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Three Bay Area girls to speak at White House forum

Three participants of the San Francisco-based Young Women’s Freedom Center will speak at a White House forum Tuesday, center officials said Saturday.

The three girls will speak at the forum Young Women Leading the Way: Breaking Barriers for Girls and by Girls. The White House Council on Women and Girls and The National Crittenton Foundation made the invitation.

The Young Women’s Freedom Center is a leadership and advocacy group for young women of color in the Bay Area who have been poor, involved in the juvenile justice system and spent time on the streets, according to center officials.

Interim executive director Jessica Nowlan said in a statement:

“Perhaps now more than ever, the voices of young women surviving to work against all forms of oppression, discrimination and marginalization need to be heard.”

Two graduates of the Young Women’s Freedom Center were elected on Tuesday to public office. Shanell Williams was elected to the board of trustees of the San Francisco Community College District and Lateefah Simon was elected to the BART board of trustees.

Two of the center’s staff members will travel with the three youths. The National Crittenton Foundation is paying for part of the travel expenses for the five. Contributions to help the group can be made here.


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