In 2019, we are unveiling a strategic, multi-pronged plan for system transformation focused on the decriminalization and decarceration of young women, girls, and TGNC folks of color.   We are grateful for your continued support and hope that you will continue to stand with us as we work to co-create a world where we are all safe #2BFree.

In order to move forward, we must honor where we have come.  Please share with us in celebrating our accomplishments from the past year.



Mobilized the community around the tragic death of Jessica St. Louis; including hosting a direct action with over 200 attendees, getting press statewide, and supported the introduction of the Getting Home Safe Act SB 42


Held the first ever Sister Warriors Freedom Academy, providing 4-days of intensive training in YWFC Framework to 20 formerly incarcerated and system involved women and girls across California, Minnesota, and New York


Launched in Los Angeles County (led by two Freedom Academy graduates) and in Santa Clara County


Hosted a National Town Hall to End the Incarceration of Girls with over 150 attendees and findings in a national report


Provided life skills training and support to 63 girls and young women in detention


Enrolled 19 young women into YWFC in-depth support and leadership programs post-release in San Francisco


Enrolled 9 students in high school or GED programming onsite at the YWFC


Graduated 3 young women from the Pilot Forward Fellows leadership program


Participated in the following conferences:  FICPFM in Florida; FreeHer In Oklahoma, the SF Mayors Beloved Community Forum in Aspen Colorado; Funders for Girls of Color in Puerto Rico, Amos Trust in London England, International Human Rights Funders Network in Mexico City.

We are now working with young women and girls around the world to develop a transnational Bill of Rights for System-Involved Women and Girls.


Completed the first comprehensive research study on system-involved girls and young women in the San Francisco Bay Area with our report findings to be released to the public on Feb 1, 2019

Audre Lorde said “I am not free while any woman is unfree, even if her shackles are very different than my own.”  

#2BFREE means recognizing that our freedom as women is dependent on the freedom of the most vulnerable among us those folks most impacted by violent, sexist, and racist systems.  When we collectively fight for the freedom of poor, system-involved women of color, we are all free.


Jessica Nowlan

Executive Director

Over 20 years ago, I came to the Center right out of juvenile hall. I was looking for a job and I heard they hired folks like me - sisters navigating the juvenile justice system, poverty, homelessness, and intimate partner violence. I became a Community Health Outreach Worker and stayed for 7 years, until I became the Deputy Director. I had to leave for awhile when life threw me some highs (having my kids, starting a successful business, winning some big entrepreneur awards) and some serious lows. But I came back. I came back because the Center was where I learned to own my power. I came back because, with no formal education, the Center had me reading bell hooks, Audre Lorde, and Paolo Friere. Through the Center, I declared my expertise and learned how to cultivate space for other leaders to emerge. Since coming back as the Executive Director in 2017, I have grown the Center to be a multi-million dollar organization in several locations throughout California. I am here because, everyday, I see more and more women, girls, and gnc folks growing into their leadership and building a better world for all of us.

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