Alani Rouse is a community organizer, healer and artistic vessel. Originally from Eastern North Carolina by way of Greenville, she’s called Bull City home for over ten years. Alani is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a bachelor’s degree in African American & African Diaspora Studies. While studying in undergrad she was presented the National Juvenile Justice Network’s Young Justice Leader Award in 2019. Additionally, she acted as a policy consultant for the network, completed SECU’s Public Fellows Intern Program in the summer of 2022 and presented policy recommendations concerning the juvenile carceral system to the Biden-Harris Administration.
Alani’s organizing and advocacy journey blossomed her senior year of high school in 2018. She was gifted the opportunity to participate in a cohort of young people at the Southern Coalition for Social Justice where they focused on the ‘Raise the Age’ campaign in North Carolina. After North Carolina passed the law to change the age for children convicted as adults, a fire was lit in her spirit.
As time evolved, they developed a tenacity to advocate for the abolition of the school to prison pipeline, with a specialized focus on decriminalizing young people’s mental health. When COVID-19 ravaged the country, Alani used their passion for community to assist in providing resources for Black and Brown people experiencing food insecurity. As a teaching artist they’ve held creative spaces for folks of all ages across the country with the hope people can find freedom in creative expression. Most recently Alani completed a Hip-Hop and Poetry Teaching Residency at Cary Academy, co-facilitated a poetry workshop series for BlackSpace Durham, and held a writing and reflection space at Girls for Gender Equity NYC’s ‘Joyful Futures’ Event in 2023.
If Alani is not loving on her community and using the world as their muse, she loves to get lost in a book, spend time with her family and collect vinyl records.