In the streets, in jails and other detention facilities and at its program sites around the Bay Area, the Young Women’s Freedom Center provides resources and support to girls, women and transgender and gender non-conforming people. It also provides training, internships, fellowships and jobs that pay to help people affected by poverty, exploitation and violence develop their voices. One of the center’s core tenets is the belief that people who are affected by these issues are the ones who can and must lead effective change. Julia Arroyo-Guzman, a site director for Young Women’s Freedom Center, talked with “Civic” about her work and her journey to that job.
Following interim District Attorney Brooke Jenkins’ announcement that her office would begin charging some 16 and 17-year-olds as adults, youth and members of the Young Women’s Freedom Center (YWFC) and Reimagine Youth Justice (RYJ) Coalition rallied outside of the D.A.’s office, urging her to refrain from charging any youth as adults.