Taylor Reed

Taylor Reed was born in New York but raised in Dallas, Texas which gave her mixed perspective as to both the social and political aspect of how one’s race impacted their life experiences. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Global Public Health and Sociology with a minor in Chemistry from New York University. As a Black first-generation American woman, Taylor learned the many ways in which systems operate against the success of not only women, but specifically Black women. Prior to attending UCLA, she worked on projects that examined violence throughout major cities in the United States and the impact of incarceration and community violence on Black people. Taylor also serves as a graduate assistant at UCLA’s BRITE Center conducting research and preparing manuscripts for publication centered around the life hardships that result from the policing of Black men as well as the psychological consequences for Black men. 

Taylor is currently a first-year PhD student in Social Welfare at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. She is interested in designing studies from a life-course perspective to analyze the effect of life transitions, age, and social interactions on the life trajectory of minority people. This includes studying minority youth in urban neighborhoods and how exposure to violence (both frequency and type) affect their incarceration rates. Taylor hopes that her work will allow for policy makers and stakeholders to comprehensively understand what occurs in these neighborhoods and identify vulnerable areas that can serve as intervention points to help protect these at-risk youth. Additionally, she would like to determine how to design and scale up effective programs to the challenges of re-entry to equip those in communities of color the necessary tools to avoid recidivism. 

Kimberly Fuentes

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.

Brenda A. Tully

Brenda A. Tully’s research focuses on housing security during the transition to adulthood, with a specific interest in young people exiting the foster care system. She draws on the life course perspective and social and economic capital theories to examine how young people navigate housing and how social and economic conditions and public policies influence housing outcomes. Brenda is particularly interested in how structural racism and heterosexism influence housing outcomes for Black and LGBTQ young people exiting care and how familial ties relate to housing pathways. Given the housing crisis, made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic, in the U.S., Brenda’s research identifies multi-level factors related to housing (in)security. With her work, Brenda seeks to inform housing and foster care policies to redress societal inequities and honor family relationships so that youth experience improved housing security during their transition to adulthood.

Brenda has received research funding through the UCLA Graduate Research Mentorship and Graduate Summer Research Mentorship programs and the Franklin D. Gilliam Social Award, and fellowship funding from the Meyer and Rene Luskin Fellowship and UCLA Faculty Women’s Club Scholarship. She has presented her research at annual meetings of the Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR), the Society for the Study of Social Problems, and an international social science conference at the University of Transylvania, Romania. She contributed to team projects published in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Social Work (2020) and the American Journal of Public Health (2015).

Brenda practiced as a licensed clinical social worker in New York City for 20 years. Her research and teaching are informed in part by her work at Good Shepherd Services, where she helped launch the Chelsea Foyer, a transitional, supportive housing program for young people aging out of foster care and experiencing or at risk of homelessness. Brenda earned her Master of Social Work degree from Fordham University in New York City and a BA in Speech Communication from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Brenda expects to graduate in June 2022.