Fernando Rejón, Executive Director of Urban Peace Insitute

by raymond on September 24, 2020

Fernando Rejon

Fernando Rejón serves as executive director after building the Urban Peace Institute agenda for over a decade. He leads UPI efforts to transform systems and the lives of individuals to create community peace and safety and end the devastating cycle of mass incarceration. UPI works to reshape systems and develop safety and health strategies through national technical assistance and training, community lawyering services to end gang profiling and ensure police accountability, leading coalitions for justice reform and policy advocacy, shaping relationship-based policing approaches, and implementing place-based initiatives to develop coalitions of leaders to reimagine public safety.

In 2008, he began his work to build the Urban Peace Academy as a platform to train gang intervention/street outreach workers, law enforcement, community stakeholders, and public officials on implementing violence reduction strategies focused on redefining community safety and health. Over the years, he has trained thousands of leaders nationally on the role of gang intervention and the development of non-traditional community safety strategies. He has trained and advised law enforcement agencies across the country on creating safety and reducing violence through innovative policing strategies that increase public trust and leverage investment in building neighborhood-level leadership.

In 2019, he co-created the National Street Outreach Partnership as a platform for frontline intervention organizations and advocates dedicated to shaping and strengthening the field of violence reduction to serve the most violence-impacted communities in the nation. He has emerged as a national thought leader on addressing complex issues around neighborhood violence, policing, and policy development. His work has been recognized nationally and internationally as an example of how sustained investment in mission-driven safety strategies generate long-term transformative change.

Fernando began his career as a trained community organizer with over 18 years’ experience working in the non-profit sector. He has extensive experience in program development, community-based research and analysis, training and leadership development, and organizing and coalition building. He has worked as a counselor for youth on juvenile probation, organized for environmental justice in impacted communities of color, and worked to build bridges between indigenous communities in México and organizers of color in the United States to fight for justice.

He is a current and founding advisory board member of the National Gang Conference in Los Angeles and has presented at number of universities such as UCLA, NYU Law School, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Cal State Northridge, and Claremont McKenna College on gangs, violence reduction, and non-adversarial policing strategies. He holds a B.A. in Sociology and Communication Studies from the University of San Diego, M.A. in Chican@ Studies from California State University, Northridge, and certificate from the Stanford Graduate School of Business Executive Program for Non-Profit Leaders.