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Marisa Ragonese is a PhD candidate in the field of social welfare at the CUNY Graduate Center and Silberman School of Social Work, where she is working on a dissertation exploring the reproduction of gender inequity among teens at the intersection of the aggression commonly known as bullying and sexual harassment. A longtime feminist activist and advocate with and on behalf of girls and LGBT youth, she has 15 years of experience designing and implementing innovative, youth-led and adult-supported community education and afterschool programming to promote civic engagement and social justice.  In 2004, she opened and ran the first and only drop-in center for LGBTQ youth in her native Queens, NYC.  Since then she has won several awards for her work with youth, including, most recently, the United Settlement House award for achievement in civic engagement, and the United Way of Westchester and Putnam County’s Ruth Taylor Award for public service.

Currently, she serves as director of the Westchester County Youth Councils, where she provides adult support for young and budding leaders as they identify and address social problems in their communities. She is excited to incorporate PAR and evidence-based organizing and activism into the Councils.  She is also a research fellow at QuERI, the Queering Education Research Institute of the LGBT Social Science Center and Policy Institute at Roosevelt House, Hunter College, CUNY.

She lives in Yorktown, NY with her partner and their 5-year old daughter, Holly.

And she still believes in grrrl revolution.