Jessica is deeply committed to the liberation and freedom of cis and trans women and girls and gender non-conforming people. Jessica has spent the majority of her career working to develop and implement innovative programming and strategies based on the principles that those most impacted must be at the forefront of decision making about their own lives.
Jessica Nowlan first came to YWFC in 1996, when she was hired from juvenile hall at age 17 as a Community Health Outreach Worker. She returned to YWFC in 2014 first as a board member and then agreeing to come on as the Executive Director in 2016, Jessica has grown YWFC from one to four sites and launched the Sister Warrior Freedom Coalition with 12 chapters.
Her own experience as a young person navigating the juvenile justice system, as a single mother dealing with poverty, homelessness, and intimate partner violence, coupled with her experience in movement work, propels her work to advance the field and she was recently named a 2019-2021 Leading Edge Fellow. Prior to her current role, Jessica worked for several years as a Social Entrepreneur and as a consultant to organizations working with women and girls and at the intersections of violence, poverty, racial justice, incarceration/ re-entry and workforce development. Jessica is a Bay Area native and currently lives in Oakland with her family.