LGBTQ & Gender Justice

Liberation Fund PROM at The LINE Los Angeles

June 26, 2024
By Andres Magaña

Recently at the Liberation Fund PROM, the Liberty Hill community joined the community leaders of the Liberation Fund including youth, women, and trans leaders of color from across Los Angeles to celebrate the work to end the incarceration of girls and gender-expansive youth.

The inaugural event celebrating the latest work of Liberation Fund community partners was hosted at the LINE LA hotel and featured a prom-themed dance party complete with all the glitz and glamour.

“Girls and gender-expansive youth who come through the justice system often miss out on the key milestones that other teens might take for granted,” said Lisa Small, Liberty Hill Senior Director of Youth and Transformative Justice. “The Liberation Fund Prom offered a chance for young people to be celebrated and centered, for some, in their first prom experience. These youth are doing amazing work to change the system, and they’re going to end the incarceration of girls and gender-expansive youth in L.A. County.”

Youth leaders from several of the Liberation Fund partners organizations attended the evening celebration and were honored in a “sash ceremony” to recognize their extraordinary work.

“I didn’t get to attend my own prom, so it was emotional for me to get dressed up and shine,” said Ka’lee Matthews, a youth fellow with Young Women’s Freedom Center, who received a sash in the sash ceremony. “The work we’re doing, I’m doing it for my younger sister and for all the girls who are still in the system.”

In addition to providing youth who have been affected by the justice system with a night of celebration, joy, and advocacy, the event included dynamic speakers who addressed the goal of the Liberation Fund grantee partners— to create a collaborative blueprint that will pave the way for Los Angeles County to become the largest jurisdiction in the nation to end the incarceration of girls and gender expansive youth.

Featured remarks were provided by Lateefah Simon, President of the Meadow Fund; Eunisses Hernandez, Los Angeles City Councilmember of District 1; and Nichol Whiteman, Chief Executive Officer of the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation.

"The proportion of girls and gender-expansive young people in the youth justice system has increased over the last 20 years," said Los Angeles City Councilmember Eunisses Hernandez. "The Liberation Fund is addressing the root causes of incarceration that are unique to this population. They are creating a Care First model that disrupts the school-to-prison pipeline and ends the incarceration of girls and gender-expansive youth in Los Angeles County."

It was a night to remember as we celebrated the power of resilience, persistence, and Liberty Hill’s continued commitment to ending youth incarceration and paving a path toward a more just future for L.A. youth.

Learn more about the Liberation Fund initiative and to see highlights from the inaugural event, visit our Liberation Fund PROM page for details.