Aishatu Yusuf has spent the majority of her career working within multiple social systems with the purpose of creating better outcomes for marginalized youth, young people, and their families. Throughout her career, she has focused on child safety, youth and adult legal system reform, child protection, and education policy. With the belief that change must be envisioned through an intersectional lens that captures race and gender identity, Aishatu has worked to reduce the education, health, and employment barriers for formerly incarcerated women; evaluated the strengths and needs of girls in gangs; and is currently working with the National Black Women’s Justice Institute on participatory research that address interrupting school to confinement pathways for girls of color.
Aishatu has worked with federal, state, and local governments to address issues that permeate the youth and adult legal system. She has partnered with youth legal systems and education systems across the county to develop cross system intervention and justice prevention programs. She has presented her research at numerous conferences, has trained educators and law enforcement professionals across the nation, and has authored and co-authored various articles, book chapters, and other publications. Aishatu now leads Impact Justice’s California Justice Leaders-AmeriCorps planning project focused on providing employment and training to formerly incarcerated individuals while increasing awareness and access to California’s Honorable Discharge petitions process. Prior to joining Impact Justice, Aishatu worked at the National Council on Crime and Delinquency, and she currently serves as the senior education and re-entry policy fellow for the National Black Women’s Justice Institute. Aishatu holds two bachelor degrees from the University of Utah and a master’s degree in public administration from Northeastern University.