Ruben Austria on Short Circuiting the Juvenile Justice System (

July 19, 2016

Reverend Ruben Austria joins us from Community Connections for Youth (NY). Here he breaks down how he landed in this work and why he believes "Incarcerating youth has been a dismal failure."

"Every dollar invested in putting youth through the juvenile justice system takes resources out of our communities. We are challenging juvenile justice systems to reinvest their resources in neighborhoods most impacted by incarceration to increase their level of partnerships with and financial support to neighborhood and grassroots organizations."

He also shares the ways we can develop effective community-based alternatives to incarceration programs for youth, reduce youth crime, and ultimately improve the long-term life outcomes for youth.

We cover:

  • The myth of juvenile crime rate
  • How to short circuit the juvenile prison complex
    • in school systems
    • probation officers
    • police officers
    • and even how to work with prosecutors!
  • What is actually working at CCFY and why it is working
  • The success rate of the programs and alternatives

After hearing what Rev. Ruben had to say, and the success his organization has realized, I had to become a member on the spot...and I know you will too. Here is the link to donate and help them fight towards #NoKidsinCages. Please use this hashtag when sharing the episode.

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Former Young Lord Felipe Luciano on Looking Back to Move Social Justice Forward

July 9, 2016

In this mini-episode, Joed Lopez sits down with Felipe Luciano, former Young Lord and decorated poet, activist, reporter, and lecturer. In this previously unreleased interview, Felipe was gracious enough to spend just a few minutes before leaving to catch a flight. It is short but poignant. He calls out colleges and universities; churches alike to unite "spirit and scholarship" to meet the needs of our community. Considering the recently tragedies of Alton Sterlin, Philando Castile, and several police deaths, his message and keynote bonus (only found here:  ) is eerily prophetic. While I share this with a somber heart, it is also filled with hope. Never have I seen so many people stand up and say enough is enough during these turbulent times. Enjoy - Joed

BIO:  Felipe Luciano, Former Young Lord & Social Justice Advocate

News reporter and anchor, poet, writer, activist, and lecturer, Felipe Luciano is one of the most dynamic Latino public figures in the United States of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. His eloquence, vision, and passion for issues of social justice are extraordinary and reflect the courage of a generation that chose to organize, teach, and struggle against the powerful institutions of discrimination.

Due to his local popularity as a Harlem artist and progressive activist, in 1968 Luciano was approached by a group of mainly Puerto Rican Latino youth who wanted to launch a radical organization oriented around fighting against Puerto Rican poverty and racial oppression. Eventually, that cohort of young students launched a New York chapter of the Chicago-based Young Lords Organization (YLO), the Puerto Rican counterpart to the Black Panther Party.

Luciano is a lecturer and public presenter for Fortune 500 companies, colleges and universities, unions, and fraternal organizations. He offers consultation on issues pertaining to emerging markets, the black and Latino community, coalition building, diversity, and multiculturalism.