Ashley Sawyer - Advancement Project - Advancement Project

Ashley Sawyer

Senior Staff Attorney, Opportunity to Learn

Ashley is a Senior Staff Attorney at Advancement Project, she is on the Opportunity to Learn team, working to build out AP’s vision of abundance and liberation for Black girls and femmes in public schools. From 2018-2021 Ashley was the Policy Director and Senior Director of Campaigns at Girls for Gender Equity (GGE) in Brooklyn, NY. Ashley developed GGE’s policy and organizing infrastructure to expand opportunities and well-being for young people, especially cis and trans youth of color, through city and state policies, coalition work, and legislative advocacy. Ashley was previously a staff attorney at Youth Represent, where she led the representation of youth facing school suspension hearings, and supported the organization’s School Justice Project. She also represented young people in misdemeanor criminal court, licensing hearings, housing court, and other civil legal issues. She led the reentry legal representation for girls and youth placed on the “womens” side of NYC jails. Ashley’s life work is situated where education justice and the criminal legal system collide, she is committed to dismantling prisons and all forms of state violence, to build communities that invest in Black youth rather than harming them. 

Ashley was previously a Stoneleigh Emerging Leader Fellow/Staff Attorney at the Education Law Center-PA, where she did special education litigation on behalf of criminalized youth, and policy projects focused on dismantling the School-to-Prison Pipeline, she also led a project focused on reducing the disproportionate school exclusion of Black girls in Philadelphia. Ashley is an alumna of the Howard University School of Law and Douglass College at Rutgers University. She is licensed to practice in the State of New York.