OrangeU Going? events are different. We go above and beyond to educate, empower, and connect attendees.


Each expert-led program begins with an Issue 101 - ensuring that every attendee, from expert to novice - has a basic understanding of the event topic. We supplement the expert panel discussions with the OrangeU Going? Magazine, an issue-focused print and digital publication that features expert articles and perspectives, action items, resources, and more. 

Take Action:

Through our volunteer group, The OUG Squad, we empower attendees to take action by a organizing volunteer opportunity related to the event topic. Participants are able to make a difference while also building meaningful relationships.


OrangeU Going? jump-starts attendee networking by sharing the Who's Here Guide before the event, enabling attendees to target their networking and connect with people they may have missed in person. 


Juvenile justice is a Millennial issue. In any given day in the United States, 53,000 Gen Y and Gen Z youth are held in facilities away from home. Nearly half of the Millennial cohort identify as people of color, and youth of color are held in custody at a rate 4 times that of white youth. "Tough on crime" policies have created a system in which youth are systematically tried as adults, though neuroscience research as proven that the adolescent brain does not fully develop until age 25. The united States accounts for just 5% of the world's population but harbors 25% of the world's incarcerated people. Today, Millennials are demanding an end to institutionalized racism, economic inequality, and the mass incarceration that has resulted from it. Join OrangeU Going? on October 25th to learn about  the issues, the solutions, and the strategy to get there. 


The State of the Juvenile Justice System

Attendees learn about the state of juvenile justice in New York, getting a snapshot of the issues and statistics plaguing our system.

Panel 1: Justice by Numbers: Does Data Help or Harm?

Data increasingly informs our daily lives, but should it also inform our approach to juvenile justice? It’s said “Numbers don’t lie,” but some experts claim data is not value neutral or objective. Experts will dive into questions such as where does data fall short, do algorithmic risk assessments work, and can data help craft better policy?

Lisa’s entire career has been devoted to supporting justice-involved youth. She works with both youth and their families to address the root causes that lead adolescents to commit offenses—including trauma, family conflict, lack of opportunities for achievement and educational success, or underlying emotional or intellectual disabilities.

At Rising Ground, Lisa oversees all of the agency’s juvenile justice programs, which include limited and non-secure placement, and is responsible for over 200 employees, a $14+ million budget, four residential sites in The Bronx and Brooklyn, respite foster home placements, evidenced-based alternatives to incarceration and aftercare programs, and a credible messenger mentoring program for court-involved youth who have returned to the community.

Lisa previously served as the Executive Director of Juvenile Justice Performance Evaluation and Monitoring at the NYC Administration for Children’s Services. There she led the development and implementation of the Close to Home Initiative, which allows youth to continue their education and receive therapeutic support close to their communities rather than being imprisoned at distant state correctional facilities.

Lisa is a licensed social worker with a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Kansas School of Social Welfare, and a Master’s of Science in Social Work from Columbia University School of Social Work.

Rashaad Porter works in the Center on Youth Justice at the Vera Institute of Justice is a project coordinator. Rashaad joined Vera in 2017 and his work primarily focuses on community participatory action research, collaborative research, and justice-involved youth. Rashaad is a Navy veteran whose interests include criminal justice reform, ending mass incarceration, and social psychology. Rashaad is also a student at John Jay College of Criminal Justice where he studies political science.

Dr. Rowlands is an expert in intervention and treatment methods for justice-involved youth in New York. Her vast experience as a clinical psychologist for justice-involved male violent offenders ages 12-17 and her strong background in clinical research supports her current work at the NY Foundling, where she ensures the successful implementation of Evidence Based Practices (EBPs), or programs informed by high-level research and measurable results. Throughout her career, her work has been systematically informed by research and data.

While working as a staff psychologist at the Office of Children and Family Services, Dr. Rowlands participated in comparison group outcome studies and then transferred to the Program Research and Development team where she ensured clinical quality control for pre- and post- placement interventions for justice-involved youth. Dr. Rowlands is a member of the Blueprints for Health Youth Development Advisory Group, a member of the Roadmap to Reform Experts Advisory Group, and has been instrumental to the Child Success New York Project which has significantly decreased the number of children in NYC foster care. She holds a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology, a Certificate of Advanced Study in Counseling, and a Doctorate in School Psychological Services.

