Sarah Balcha holds a Master of Public Policy from the University of Southern California, a BA in Sociology from Syracuse University, and is a proud California Community College graduate. Sarah is interested in dismantling all systems that oppress Black people. While at USC, Sarah was a Research Assistant for PERE/CSII conducting quantitative and qualitative analysis mainly on immigrant integration. Her practicum project consisted of a geographic needs’ assessment of homicides and non-fatal shootings in Los Angeles County, comparative case studies of national strategies that have reduced violence and reinvested incarceration funds, and an examination of the feasibility of these strategies in LA County.
Sarah is the child of an Ethiopian immigrant and grew up in both the Bay Area and Sacramento region. Before attending USC, Sarah spent time as a CalWORKs, CalFresh, and Welfare-to-Work caseworker. She also spent time as a fiscal policy analyst for the State of California, Department of Social Services. Sarah notes that her love for Black people and Black joy are the reason she does this work. Her love for Black communities is why she remains so committed to fighting against systemic racism and white supremacy that have allowed police officers to murder Oscar Grant, Sandra Bland, Stephon Clark, Breonna Taylor, and all the other names we never learned or know all too well.