Sarah Yousuf is the Senior Supervising Attorney at the Mental Health Legal Advisors Committee (MHLAC), the legal services program in Massachusetts that works to secure and protect the legal rights of persons involved in mental health and intellectual and developmental disabilities programs.
Before joining MHLAC, Sarah was the Associate Director of City and County Policy at the Community Renewal Society (CRS), in Chicago, where she led legislative efforts around the Just Housing Initiative and advised the Community Development team on housing and employment policies at the local level.
Prior to her work for CRS, Sarah served as the Policy Director for United Congress of Community and Religious Organizations. Sarah led UCCRO’s advocacy efforts in passing The End Booking Stations Act, The Trust Act, and The VOICES Act. She coordinated trips to the state capitol among UCCRO members, organizing UCCRO’s lobby day. Prior to working for UCCRO, Sarah was the Violence Prevention Coordinator at Enlace Chicago, where she convened the Violence Prevention Collaborative, comprised of various stakeholders, including representatives from community-based organizations, local churches, the Chicago Police Department, and Chicago Public Schools. Together, the collaborative addressed issues of gang violence within the community by organizing rallies, hosting community peace circles, and participating in education campaigns aimed at raising awareness of the resources available to community residents.
Sarah has an intimate knowledge of the workings of the criminal justice system, as she has worked as a public defender for the Office of the Cook County Public Defender, where she represented parents whose children were taken away due to allegations of child abuse and neglect. She has also worked at the California Innocence Project, where she investigated claims of innocence submitted by incarcerated individuals within California. Sarah received her J.D. from California Western School of Law and her undergraduate degree from Loyola University Chicago.