Achieving LGBTQ Equality Through Litigation, Legislation, Policy, and Public Education

Shannan Wilber, Esq.

Youth Policy Director

Shannan joined NCLR in 2013 to direct and expand the impact of NCLR’s Youth Project, reaching out to the most vulnerable LGBT youth across the country and working on their behalf to advance their safety, inclusion, and well-being.

Early in her career, Shannan helped launch Legal Advocates for Children and Youth, a California-based agency that now serves hundreds of children a year in state court proceedings. Her experience representing individual children in juvenile court inspired her to join the Youth Law Center in 1992, where she engaged in policy advocacy and impact litigation to reform child welfare and juvenile justice systems for nine years.

Between 2001 and 2012, Shannan served as the Executive Director of Legal Services for Children, a nonprofit law office in San Francisco that represents children in foster care, guardianship, education and immigration proceedings. She served for many years as a member of NCLR’s Board of Directors and as co-counsel on cases protecting LGBT youth against forced institutionalization and cases asserting the rights of children. She also worked with NCLR and others to create professional standards governing the care of LGBT youth in state custody, and to launch the Equity Project, dedicated to ensuring equal and respectful treatment of LGBT youth in the juvenile justice system.

Shannan received her B.A. from Michigan State University and her J.D. from Santa Clara University. She has received numerous awards and honors for her work, including the 2003 Livingston Hall Juvenile Justice Award from the American Bar Association and the 2004 Outstanding Legal Advocacy Award from the National Association of Counsel for Children.

Favorite Quote

“Always remember that justice is what love looks like in public”

– Cornell West

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