Civil liberties, the freedom to exercise one’s rights as guaranteed by the laws of this country, are not something Simone Strong takes for granted. Simone has been engaged in civil and human rights issues for most of her life, working as a Legislative Aide alongside Michigan State Senators Alma Wheeler Smith and Elizabeth S. Brater to safeguard the liberty of all people in the language that binds our democratic system. With extensive experience in a range of issues including reproductive and educational rights for disenfranchised and minority populations, immigration, and corrections issues including prisoner treatment, prisoner access to healthcare, and policy regarding individuals serving sentences of juvenile life without parole, Simone displays an uncanny ability to ferret out and give voice to children and families who are unable to do so for themselves.
Both of my parents were active members of the ACLU growing up, and they taught me that justice is not simply a word or an idea, but a principle for life. Our family motto is “service is the rent you pay for living,” and I think this speaks to the importance of community engagement. I believe that Youth Justice Fund follows this principle and provides a framework that benefits not only those returning from incarceration, but also the communities that welcome them back.