Cheryl Bonacci (She/Her)

Director Of Storytelling

Cheryl is the Director of Storytelling for Civil Rights Corps. In collaboration with all CRC departments, Cheryl and the Storytelling team guide the organization’s narrative strategies and campaigns helping to highlight the human toll the criminal system takes on our communities.

Cheryl brings to CRC twenty-one years of systemic reform work in California. She served as a founding director of The Anti-Recidivism Coalition where she helped develop the organization’s core programs and operational infrastructure before leading its communications efforts. Most recently, Cheryl served as Director of Communications for The National Institute for Criminal Justice Reform; a non-profit providing research, training, and technical assistance around areas of system reform, violence reduction/interruption, and youth development, and Co-Founder of Creative Acts; a non-profit seeking to transform social justice issues through the revolutionary power of the Arts. With broad areas of expertise, she has the distinctive ability to facilitate action-driven dialogues across government and community forums, promoting mutual understanding and sustainable change. Elevating the voices of those most impacted by the criminal system continues to be her motivation.

Her career journey includes direct service as a Catholic Chaplain working with children being convicted as adults, program development and implementation for people who have experienced incarceration and crafting narrative strategies on how we see and treat our most marginalized communities. Cheryl’s expertise has been influential in shifting policy changes in the California criminal system, creating employment opportunities for people who have experienced incarceration in fields such as entertainment and construction, and perhaps most importantly, mentoring our next generation of leaders and change-makers; young men and women who have experienced incarceration.

“The ripple effect of our criminal system has destroyed individuals, families, and communities for generations. When we see each other in our humanity, we are invested in each other’s safety and success. This is where change happens.”