FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 3, 2022
MEDIA CONTACT: SF Public Defender’s Office | Valerie.Ibarra@sfgov.org | (628)249-7946
SF Public Defender Announces Leadership Advancement of M.A.G.I.C. Directors
M.A.G.I.C. Programs Continue to Serve Local Youth & Families with Year-Round Resources & Annual Backpack Giveaways in August
SAN FRANCISCO – San Francisco Public Defender Mano Raju is announcing leadership changes at the Public Defender’s Office M.A.G.I.C. programs, which serve as a community connector and convener for those empowering the advancement of the education, health, and economic mobility for children, youth and their families in Bayview Hunters Point and Fillmore Western Addition. Longtime Executive Director of the B’MAGIC program, Lyslynn Lacoste, will be the new Chief of Staff for the Public Defender’s Office. Executive Director of Mo’MAGIC, Brittany Ford, will now lead both M.A.G.I.C. programs.
“Ms. Lacoste and Ms. Ford have become anchors in the community and I am proud and grateful to have them advance their leadership and further integrate the resources and opportunities for the neighborhoods we serve,” said Mano Raju. “Ms. Lacoste is a world-class administrator and champion for the community who is beloved throughout the city, and I am thrilled for her to take on her new role as Chief of Staff at the Public Defender’s Office. It has been amazing to witness Ms. Ford’s growth over the past three years and I am inspired by her ability to facilitate organizational connections while maintaining beautiful connections with our youth.”
M.A.G.I.C. – which stands for Mobilization for Adolescent Growth in our Communities – serves thousands of youth with year-round activities and community-building events. The San Francisco Public Defender’s Office established its first MAGIC program (B’MAGIC) in 2004 in collaboration with community-based organizations in the Bayview to connect youth and their families to neighborhood resources and opportunities with the goal of helping to keep local youth out of the criminal legal system. The program expanded to the Fillmore (Mo’MAGIC) in 2006.
“This integration will allow us to further build on and coordinate the MAGIC services we provide to the Western Addition and Bayview communities,” said Lyslynn Lacoste, who has led the award-winning B’MAGIC program for the past decade. “It’s an honor to transition into Chief of Staff for the Public Defender’s Office and to bring with me the spirit of community collaboration to our entire staff.”
“After three years leading the MAGIC program in the Fillmore Western Addition, I am thoroughly excited and overwhelmed with extreme gratitude to also serve the Bayview Hunters Point neighborhood. I look forward to carrying on the legacy of my predecessor through the MAGIC of collaboration and advocacy for children, youth and their families in the Bayview Hunters Point community,” said Brittany Ford.
This month, Mo’MAGIC and B’MAGIC will host their annual back-to-school events, which also serve as health and resource fairs, with free backpacks and school supplies for neighborhood K-12 students, music, food, prizes, and more – Mo’MAGIC on Saturday, August 6th at the Ella Hill Hutch Community Center at 1050 McAllister Street from 10am-2pm; and B’MAGIC on Saturday, August 13th at NOW Hunters Point at 155 Jennings Street from 11am-2pm.
“Community is at the center of our work as public defenders, and the ongoing work of our M.A.G.I.C. programs is designed to build community power for youth and their families and to end the school to prison pipeline,” said Mano Raju.
Background on Lyslynn Lacoste
Lyslynn Lacoste’s new role is the Chief of Staff for the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office. As the Executive Director of B’MAGIC for the last 11 years, Ms. Lacoste brings her experience supporting a collaborative network of more than 75 community-based organizations, schools, faith-based organizations, and city departments. Much of her work has centered on Black youth and community, who represent a disproportionately large percentage of the Public Defender’s clients.
Ms. Lacoste is a first generation American, whose family is originally from Haiti. For 25 years, she has diligently served youth through engaging in leadership development, mentoring and advocating for juvenile justice reform. Ms. Lacoste entered Suffolk University Law School to focus on juvenile justice reform and prevention. There, she honed her skills through meaningful internships at Suffolk University’s Juvenile Justice Clinic and New York’s Legal Aid Society Criminal Defense Practice and Juvenile Rights Practice, eventually gaining her attorney license in New York.
Ms. Lacoste was nominated in 2012 and 2018 by the late Public Defender Jeff Adachi for the City’s Public Managerial Excellence Award, and developed and implemented three research and strategic reports (i.e. B’MAGIC’s Landscape Analysis 2013, 2017, 2021).
Background on Brittany Ford
Brittany Ford is the new Executive Director overseeing both MAGIC programs. Ms. Ford was named Director of the Mo’MAGIC community collaborative in February 2019, and is passionate about making the Fillmore and Bayview Districts a safe place with excellent opportunities for everyone. She has been part of the Collective Impact staff team since 2014, and previously served as Magic Zone Middle School Lead, where she managed all aspects of programming for grades 6 to 8; she also took on the role of Finance & Operations Assistant, providing administrative support for the organization.
Ms. Ford was born and raised in Oakland, and graduated from California State University, Northridge in 2012 with a B.A. in Journalism, with an emphasis in Public Relations. She has served as a Community Advocate for the Community Youth Center of San Francisco, instructing earthquake preparedness workshops in the Western Addition, and as an Educational Advisor for PACT Inc.