Lelabari Giwa-Ojuri L’20
Lelabari Giwa came to Penn Law to explore legal responses to the school-to-prison pipeline. Lelabari is originally from Los Angeles and earned a B.A. in Comparative Politics and a certificate in Near Eastern Studies from Princeton University in 2014. At Princeton, she co-founded the Princeton Equality Project, an LGBTQ activism student organization focused on creating avenues for intersectional LGBTQ activism.
Prior to Penn Law, Lelabari was a middle school counselor at Prep for Prep, a youth development and education non-profit dedicated to providing support for students of color enrolled in private schools. Before working at Prep for Prep, Lelabari worked as a Bronx court representative for the Center for Alternative Sentencing and Employment Services, a youth alternative-to-incarceration program. As a court representative, she advocated for young people who faced incarceration due to adult felony charges.
Lelabari is currently the Co-Director of the Youth Advocacy Project, a pro-bono project that partners with the Youth Sentencing & Re-Entry Project. In this role, she manages and trains interdisciplinary teams of law and social work students who support young people being prosecuted as adults in Philadelphia. During her 3L year, Lelabari was a Certified Legal Intern in the Civil Practice Clinic is currently a Certified Legal Intern in the Criminal Defense Clinic.
During her 1L year, Lelabari worked in the Youth Justice Unit at Community Legal Services. That summer she was a part of the Penn Law delegation to the Global Forum on Youth Justice Systems, where she presented on the school-to-prison pipeline, exclusionary policies that disparately impact Black girls and alternative education settings. During her 2L year, Lelabari interned at the Education Law Center, was a Certified Legal Intern for the Interdisciplinary Child Advocacy Clinic and co-organized the 2019 Sparer Symposium – Divesting from State Violence: Decriminalizing the Social Safety Net. During her 2L summer, Lelabari was a Certified Legal Intern in the Family Advocacy Unity for Community Legal Services.
In her free time, Lelabari enjoys playing board games, reading Afrofuturistic fiction/fantasy, and baking.