Home News Center Reid Stowe Shares His Passion for Youth Justice

Reid Stowe Shares His Passion for Youth Justice

February 27, 2020
Roselyn Kumazah

Tell us about yourself and your work on youth justice reform.

I attended Virginia State University, with a major in criminal justice. I started becoming intentional with justice reform after the injustice and death of Mike Brown. I became an intern at the Juvenile Justice Center in Richmond, then a research assistant with VCU, now I am an Intervention Coordinator for the same project at Virginia Commonwealth University. We work in some of the higher violence neighborhoods within the city of Richmond, in hopes of producing healthier areas within the city. Part of my job is to work with multiple partners, whether that's the mayor’s office, the attorney general, the health district, school systems, or anybody who is willing and able to help those in our communities.

What is your vision for youth justice?

My vision for youth justice is not just implementing or creating a plan for youth that is produced by people who think they know or have done a lot of studies. I see youth justice coming from the youths themselves. With youth voices, input and traction, I feel like we can produce justice for young people around the country.

What is one piece of advice you would share with another young person who is interested in leadership and advocacy work?

Stay open minded, and don't be afraid of your light and your greatness within. With me, I've been put in spaces that I never thought I would be in. Working with this network allowed me to go to different places. Being open minded allows you to grow with different people who can mentor you and help mold you into somebody that you want to be. Also [I would advise them], to help the progression of your organization and what you are passionate about. I've been able to grow and become a stronger leader.

What motivates you to keep fighting for youth justice when times are hard?

The biggest motivation is seeing myself within the folks I am trying to help and work with every day. It could be so easy to give up on what you're doing, but if you see yourself within somebody, giving up on them would mean giving up on yourself. 

Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years from now?

I'm really passionate about what I do and the folks I get to work with on a daily basis. I can't say I want to be in a particular place in 5-10 years. I just know I want to continue helping people; that might be in politics or at a nonprofit organization. I just want to be ingrained in this work.

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