Naquasia Pollard is an advocate, activist and direct service provider. She has been deeply involved in movements for social justice drawing upon her own experience – 15 years of incarceration in a Women’s Correctional Facility at the age of 19 and being pregnant on Rikers Island (Rosie M. Singer). Upon her release in October 2017 she went to work at the Ladies of Hope Ministries where she utilized her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology and Minor in Psychology, earned in prison, to support women impacted by incarceration. Her personal and professional goals are connected to her own experiences with systems that were supposed to support her but instead have failed her. As a result, Naquasia is deeply committed to supporting women and girls impacted by systemic failures.
While working at the Ladies of Hope Ministries, Naquasia became more involved in advocacy and direct services for women and young girls using a trauma-centered approach to support them in their journey towards healing and restoration. Recently, Naquasia founded PureLegacee Inc, an organizations that seeks to provide a residential space for young adults who have been directly impacted by the criminal justice system, and girls that are aging out of foster care and are experiencing chronic homelessness. In addition, she is a part of the Beyond Rosies campaign and Herstories documentary. Naquasia is involved in the Probation and Parole Reform Project with Columbia University, and is currently involved with the Speakers Bureau to lift the voices of formerly incarcerated people as agents of change.
Naquasia has been interviewed by the New York Times for her efforts to end mass incarceration and her involvement with criminal justice reform and has been featured on Metro Focus for her advocacy to close Rosie M Singer on Rikers Island. She is an alumnus of Women Influencing Systems and History through Community College Fellowship to train women to be organizers and advocate against mass incarceration.