Dream Beyond Bars

Paid fellowship for formerly incarcerated young adults ages 18 - 25 who are working to end youth criminalization.

I am now trying to change the very systems that tried to keep me behind bars and I’m fighting as someone who has suffered at the hands of the police. —Ayshah

DBB Fellowship

The Dream Beyond Bars fellowship amplifies the political consciousness, political power, leadership and professional development of formerly incarcerated young adults. We uplift young leaders from throughout Alameda County because we believe those closest to the pain of incarceration are the ones most qualified to create healing solutions.

Our vision is to transform the juvenile injustice system and embark on a campaign to create holistic community-based solutions to incarceration and to create opportunities for diversion. Fellows, through their lived experience and knowledge, will directly research, innovate, and transform flawed systems into the solutions that will meet their community’s needs.

Build power with fellows who are directly impacted by foster care, immigration, and criminal injustice systems.

Create change by working directly on policy campaigns, organizing in the community, and connecting to social justice networks.

Achieve your personal goals with support from experienced mentors who can connect you to services in the community.


Double click on any fellow’s picture to read their bio and learn about their work.


Ray’Von Jones, Alex Diaz, and Breon Hatcher runs the Dream Beyond Bars program with a deep commitment to the community and by relying on their own experiences of the injustice system. They are dedicated to amplifying the leadership of young people in their quest to dismantle the racist institutions of policing and incarceration.

To learn more about Dream Beyond Bars, contact Ray’Von, Alex, and Breon at programs@curyj.org.

Jesus and Breon

Our work

We don’t believe in “experts” telling us about our lived experiences. Participatory Research means that those directly impacted by the issue being studied are the ones that are designing and conducting the study and reporting the findings. Nothing about us without us. Below are some of the reports that Dream Beyond Bars fellows have produced.

I want to make sure youth aren’t met with handcuffs, brutality, or death at the hands of the police when they really need something to eat, somebody to talk to, and a hug. —Kat

How to apply

Dream Beyond Bars  is a one year paid fellowship with a commitment of 15 hours a week. The fellowship is open to formerly incarcerated people ages 18 – 25. Activities include attending training, receiving mentorship, participating in coalition meetings, and attending events. All activities are socially distanced and Covid-safe.

We provide support with transportation, access to technology, and professional development. The fellowship begins in January and the application opens in December. It IS possible to join the fellowship while it is in progress. If you have questions or are interested in applying please fill out the form below.

Contact Dream Beyond Bars

Other Programs at CURYJ

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