Lelabari Giwa-Ojuri L’20
Lelabari comes to Penn Law to explore legal responses to the school to prison pipeline. During her first year, Lelabari worked as a Direct Service Representative with the Youth Advocacy Project. In conjunction with an interdisciplinary team of law and social work students, Lelabari worked with youth being prosecuted as adults in Philadelphia. This summer, Lelabari will be working with Community Legal Services.
Prior to starting law school, Lelabari was a post-placement middle school counselor for Prep for Prep, a youth development and education non-profit dedicated to providing support for students of color enrolled in private schools. In this capacity, she provided mentoring, social-emotional support and academic advising to 7th - 9th grade students in independent schools in New York and New Jersey. 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 court-involved youth aged 16 - 24 who potentially faced incarceration due to felony charges. Lelabari worked closely with case managers, social workers and defense attorneys to provide holistic care and keep judges apprised of participants’ progress.
Lelabari received a B.A. in Comparative Politics and earned a certificate in Near Eastern Studies from Princeton University in 2014. In addition, she studied Arabic and Bosno-Serbo-Croatian. Before attending Princeton University, Lelabari participated in the Princeton Bridge Year Program in Serbia. Her independent work focused on non-violent and civil society peacebuilding and activism in post-conflict societies in the Middle East and the Balkans. At Princeton, she co-founded the Princeton Equality Project, an LGBTQ activism student organization focused on creating avenues for intersectional LGBTQ activism. Lelabari comes from Los Angeles, California. In her free time, she enjoys board games, afrofuturistic and anti-imperialist science fiction/fantasy, musicals and cooking.