Peer-Run Center Empowers Young People Affected by Poverty, Violence, Incarceration

Julia Arroyo-Guzman

Laura Wenus/San Francisco Public Press

Julia Arroyo-Guzman

In the streets, in jails and other detention facilities and at its program sites around the Bay Area, the Young Women’s Freedom Center provides resources and support to girls, women and transgender and gender non-conforming people. It also provides training, internships, fellowships and jobs that pay to help people affected by poverty, exploitation and violence develop their voices. One of the center’s core tenets is the belief that people who are affected by these issues are the ones who can and must lead effective change. Julia Arroyo-Guzman, a site director for Young Women’s Freedom Center, talked with “Civic” about her work and her journey to that job.

“As somebody that’s moved through the organization and done the outreach: I see you in juvenile hall, I see you in the streets, I see you at this community event. I may even be in the court waiting room passing out flyers. So it’s something that’s consistent. I’m also a native San Franciscan, I may even know somebody in your community.”

— Julia Arroyo-Guzman

A segment from our radio show and podcast, “Civic.” Listen at 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays at 102.5 FM in San Francisco, or online at, and subscribe on Apple, Google, Spotify or Stitcher

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