We are proud to announce our new Stoneleigh Fellow, Nicole Pittman, Esq., the national expert on defending juveniles charged as sex offenders. In 2013, Nicole authoredRaised on the Registry, the first examination of the collateral consequences of registration for youth sex offenders. With her fellowship, Nicole, is seeking to create more effective legal and policy responses to child sexual offending behavior, and to inform the development of alternatives to juvenile sex offender registration.
For nearly ten years, Nicole worked as an attorney with the Defender Association of Philadelphia, working to improve the juvenile justice system locally and nationally. Nicole received her JD from Tulane Law School and undergraduate degree from Duke University.
In February,Fellow Richard Greenwald convened a meeting of 30 funders with Mayor Nutter and members of his leadership team for the City’s National Forum to Prevent Youth Violence Strategy, including Chief of Staff Everett Gillison, Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey and DHS Commissioner AnneMarie Ambrose. This lively discussion has already yielded support of time, talent and funding from attendees.
Congratulations to Emerging Leader Fellow Leigh Wilson who is being recognized by Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell for her contribution to a book on homelessness in Philadelphia, Parenting in the face of Homelessness.
As a result of 2013 Emerging Leader Fellow Marnie Kaplan's research, the Education Law Center filed a legal complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice. Last month, DOJ announced it has opened an investigation into discriminatory placement of students in Pennsylvania's Alternative Education for Disruptive Youth programs.
Former Fellow Gregg Volz has raised over $500,000 to support the Youth Court Support Center, a direct outcome of his fellowship, which provides technical support to emerging and existing youth courts in the region. The Center is currently supporting 11 courts and has trained more than 250 students in Philadelphia, Chester City and Wilmington, DE schools.
Message from the Executive Director
When Chara and John Haas created Stoneleigh, they did so with the belief in the power of an individual to effect social change. Their vision was of a foundation that could provide the space and resources for talented individuals to pursue ideas that would result in research, policy and practice improvements. As Stoneleigh approaches its 8th anniversary, we are beginning to realize the power of this idea. Our first fellow, Dr. David Rubin is not just influencing how local human services, education and health services are delivered to children in the child welfare system, he has also been asked to participate in the President’sCommission to Eliminate Child Abuse & Neglect Fatalities. Fellow Leslie Acoca has not just demonstrated the merits of administering a gender-specific health screen to girls in detention; she has succeeded in having it implemented in Albuquerque and throughout the Los Angeles detention system. In fact, I could wax on about each of our fellows’ contributions to systems reform work that is improving life outcomes for vulnerable youth.
Today, it is hardly possible to be in a juvenile justice, violence prevention or child welfare discussion in Philadelphia without a fellow at the table. Earlier this month our board expanded our reach and approved five new fellowships: three Emerging Leader Fellows and two Stoneleigh Fellows. We will provide more information about most of them in our next newsletter; however, please see our story about Nicole Pittman in this letter.
Consistent with our interest in shining a light on issues somewhat off the radar screen, this May we will host our fourth annual symposium, What About the Girls? We are thrilled that there is considerable attention being given to boys right now, but in the wake of this, Stoneleigh is concerned that too little focus is being paid to what it means to be a girl in the 21st century. We look forward to a keynote from Malika Saada-Saar, a human rights expert on gender-based violence against young women and girls in the U.S., and a lively panel discussion. We hope this conversation will inspire and inform a broad and diverse cross-section of stakeholders about ways they can join together to create change for our children.
Meet our Fellows: Dr. Roy Wade Jr., MD
Read here the story of Stoneleigh Fellow Roy Wade, and what inspired him to start his work to develop a comprehensive, validated, youth-informed childhood adversity measure and promote the adoption of this assessment tool by health and social service organizations in Philadelphia.