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Harry Grammer

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Fellow Harry Grammer from 2018 Obama Foundation Fellows.

L.A. County incarcerates more youth than any other county in the nation, with a 69% recidivism rate. Kids disproportionately come from low-income communities of color and return to over-policed neighborhoods and failing schools that offer no job training or formal community support, ensuring that they go on to overpopulated adult prisons. California has seen a push for youth diversion, including within L.A. County’s troubled probation department—but it needs partners on the ground to lead the way.

New Earth (Opens in a new tab) runs poetry, art, education, job training, and counseling programs at L.A. County detention centers, probation detention camps, and group homes, in addition to running a joint charter high school that supports youth from detention, to probation, and beyond. New Earth’s (Opens in a new tab) programs have slashed recidivism rates from 69% to 5% for full participants. Begun at an open mic café in 2003, its flagship FLOW spoken-word program has operated in all 14 L.A. juvenile detention centers since 2004, with more than 10,000 L.A. youth taking at least one New Earth (Opens in a new tab) course. Now, New Earth (Opens in a new tab) has been tasked with turning a former youth detention site into a beautiful, redesigned community-run vocational training center—a major milestone in Grammer’s vision for transforming juvenile detention centers statewide.

Nelson Mandela

Harry Grammer joins Tiana Epps-Johnson at the Obama Foundation Community Conversation in Chicago

A Day in the Life: Harry Grammer

Face to Face with the Fellows: Harry Grammer

Harry Grammer speaks to boys and young men of color at MBK Rising!