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Jesse McGleughlin L’20

Jesse McGleughlin advocates for youth and family justice and racial and economic equity. She is  also interested in histories of race and racialization, nonfiction writing, youth power, and modes of performance and protest. Jesse graduated magna cum laude from Brown University’s Africana Studies program, where her senior thesis examined Civil Rights leader Fannie Lou Hamer’s voting rights activism in 1960’s Mississippi. Jesse then went on to work as the National Training Manager at Community Connections for Youth, based in the South Bronx, where she trained juvenile justice system stakeholders and grassroots community leaders across the country to develop effective community-based alternative-to-incarceration programs for youth. She managed interdisciplinary teams in Chicago, Charleston, and San Diego in order to decrease the number of youth of color who were policed, criminalized, and pushed into the juvenile justice system.

As a Fulbright Scholar, Jesse worked in South Africa to develop an oral history course for high school students on legacies of apartheid in the Kayamandi Township. As an intern at Sonke Gender Justice, Jesse conducted research on the human rights violations suffered by sex workers and advocated for the decriminalization of sex work in South Africa. Jesse also advocated for adequate housing and social services as an Arthur Liman Fellow at the Urban Justice Center’s Safety Net Project and studied minority rights and discrimination as a Humanity in Action fellow. As the Head Coordinator of Brown Refugee Youth Tutoring and Enrichment (BRYTE), Jesse oversaw education programs for recently resettled refugee youth and their families, ran a summer enrichment camp and teen organizing program, and developed an interagency working group to provide refugee youth with tailored support services.

At Penn Law, Jesse works with the Youth Sentencing and Reentry Project to provide mitigation and reentry supports for young people prosecuted in the adult criminal justice system in Philadelphia. She also serves as the Outreach Coordinator for the Civil Rights Law Project, and recently won the Williams Institute Moot Court Competition where she argued in defense of the rights of transgender teenagers to access the bathrooms that correspond to their gender identities. This past summer, she worked at Still She Rises in Tulsa, Oklahoma, a public defender office dedicated to the representation of mothers in the criminal justice system.