Dismantle systemic racism in New York City schools, courts, and government by designing legal tools, fostering legal networks, and increasing legal knowledge with grassroots youth organizers.
The Peer Defense Project (PDP) transforms how youth leaders engage with law. PDP’s web platform links attorneys to youth leaders and provides youth grassroots organizations with the legal tools to support advocacy for youth civil rights issues such as school integration, the abolition of youth policing and incarceration, and voting rights. PDP manages a legal network, a yearly summit, and a freedom law school for grassroots youth leaders. Using a hybrid model, PDP’s lawyers and youth leaders are dismantling systemic racism in schools, courts, and government.
Sarah Medina Camiscoli is a first-generation, LGBTQ+ attorney of the Puerto Rican diaspora from NYC. She works as a Justice Catalyst Legal Fellow at Public Counsel and a lecturer at Yale College. Before law school, Sarah worked as a public school teacher in the South Bronx, where she founded IntegrateNYC—an organization in which young leaders work toward integration and equity. Upon graduating from Yale Law School, Sarah co-founded the Peer Defense Project, working alongside her intergenerational co-founding team, Aneth Naranjo, Obrian Rosario, and Maryam Salmanova.
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