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By The Skanner News | The Skanner News
Published: 01 February 2006

Lateefah Simon and Joanne Fuller, both advocates for young women, will speak on "From Hopelessness to Power: The Future of Young Women at Risk," at the Portland City Club Friday Forum, set for 12:15 to 1:15 p.m. Feb. 3 in the Governor Hotel, 614 S.W. 11th Ave.  In 2003, Simon was the youngest woman to become a MacArthur Fellow. Now a private consultant, she has served as executive director of San Francisco's Center forYoungWomen's Development, leading a distinctive and bold program that guided troubled girls from delinquency and poverty to healthy and productive adulthoods.

In the service of impoverished teens and young women with histories of drug addiction, prostitution or abuse, many living on the streets and some with criminal records, the center offers a path toward improved self-esteem and economic stability.

While at the center, Simon hired young women who faced similar challenges to serve as mentors, providing them job training, health insurance and a living wage. By tapping into the talent and experiences of street-smart young women, she instilled a sense of community that young women used to help themselves and each other out of difficult circumstances.

Fuller,directorof MultnomahCounty's Department of Community Justice, will offer a local look at the challenges and opportunities of young women at risk. In addition to leading an initiative to implement comprehensive system reform in juvenile alcohol and drug services, Fuller has worked closely with substance abuse treatment providers, especially in the juvenile system. She also led reform efforts addressing juvenile detention, delinquency intervention and school attendance.

Luncheon tickets for the forum are $16 for City Club members, $20 for nonmembers. Coffee/tea tickets are $5 at the door on a first-come, first-served basis. General seating is free for members and $5 for nonmembers. Call 503-228-7231 for luncheon reservations.

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