Lateefah Simon

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Lateefah Simon (born January 29, 1977 in San Francisco) is the president of the Akonadi Foundation and an advocate for civil rights and racial justice.[1] In 2003, she became the youngest woman to receive a MacArthur Fellowship, for her leadership of the Center for Young Women's Development (CYWD) from age 19.[1][2][3][4]

Under San Francisco district attorney Kamala Harris, Simon led the creation of San Francisco's Reentry Division, with Back on Track, an advocacy program for young adults charged with low-level felony drug sales.[1] Simon has been the executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area and the program director of the Rosenberg Foundation.[1]

She was elected to represent the seventh district on the Bay Area Rapid Transit District board of directors in 2016.[5] Her motivations for running included her reliance on BART, as someone legally blind and unable to drive.[6]

Simon studied social entrepreneurship at Stanford University and public policy at Mills College,[7] where will be the 2017 Commencement speaker.[8] She is the mother of two children[7] and has written about the difference in how she was treated as an unwed mother and as a widowed mother.[9]



  1. ^ a b c d "Lateefah Simon, President". Akonadi Foundation. Retrieved 21 March 2017. 
  2. ^ "Three Blacks Named MacArthur Fellows", Jet, Oct 27, 2003
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b "Lateefah Simon". MacArthur Foundation. 5 October 2003. Retrieved 21 March 2017. 
  5. ^ "Lateefah Simon". Bay Area Rapid Transit. Retrieved 21 March 2017. 
  6. ^ "Lateefah Simon seeks inspiration in promises made". SFGate. 6 January 2016. Retrieved 21 March 2017. 
  7. ^ a b "About Lateefah". Lateefah for BART. Retrieved 21 March 2017. 
  8. ^ "Civil Rights Advocate Lateefah Simon to Deliver Mills College Commencement Address". Mills College. 22 March 2017. Retrieved 22 March 2017. 
  9. ^ Simon, Lateefah (5 November 2015). "I Was a Working Single Mom Twice — Here's What I Learned". Medium. Retrieved 21 March 2017. 
  10. ^
  11. ^

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Lateefah Simon". Emerge America. Emerge America. Retrieved August 3, 2016.