Brittany V.Z. Smith, Program Assistant

Pronoun: She/Her

We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.
— Maya Angelou

Brittany Smith is a Program Assistant with the Center for NuLeadership on Urban Solutions, an independent research, training and advocacy think tank that applies Human Justice to achieve public safety, racial equity, community investment, human development and well-being in society. Founded and developed by academic professionals with prior experience within the criminal punishment system, the organization is the first of its kind in the country.

Brittany Smith was born and raised in Jamaica, Queens, New York with an older brother and an incredible single Mom who instilled in us that honesty is the best policy. She encouraged Brittany and her brother to always be leaders, to follow their dreams and to accomplish their goals.

Brittany comes from a family where many have been formerly incarcerated and has witnessed their struggles with reintegrating into the community. Witnessing these struggles made Brittany want to be a part of the solution to issues people who are system involved face. As the proud mother of a 5-year-old son, Brittany has seen how the school system tries to place stigmas on her child, forcing her to consider what may happen to him when he comes of age. At 5 years old, Brittany’s son has already commented on his fear of the police acknowledging that he is afraid of them because they may shoot him. Brittany came to the Center to be a part of something that relieves the stigma and racialized targeting of youth like her son Isreal and other black and brown children.

In 2014 Brittany started as a CNUS intern through Berkeley College and was very interested in the Juvenile Justice/Youth part of the program because she wanted to work with incarcerated youth to help influence and empower them in a positive way. Brittany is committed to instilling a level of positivity in the lives of justice involved youth so that they may maintain a hope that life can be fruitful and productive.

Brittany now serves as the CNUS Program Assistant. Brittany has a mind that is open to learning and experience new things. She is also at the helm of the Center’s programmatic and logistical planning, assisting all staff in scheduling, program planning, organizational management and project development and completion. Nothing happens at the Center without Brittany’s go ahead.

Finally, through Project ReNu, Brittany is the resident Project Renu expert assisting community members with obtaining rap sheets and determining their eligibility for certificates of rehabilitation.

Brittany is passionate about her son Isreal (“Izzy”), and about the work of the Center for NuLeadership