Rachel Kirkwood

Digital Organizer

They/Them

Rachel is CURYJ’s Digital Organizing Manager supporting digital organizing and manages digital/media trainings for the Homies 4 Justice and Dream Beyond Bars program participants. Rachel also leads a team of digital associates to support the expansion of CURYJ’s digital and communication departments.

Though an activist at heart, Rachel is also a painter and production assistant. They believe that art and media are key in imagining freedom and engaging masses in social movements. Born and raised in the Bay Area, Rachel wants to make change by creating artwork highlighting the experiences of descendants of enslaved people across the diaspora. They plan to bring their intersectional lens to CURYJ’s work, including but not limited to; a queer lens, uplifting trans voices, Filipinx and AAPI immigration advocacy, and creating more accessibility within social movements.

Rachel’s passion is fueled by memories of their family’s violent police encounters as a child and the isolating experiences of black and brown children in the K-12 education system. After graduating from UC Santa Cruz with a degree in Politics, Rachel hopes to one day earn their PhD from UC Santa Cruz’s History of Consciousness program to continue to work towards prison abolition.

They currently sit on the policy committee of the grassroots organizing arm of CURYJ (CURYJ Moves). By crossing digital organizing with policy work, they hope to provide accessible tools to mobilize young people across the state to work towards ending mass incarceration in California. Rachel also plans on engaging with several statewide coalitions to bring an intersectional lens to issues like domestic violence and police brutality activism.

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