"It propelled me to want to be an activist for life."
I reached out to Lisa a few months back when I realized that the student voices I was capturing were not representative of the spectrum of young people whose paths have been challenging in the most extreme way. I wanted to speak with someone who has worked directly with youth who are incarcerated.
It's been about 15 years since Lisa and I were reading bel hooks and Howard Zinn at Cleveland High School Humanities Magnet, one of LA's magnet high schools designed to desegregate the city. It should come as a surprise to no one who knows us that Lisa and I both count our high school experience as a major influence in our career trajectories.
In this small moment from our conversation, Lisa talks about the mentors she met during this time and how they helped her shape her vision for a career as an activist.
As an activist today, Lisa talks the talk and walks the walk (and I can't wait to share more of her story when we release season one later this year). She works to reform systems and policies on behalf of people who have gone through our criminal justice system. She does so by shifting mindsets within the business world and by expanding career opportunities. Lisa introduced me to Kent and Joe, two activists who experienced incarceration as teens and whom Lisa has mentored and worked with. Check out their clips in the previous posts.