Jessica Peñaranda is a Queer (im)migrant mama, a human rights advocate, anti-violence educator, organizer, strategist, creative, and healer. Jessica has worked for over 15 years providing direct services, strategic leadership, program management, community building, and co-struggling with communities at intersecting identities impacted by systemic and interpersonal violence.
She currently serves as an Assistant Director of Intervention at Common Justice where she provides restorative justice centered support to individuals who have been impacted by the criminal legal system. Prior to joining Common Justice she served as Director of Movement Building at the Sex Workers Project of the Urban Justice Center, leading public policy and advocacy efforts, community engagement and outreach, and creating programs to center and amplify the leadership of directly impacted sex workers and people with human trafficking experiences. Jessica is also a founding member of the Decrim NY coalition, a coalition working to decriminalize, decarcerate, and destigmatize people in the sex trades.
Jessica is passionate about collective leadership and birthing communities of care through an intersectional and anti-oppressive healing justice framework with an emphasis on connection, cultural humility, mutual aid, and transformative justice. Jessica holds a Master’s Degree in Human Rights from New York University and a B.A. degree in Women Studies from The College of New Jersey.