LilyGonzalez is a full time student, mother, activist and part time blogger. She is a native Angeleno, born and raised in South Central Los Angeles. After finishing an 18-month program at Homeboy Industries, an LA-based organization that provides training and support to formerly gang-involved and previously incarcerated men and women, Lily obtained her undergraduate degree in Chicano/a Studies at California State University at Northridge. She is currently working towards her Master’s Degree and will finish in the spring of 2018. In her free time, Lily is a mom working to raise a teenage daughter (15) and toddler son (4).
Lily writes for the La Comadre, a blog that emphasizes the challenges that people of color face and the importance of obtaining degrees in higher education. Formerly incarcerated Latinas are usually reluctant to “come out” since there is much shame associated with incarceration, especially for those who are mothers who are supposed to be the pillars of their families and communities. La Comadre has enabled Lily to begin a new conversation about women who are formerly incarcerated by talking about how her own incarceration impacted her daughter and her daughter’s education. Changing the narrative is part of her commitment and success.
Lily is the first woman to earn a Bachelor’s Degree and start a Master’s program straight from Homeboy Industries, and has come out as a formerly incarcerated graduate student at California State University, Northridge. This has given her a platform to address issues around reentry and education and to educate people about how incarceration directly impacts children. She plays a leadership role at her university and is the co-founder of Revolutionary Scholars an on campus organization in support of students affected by mass incarceration.