Executive Director

Sharon White-Harrigan is a trailblazer, visionary, and thought leader who leads with faith and hope. She is the inaugural Executive Director of the Women’s Community Justice Association (WCJA). A gender-specific and expansive, trauma/healing-centered, advocacy-for-justice agency that drives change through regular and sustained engagement with formerly incarcerated individuals, community members, and individuals currently on Rikers Island, providing an array of opportunities for New Yorkers to achieve healing and transformation at each stage of justice involvement.  With over 30+ years in the movement in various ways, Sharon’s leadership in direct service fields spans reentry, domestic violence, homelessness, mental health, substance usage, trauma, and healing. She has also worked on policy advocacy efforts and led the 10-year campaign to pass NY’s Domestic Violence Survivors Justice Act in 2019. Sharon is a minister, motivational speaker, adjunct lecturer, consultant, and therapist. She is an Executive, co-founder, and co-owner of Women Building UP (WBU). She also serves as an advisory member of the Survivor’s Justice Project, a strategic consultant to the Women & Justice Project, and a co-founder of the Justice for Women Task Force. She draws upon her expertise as a licensed Social Worker, a survivor of violence, and a survivor of 11 years of incarceration. She holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Lehman College, a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work and Criminal Justice from the City University of New York, where she was a Thomas W. Smith Fellow, and an Associate's Degree in liberal arts from Marymount Manhattan College. Sharon is the recipient of numerous awards and honors.

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