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Anne Marks brings a wealth of experience to Youth ALIVE! through her efforts as a substance abuse counselor, a welfare and prison rights advocate, a nonprofit program manager, a grantwriter, and an organizer. On the local, state, and national level, Anne has strived to bring resources to underserved communities and be a voice for those who often go unheard. Anne brings her passion for change and the Oakland community to her role as Executive Director of Youth ALIVE!
Anne found her Oakland roots when she completed a two-year internship supporting Head Start and other community programs at the then-named Oakland Office of Health and Human Services. Nearly ten years later, she returned to city government, implementing Project Choice – a federally funded program for juvenile and young adult prisoners who were coming home to Oakland. She later served as the lead planner implementing Oakland’s violence prevention programs funded by Measure Y, a local anti-violence tax measure.
In her position, Anne helped launch a number of new initiatives, including: the Parolee Job Fair, Reentry Housing strategy, a training series for frontline violence prevention workers (including Youth ALIVE! staff) and the Street Outreach program. Street Outreach was one component of Oakland’s Crisis Response and Support Network, which also included services for families and friends of homicide victims provided by the Khadafy Washington Foundation for Non-Violence, for whom Anne later served on the Board. From its inception, one of the key programs funded by Measure Y was Youth ALIVE!’s Caught in the Crossfire program.
In addition to social services, Anne has been involved in political and communications work at the local, state, and national level. She was a spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State under Colin Powell, resigning her position with the onset of the war in Iraq. She later served as a spokesperson for the Democratic National Committee in Oregon during the 2004 presidential campaign.
In 2001, as a National Congress for Community Economic Development fellow, Anne led a successful effort to establish the first community-based prison reentry housing facility in Brooklyn, NY. In 2004, Anne was appointed by Mayor Newsom to the San Francisco Homeless Planning Council and helped to design the city’s anti-homelessness strategy.
Most recently, Anne co-founded Face Value Project, an interdisciplinary research, organizing and communications effort conducted in partnership with Harvard’s Carr Center for Human Rights Policy to identify and combat the root causes of homophobia. She now serves on Face Value’s national Advisory Board.
Anne received a B.A. in Economics and History from U.C. Berkeley, completed graduate work at the University of Cambridge, England, and received a Master of Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School, focusing on strategic management and public relations.
A long time fan of Youth ALIVE! even before joining the organization, Anne shares its long-term commitment to ending youth violence through implementing a public health model of prevention and intervention. As Dr. Gary Slutkin argues, violence is an epidemic, and the virus that spreads it is trauma. Youth ALIVE!’s programs work with young people most at risk for violence to build their resilience in the face of traumatic events and to develop their innate skills and resources to help themselves and their communities.