2013 Equal Justice Works Fellow, Angelica Salceda

Angelica Salceda

Name of Host Organization: ACLU of Northern California
City, State: San Francisco, California
Sponsors: Fenwick & West LLP

The Project

Angélica ensured that pregnant and parenting students in California’s Central Valley schools were afforded equal educational opportunities through advocacy, litigation, and organizing.

The Inspiration

Need Addressed By Project: 
Education provides a pathway for pregnant and parenting students to a more secure future for their children and themselves. Most pregnant and parenting students want to remain in school, and federal and state laws require schools to provide these students with equal educational opportunities. In practice, however, many California schools erect institutional barriers or employ discriminatory policies that inhibit their educational outcomes, contributing to a drop-out rate of 70 percent among teen mothers. This problem is particularly acute in the Central Valley, home to eight of the 10 counties with the highest teen birth rates in the state. Most teen mothers are low-income young women of color who already face barriers to educational equity. Education offers an escape from the poverty and inequality that are rife in this region. However, when denied access to educational opportunities, teen parents are more likely to face unemployment, and their children are more likely to grow up in poverty.
Fellowship Highlights: 
During her Fellowship, Angélica has:
• Published, Breaking Down Barriers for California’s Pregnant and Parenting Students, a report that identifies a number of barriers that impact this unique population of students. The report also provides local and statewide recommendations for removing these barriers
• Partnered with California Latinas for Reproductive Justice and co-sponsored AB 302 that would ensure that lactating students in California’s K-12 system have a private, secure place to breastfeed or express milk during school
• Provided know-your-rights trainings to school administrators and students throughout California’s San Joaquin Valley
• Engaged in local advocacy to ensure that school districts have up-to-date board policies and administrative regulations
Where are they now?: 
Now that the Fellowship is complete, Angélica remains at the ACLU of Northern California as a Staff Attorney, protecting the civil rights and civil liberties of communities throughout the San Joaquin Valley.

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