Lauren Galarza is a Program Associate in Vera’s Center on Sentencing and Corrections. She works primarily on the Safe Alternatives to Segregation Initiative where she provides technical assistance, logistical and administrative support, and policy awareness around reducing the use of solitary confinement in our nation’s prisons.
Lauren recently graduated from the National Urban Fellows Class of 2016, a rigorous 14-month, full-time graduate degree program comprising four semesters of academic course work while completing a nine-month mentorship assignment. During that time, she fulfilled her mentorship at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation where she managed a national listening tour project that uplifted the voices and need for supports from vulnerable families in various communities. Lauren also completed a Master’s thesis on the barriers to and benefits of fathers in prison maintaining the relationship with their children. Prior to this fellowship, Lauren developed a diverse career in the public sector including: directly working with women who have severe mental illness and are living in a NYC homeless shelter to obtain government benefits; criminal justice organizing on issues including death row, life without parole, and police abuse; local community organizing with Latino immigrants to fight deplorable housing conditions; and additional advocacy efforts based on affected communities building their resilience against systemic oppression.
In her spare time, Lauren is an active member of Delta Tau Lambda Sorority, Inc as well as Active 20-30, an international service club. Lauren holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Spanish from the University of Michigan and a Master’s in Public Administration from Baruch College of the City University of New York.