Ellen Barry

Director of Fund Development & Contracts of Restorative Justice, Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth

Ellen Barry is a racial and social justice activist who focuses on challenging the destructive impact of the U.S. prison system on low-income people and people of color, their children and families. She has worked for justice on behalf of prisoners, their children and families for over 40 years and has specific expertise in working with women prisoners, incarcerated parents, children of incarcerated parents, formerly incarcerated people, and restorative justice and trauma healing. She is also committed to the important efforts of diversifying the leadership of non-profit organizations. In 1978, she founded Legal Services for Prisoners with Children, one of the first US organizations to raise issues impacting people in prisons and jails and their children. She served as executive director of LSPC from 1978 to 2001, building a diverse and effective program which achieved significant legal and policy changes around prisoners and formerly incarcerated people. Ellen helped to co-found several progressive organizations, including Critical Resistance, National Network for Women in Prison and the Circle for Justice Innovations. She is the principal consultant at Women & Justice Issues Consulting firm.  In the last decade, she has focused on restorative and transformative justice, and currently serves as Director of Fund Development and Contracts of Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth, a visionary organization that is leading the effort to center restorative justice practices in a racially and culturally diverse indigenous traditions.

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