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“Harmful narratives build the attitude of ‘those kids’ not ‘our kids.’ We need to challenge these with the stories of our young people’s successes.”


Rewrite the narratives.

Leon Smith is the Executive Director at Citizens for Juvenile Justice (CFJJ), an organization that advocates for systemic reform in service of equitable youth justice. CFJJ cuts through the perniciousness of opaque system data that obscures racist policies and perpetuates damaging narratives about young people.

Leon’s focus on data and storytelling taught us about the power of narratives – for both harm and good.

The project: We met Leon through our shared work in developing an impact model for the New Commonwealth Foundation:
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