Kimberly Fuentes is a first-year PhD student in Social Welfare at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. She earned her MSW with a concentration in Social and Economic Justice and Global Health and Social Services from the Luskin School of Public Affairs at UCLA and a Bachelor of Arts in Geography and Environmental Studies at UC Santa Barbara.
Prior to entering the doctoral program, Kimberly worked on implementing policy level changes to reduce barriers for youth and young adults in the foster care system as a Pritzker fellow at the Office of Child Protection. She serves on the board of the Sex Workers Outreach Project of Los Angeles (SWOP-LA), a non-profit that provides direct services and acts as an organizing base for criminalized workers, as the director of services and outreach.
Kimberly’s research interests stem upon her ties in community organizing and activism to identify the structural harms of policing on sex workers, a criminalized population, and how their criminalization impacts the way they care for each other. She hopes to utilize participatory action research and art-based methods to identify the alternative systems of community care that are used to mitigate and resist the forces of the police state and theorize the state from the vantage point of sex workers. In doing so, Kimberly hopes to counter the ways that the social work profession currently furthers criminalization of marginalized populations.