Larrabee-Garza, Founder and Principle, Innovative Justice Solutions
Malachi Larrabee-Garza is the founder and Principle at Innovative Justice Solutions. In this role, Malachi engages grassroots and intermediary organizations, philanthropy, impact investors and governments to engage in collaborative projects for the collective good. Malachi is currently a Rosenberg Leading Edge Fellow focused on building reparations and restorative justice based collaboration in emerging cannabis economy. Malachi's previous work includes directing the Community Justice Network for Youth, a U.S. based national network of over 250 organizations working to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities within justice systems and build localized community alternatives. Malachi serves on the Board of Directors of the House of GG's: Griffin-Gracy Educational Retreat & Historical Center, Southerners On New Ground and the Transgender and Intersexed Justice Project. In 2015 Malachi received the VotoLatino Innovators Award for their work to bridge the technological divide particularly for Latino families who have incarcerated loved ones. In 2009 Malachi co-founded the Brown Boi Project. Malachi has been working 24/7 to build a liberation focused movement for the past 21 years and believes that we will win.
Anuja Mendiratta, Senior Philanthropic Advisor, Race Gender and Human Rights Fund & California Criminal Justice Funders Group Co-Founder & Co-Chair
serves as Senior Philanthropic Advisor to the Race, Gender and Human Rights Fund, which challenges the criminal justice system and mass incarceration and supports women’s leadership in the justice reform movement in California. She cofounded and co-chairs the California Criminal Justice Funders Group, a network and learning community of funders and donors focused on a wide range of criminal justice reform efforts in our state. She is also a philanthropic advisor and independent consultant, working with foundations, donors, nonprofits, and coalitions on a range of environmental, human rights and social justice issues. Anuja has substantial expertise in gender equity, environmental health, food security, ecological sustainability, criminal justice reform, coalition building and organizational development. She has more than 20 years of experience working with diverse groups to build capacity, clarify focus, foster relationships, strengthen movements, and leverage resources to create impact. Anuja serves as a strategist, thought-partner, bridge-builder, and facilitator for change.
Daniel Mendoza, Community Organizer, CURYJ
Daniel Mendoza was born and raised in San Francisco, California. Later in life, Daniel’s family decided to relocate to East Oakland where he continues to work and live till this day. Since 2016, Daniel has been working for Communites United for Restoraitive Youth Justice (CURYJ) as a community organizer. Daniel along with his CURYJ family have poured their energy into ending the mass incarceraration and criminalization of young people. A big part of Daniel’s organizing background has been helping to facilitate and plan diferent internships, fellowships, focus groups, events, and presentations around issues that are affecting our most marginalized communities. As someone who is formerly incarcerated, and has had a chance to witness personal growth, Daniel believes those closes to mass incarcertion and criminalization are the fittest to create the solutions to the problems. He plans to continue doing the work he does and creatively thinking about community based solutions to incarceration.
Ny Nourn, Organizer, Survived & Punished
Ny Nourn was released from prison after serving a life sentence; however with an immigration hold facing deportation to Cambodia, Ny was immediately arrested by ICE. After 6 months in detention with outpouring of community support, Ny walked out of ICE detention as a free person. Since her release, Ny continues her advocacy work as an organizer with Survived & Punished, a member of the Asian Prisoner Support Committee and California Coalition for Women Prisoners supporting the release of incarcerated domestic violence and sexual assault survivors and immigrants facing deportation. Currently, Ny is the 2018 Yuri Kochiyama Fellow at Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus (ALC) working closely with the Criminal Justice Reform and Immigration Rights Programs. Outside of her advocacy and fellowship Ny is also a college student at San Francisco State University, pursuing a B.A. Degree in Sociology.
Tamisha Walker, President and Director of Operations, Safe Return Project
Tamisha Walker is a founding member and Executive Director of Safe Return, a campaign to secure the freedom and liberation of formerly incarcerated individuals. She has been a Richmond based community organizer and known advocate on issues related to mass incarceration and racial disparity in the criminal justice system since her release from incarceration in 2009. Tamisha organizes and coordinates Safe Return and its projects at the local, State, and National level. She is formerly incarcerated and shares a powerful personal story about the journey to healing and successful re-entry. Tamisha has six years of community organizing experience in a city impacted by trauma and economic inequality, including her own personal experience with trauma and poverty growing up in Richmond California. Her educational experience includes professional training in research and advocacy for the formerly incarcerated and their families, violence prevention strategies, and conflict mediation to reduce urban gun violence.