Ashley Goldon is Nation Outside's statewide program director. She is a Social Worker, survivor, and fierce reform advocate of underprivileged communities. Ashley has a unique perspective on marginalization and overcoming obstacles as an interracially adopted, formerly incarcerated, LGBT+, minority woman. Her mission is to leverage adverse experiences to catalyze positive change in the community.
Just three years from her release from Michigan Department of Corrections in 2010, Ashley graduated Magna Cum Laude with her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from South University, built a service-based student organization, and secured employment working with adjudicated youth in residential placement at Metro-Detroit’s largest child-welfare agency, Vista Maria. Ashley’s expert experience, passion, engagement, and ability to inspire stakeholders, quickly earned her a leading role as Project Manager of Therapeutic Initiatives, where she designed and innovated therapeutic, educational and wellness programming for hundreds of youth and families. This included a human trafficking awareness program and an innovative expressive arts continuum that targeted trauma affected youth with juvenile justice adjudications.
In 2018, Ashley served as founding chair of University of Southern California’s Unchained Scholars, a student organization for graduate students of social work adversely affected by the criminal Justice System. In 2020, she graduated Suma Cum Laude with her master’s degree in Social Work, from USC. Ashley is a current Doctoral Candidate in Social Work at USC, and a 2021 JustLeadershipUSA Leading with Conviction Fellow.