MacArthur “Genius Fellow” Lateefah Simon to Speak at Scripps

CLAREMONT, Calif. (April 17, 2008) — Lateefah Simon, MacArthur “Genius” Fellow and director of reentry programs in the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office, will lecture on “The Transformative Power of Community Development” on Wednesday, April 30, at 6:45 p.m. in the Hampton Room of the Malott Commons, Scripps College. The event is free and open to the public.

Simon embarked on her lifelong mission of activism at age 15, when she joined the Center for Young Women’s Development in San Francisco as a hotline volunteer. Four years later, Simon became executive director of the organization, and during her eleven-year tenure provided approximately 3,500 women per year with the tools they needed to transform and rebuild their lives.

At 26, Simon won a MacArthur Fellowship. She is one of the youngest people ever to be awarded this prestigious fellowship (sometimes referred to as the “genius award”), which awards unrestricted fellowships to talented individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction. Simon has spoken at the United Nations, before the United States Senate, and at countless trainings and conferences around the country. She currently works for the San Francisco District Attorney to provide formerly incarcerated young men and women with educational and employment opportunities.
Simon was named San Francisco’s “Woman of the Year” in 2005 and received Oprah Winfrey’s first “chutzpah” award in 2004. Simon’s achievements have also been recognized by the National Organization for Women, the National Council for Research on Women, and the Women’s Fund.

This presentation is part of the Katharine Howard Miller Endowed Speakers Program at Scripps College. The series was established by Katharine Miller, a Scripps alumna from the Class of 1955, and is a lasting legacy to her memory. The speakers program enables the College to bring to campus presenters in the area of entrepreneurship or the non-profit world. For more information, please contact the Malott Commons Office at (909) 607-9372.