Katie Schaffer is a fourth generation New Yorker. As a white person who grew up in New York City - coming of age when Amadou Diallo was murdered by the NYPD - she learned quickly that police, jails and prisons are mechanisms of racialized, class-based control. Now at JustLeadershipUSA, Katie is the New York Statewide Organizer, building power with directly impacted leaders and partner organizations across the state to decarcerate jails and challenge the fundamental workings of New York’s criminal (in)justice system. Prior to joining JLUSA, Katie oversaw the college-in-prison programs of the City University of New York (CUNY) as the Director of College Access at the Prisoner Reentry Institute. As a consultant for the New York Early Childhood Professional Development Institute, Katie launched and continues to manage a program on gender and sexuality in early childhood education. Off the clock, she sits on the leadership team of Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) NYC, runs direct action security teams, and has a serious collection of indoor plants.

Panel 2: Policy Lessons from the Impacted

Formerly incarcerated New Yorkers, people of color, and youth impacted by the system outline the shortfalls of current policy, what New York should be working toward, and how to get there. Panelists will discuss measures such as Raise the Age, bail reform, the school-to-prison pipeline, and post-incarceration employment.

As President-Elect of the Metropolitan Black Bar Association, Jason has made social and criminal justice reform a priority. He has organized programs that aim to reduce the number of deaths of unarmed civilians by law enforcement, protect immigrant rights, and reform New York's bail system. Jason also founded a free tutoring program that provides low-income students from underrepresented backgrounds with one year of professional tutoring for the NYC Specialized High School Test. As a member of Manhattan's Community Board 10, he organized the board's first legal clinic. Jason serves as an assistant attorney general in the State Attorney General's Harlem Regional Office, where he prosecutes violators of consumer and civil rights laws.

Vidal Guzman was raised by a single mother of three in Harlem. When he was 16 years old, Vidal was arrested and tried as an adult. He was released on probation from Rikers in 2007. At 19, Vidal was again arrested and sentenced to five years at a prison upstate. After returning home at age 24, Vidal secured a job with Drive Change working on New York City’s first farm-to-truck social justice food truck. Vidal and his team won the 2015 Vendy Cup for Best Food Truck in NYC. After experiencing poverty, homelessness, surviving gang life, and being incarcerated for seven years, Vidal knew that the way to fix the broken system was to invest in local neighborhoods and build communities.

Vidal now works as a Community Organizer for JustLeadershipUSA working on local issues such as the #CLOSErikers Campaign. He has been featured in press such as Success Magazine , The Guardian, Revolt.Tv, NY1 news, Huffpost and NBCnews. To learn more about Vidal, visit his website

Giovannie Hernandez was born and raised in the South Bronx. A graduate of Bard College’s Bard Prison Initiative, Giovannie holds an A.A. in Liberal Arts with plans to complete his undergraduate degree and enroll in a graduate degree program. He is a former Administrative Consultant with the J.M. Kaplan Fund, where he assisted in the digitization and migration of the Kaplan Fund’s grant records. As a criminal justice reform advocate, Giovannie is developing a pilot program in collaboration with Good Shepherd Services Non-Secure Placement Residences to assist teens involved in Family Court with their transition back into their communities. Giovannie was a Bard Prison Initiative Fellow and currently works at the Brooklyn Community Bail Fund as a Client Operations Associate.

James Starks was raised in the East New York section of Brooklyn. It was there he found the desire to help at-risk-youth unlock their potential. James serves as the Fellowship Director at Drive Change, a nonprofit organization that trains and employs formerly incarcerated youth between the ages of 18-25 in the hospitality and food industry. Prior to his role at Drive Change, James worked as a Portfolio Manager in the Financial District of NY for 10 years. The latter half of his financial tenure, he co-founded a minority firm where he served as Vice President until 2015.

*Additional panelists to be announced.


Tickets limited and must be requested. Please complete the below form to request your ticket. Selected attendees will be notified via email. Please complete information you are comfortable being shared with fellow attendees in order to make it easier for you to connect with like-minded, passionate New Yorkers. If your plans change and you are unable to attend, please contact at least 48 hours before the event. No-show attendees will not eligible to receive tickets to future events. 

Event Details

When: October 25th
Time: 8:30 - 11:30am
Location: Berkeley College 12 East 41st Street New York, NY 10017.


Inspired young professionals who utilize their skills and passions to take action, make their mark, and improve their communities.


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