Marlene Sanchez Ella Baker Center for Human Resources
Marlene Sanchez is a proud San Francisco Native, Chicana, movement leader, organizer, and a formerly incarcerated woman. Marlene was recently Interim Executive Director of Alliance for Girls an organization she helped found. Marlene served as the Associate Director of Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice (CURYJ) where she worked to build infrastructure, and leadership of other formerly incarcerated people in Oakland. Marlene came to community work at age 15 looking for employment and a way out of streets and the juvenile justice system. She was hired as a community health outreach worker, providing HIV/STD education and harm reduction supplies and love to hundreds of young women who lived and worked in the underground street economies of San Francisco. Marlene was the Executive Director of the Young Women’s Freedom Center formerly known as the Center for Young Women's Development for 10 years where she worked to build power with other incarcerated and formerly incarcerated young women. Marlene has a passion for working with youth, in particular with young women, girls, GNC folks, and transgender women. In 1999, she was sworn in by the Superior Court of San Francisco as the first “youth” appointed to the San Francisco Juvenile Justice Commission, on which she served for five years. For six years she co-chaired the Community Justice Network for Youth, a national organization of community-based programs that serve youth of color in the juvenile justice system. Marlene is a founding member of All of Us or None; a movement building group working to restore the rights of, and fight against the discrimination of, incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people. Marlene received from his Holiness the Dali Lama an award as an Unsung Hero, was celebrated at the National Centerforce Conference, and was awarded the Harold Atkins award for ending cycles of incarceration. Nationally Marlene provides training to organizations who want to understand and follow best practices for working with system-involved youth and who want to adopt a restorative practice for healing and transformation. She has six siblings and is a mother of two wonderful young men Daniel and Elijah and a daughter Amaya. She enjoys building community, siblinghood, and creating spaces for healing as a priority.