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Alexis Piazza

2017, Equal Justice Works Fellowships, Alexis Piazza

Alexis Piazza

Name of Host Organization: ACLU of Southern California
City, State: Los Angeles, California
Issue area: Housing/Homelessness, Education/Special Education
Sponsors: Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

The Project

Provide essential support, legal advocacy, and outreach to school-age children and youth experiencing homelessness in the Inland Empire region of California between Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and Riverside.

The Inspiration

Need Addressed By Project
Children experiencing homelessness are one of the most vulnerable student populations in California. They face the same challenges as any child living in poverty, but they also face a unique set of obstacles, including higher rates of hunger, physical and mental illness, abuse and neglect, and trauma. The Inland Empire region of California is particularly devastated, with rates of homelessness that are several times the national and state averages. This project will ensure schools and school districts do everything they can to support this high-needs student population.
The Right Person For This Project

Alexis is the right person for the project because:
•As a middle school teacher in California for five years, he worked directly with students experiencing homelessness and their families.
•During law school, he supported organizations, including ACLU SoCal, that fight for students’ rights and address educational inequity in California.
•Long term, he aims to be a leader, partner, and ally to the movement working to close the achievement gap for low-income and minority students.

Plans For First Six Months of Fellowship

In the first six months, Alexis will:
•Connect with, support, and build coalitions of service providers for children and youth experiencing homelessness.
•Develop public education materials and lead community presentations for students and families.
•Engage directly with schools, school districts, and county offices of education.
•Develop advocacy plan based on direct engagement work and analysis of districts’ Local Control and Accountability Plans (LCAPs).