Who We Are
BreakOUT! Founding Members
Statement of "Who We Are" from BreakOUT! youth members coming soon!
Wesley Ware, Director
Wes is the founder and Director of BreakOUT!, an organization dedicated to fighting the criminalization of LGBTQ youth in New Orleans, LA, and is a 2011 Soros U.S. Justice Fellowship recipient. He previously served as the LGBTQ Youth Project Director at the Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana (JJPL) where he authored the report, Locked Up & Out: Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth in Louisiana’s juvenile justice system. Wes has trained all levels of juvenile justice system stakeholders on working with LGBTQ youth, including youth detention centers in Louisiana. He has helped pass and implement policies for LGBTQ youth in New Orleans' youth detention center, provided technical assistance to alternative juvenile justice programs becoming more LGBTQ-competent, and informed juvenile justice standards and policy guidelines at the local and national level. He has presented at conferences and meetings on the subject, including the National Institute of Corrections, MacArthur Models for Change, Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative, and more. Wes also serves on the Advisory Board for the Equity Project, a national initiative to bring fairness and equity to LGBTQ youth in juvenile delinquency courts. At JJPL, he coordinated the investigation for a class-action lawsuit on behalf of youth detained in New Orleans and monitored the conditions of three state-run youth prisons in Louisiana. His essay, “’Rounding Up The Homosexuals’: The Impact of Juvenile Court on Queer and Trans/Gender Non-conforming Youth” is published in the anthology, Captive Genders: Trans Embodiment and the Prison Industrial Complex. A native Southerner, Wes graduated with a degree in Gender Studies and African American Studies from Georgia State University and has organized across a span of social justice issues in Georgia, including organizing family members of incarcerated adults.
Advisory Board Members
Deon Haywood, Women With a Vision
Ursula Price, Community Organizer
Charlotte D'Ooge, Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana
Xochitl Bervera, Social Justice Leadership
Interns and Volunteers
BreakOUT! could not exist without the support of our community, allies, allied organizations, interns, and volunteers. There are far too many to count!
And of course, many thanks to staff of the Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana for their support!