Claudia Gonzalez will create a program to help formerly incarcerated women in California’s Central Valley find success and healing beyond the prison’s walls.
Gonzalez is an activist, organizer, and educator in California’s Central Valley. She most recently held a variety of positions with the youth-led media hub We’Ced Youth Media, where she reported on local and statewide issues and worked with young people to develop their journalism and advocacy skills. She was a Live Free Fellow with PICO California and supported organizing efforts for key criminal justice legislative reforms. She is also the founder of Faith in the Valley—Merced, California’s Live Free Merced campaign, which focused on police misconduct, the school-to-prison pipeline, and other manifestations of mass incarceration. As a student at University of California, Berkeley, where she was a Regent’s and Chancellor’s Scholar, she worked with the school’s Teach in Prison program, training other students to tutor people incarcerated at San Quentin State Prison. In addition to studying at UC Berkeley, she also holds several associate degrees from Merced College, where she was named 2011 Student of the Year.