LGBTQ & Gender Justice,@LibertyHill

2023 Leadership Appreciation Brunch Highlights

December 11, 2023
By Andres Magaña

Our annual Leadership Appreciation Brunch has become LA’s favorite fall gathering, bringing Liberty Hill’s Donor Activist community together for a discussion on ways to achieve transformative change in Los Angeles.

This year’s event welcomed guests to the Annenberg Community Beach House for a morning conversation on “Pathways to Liberation,” exploring community-led solutions aimed at ending the involvement of girls and gender-expansive youth in the incarceration system. Co-sponsored by The OUT Fund, Circle of Change, and The X Fund giving circles, the event also featured an art activation with artwork from youth activists at Arts for Healing & Justice Network and Spirit Awakening Foundation.

The program opened with a special welcome by longtime donor activist and Chair of Liberty Hill’s The Out Fund and Circle of Change giving circles, Wendy Chang. Guests then had the opportunity to hear from Liberty Hill Senior Vice President of Programs Julio Marcial about our groundbreaking initiative, the Liberation Fund, which supports frontline organizations working to address the root causes of incarceration unique to girls and gender-expansive youth.

Dr. Monique Couvson, award-winning author and President and CEO of Grantmakers for Girls of Color, provided the morning’s keynote remarks, sharing her insight and analysis of the plight of girls, femmes, and gender-expansive youth of color who have been caught up in the justice system.

“The point here is for us to pull in systems that provide an opportunity for them to feel whole and for their identities not to be the reason that they are experiencing harm or the reason that we don’t respond when they are experiencing harm,” shared Dr. Couvson.

In an in-depth conversation on the importance of achieving liberation of girls and gender-expansive youth, Liberty Hill President and CEO Shane Murphy Goldsmith moderated a panel discussion featuring Dr. Monique Couvson, Executive Director of Young Women’s Freedom Center Jessica Nowlan, and Katherine Lucero, Director of the Office of Youth & Community Restoration at the California Health & Human Services.

The panel explored reimaged approaches to transformative justice and liberation, and the current work frontline organizers and advocates are doing to dismantle punishment systems and expand opportunities and transform outcomes for young people of color.

“The way that we find new safety measures,” Dr. Couvson shared, “the way that we find new ways of articulating that safety and what our young people need, is for us to have a host of ongoing conversations with young people that provide opportunities for them to tell us what they need, to tell us the conditions that provide all the ways for us to be present in this work.”

To help you stay informed as we continue the work to end incarceration of girls and gender-expansive youth, visit our Liberation Fund webpage for all the latest news and updates.