Raquel Mariscal is a member of the Social Justice and Well-being team with the W. Haywood Burns Institute. She was a founding member of the institute’s Board of Directors. Raquel brings over 25 years of local and national work with issues of social justice, youth justice systems reform, and racial and ethnic equity.  Raquel has worked across public and private sectors in various capacities such as non-profit direct service and management, local government and philanthropy.  Her journey has included establishing structures for access to and the provision of equitable and quality health care; strong advocacy and policy change agent for poor and people of color and families impacted by the adult and youth justice systems; and, working to ensure that Latinx and Native American youth, families, and communities are included in justice transformation. Born and raised in California’s Central Valley, her personal and family’s farmworker legacy has shaped her values and principles.  Raquel’s diverse experience, knowledge and passion compliments and supports the mission and vision of the W. Haywood Burns Institute.

Raquel previously worked with the Annie E. Casey Foundation as the Senior Associate for Juvenile Justice Reform.  Her primary focus was to co-manage the implementation and development of the foundations Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI).  She has been instrumental in developing strategies, tools and technologies to guide local and state youth justice systems toward technical and adaptive policy, program and practice changes to reduce racial and ethnic disparities and the use of detention for youth across the country.  Throughout the development of JDAI, she visited numerous jurisdictions across the country; provided direct technical assistance; organized and managed over a dozen national inter-site conferences; and, facilitated numerous trainings and workshops.  Raquel managed and provided support to site based technical assistants and team leaders.

With the W. Haywood Burns Institute she continued as Director of JDAI. She recently transitioned to her current position where she assists in the management and design of a place based Well-being framework that seeks to deconstruct how structural racism lives in the administration of justice and provision of human services; and restructure systems to provide for structural Well-being.

Raquel earned a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from Monterey College of Law.  She worked as a Public Defender for over a decade in Santa Cruz County, CA.  She has sat on numerous local and national Board of Director’s including Justice for Families, the Center for Young Women’s Development (now known as The Young Women’s Freedom Center), The Fund for Nonviolence, and the W. Haywood Burns Institute.

Raquel is the proud mother of Xochitlquetzal and Gabriel, son-in-law Jesse, daughter-in-law Diana, and the even prouder grandmother of Cuauhtemoc and Jesse, Jr and Paloma.

Raquel can be reached at