Kate Lowenstein

“Invest in people who are impacted by the issues you care about and that will change you and it will make you an activist whether you want to be one or not.”


Interviewee: Kate Lowenstein

Interviewers: Danielle Dumont and Olivia Zabachta, Grade 12

Interview Date: January 28, 2016

Interview Location: Citizens for Juvenile Justice, Boston, MA


Student Reflections:

Through my experience of visiting CfJJ, I have gained a better understanding of what it truly means to take action with passion. The men and women who have dedicated their lives to transforming the juvenile justice system seem to be courageous for being the voices for such a heavily ignored community. Not only have I learned that adolescents as young as me are often neglected, but many are not alone in the fight of being heard and deserving a better life and future. While conducting my interview a wave of sorrow came over me listening to the tragic stories that some of these innocent teenagers endure on a daily basis. But with the help of advocates like the CfJJ team, those adolescents are able to gain a voice and be assisted into a better lifestyle that they deserve. (Olivia Zabachta)

I really enjoyed visiting and seeing what goes on at Citizens for Juvenile Justice. The people at CfJJ were so welcoming and so open to sharing information about their job. This experience has made me see that hard work is worth it because of the amazing changes that result from it. Having people like Kate Lowenstein are so essential to improving and keeping a check on our justice system. Seeing how dedicated and focused the staff at CfJJ is gave me determination to stand up for what I think is right and always strive to do better and make change wherever I can. (Danielle Dumont)


“If you can get lucky enough to work with people that love the subject, you love what you’re doing and you love the people.”

“I love learning an issue so well that you become an expert to help other people that want to help those kids.”

“It was tough information we had to learn but it was also information we had to look at in order to improve the lives of these kids.”

“My home life was informing my work life and my work life was informing my home life and that balance was both powerful and invests you…”

“Any system that is driving kids, through whom no fault of their own, are taken from their homes, that becomes a pipeline to criminal justice that is a broken system. There should be a full stop…what is happening with this child? Why is it that when you are black or brown, the same exact behaviors, one is causing you to be arrested and go to prison and the other one gets diverted, sent home with a ‘don’t do it again?’”

“Any kid that is arrested or gets processed by the courts, that has a major impact on their life…on their self esteem…it’s not normal.”

“Activism means to me not giving up, it’s not a one-time thing. It’s going to be more than pressing, ‘like,’ or reposting something.”

“Invest in people who are impacted by the issues you care about and that will change you and it will make you an activist whether you want to be one or not.”

“The team of people here is absolutely fantastic, the leader here is brilliant.”

“This is policy, this is changing policy.”

“You know kids bring out a level of commitment and I admire that so much.”

“I have an extra level of investment because I was a foster parent…I was experiencing at home children who were going through the exact same thing I was learning about.”

“I wanted to help kids maybe in ways I could have used more help myself.”

“Activism to me is about digging in and sticking with it.”

“Activism has to be reality based, what can we actually do.”