Lisa Fujie Parks, Associate Program Director
“Growing up female and mixed race in the US and Japan gave me an appreciation for the role of community and culture in shaping our lives, including our access to the basic building blocks of health, and the norms that have a profound effect on what is considered right and wrong. Exposure to social justice movements in the US gave me an appreciation for cultural change through collective action. We have the power to create inclusive communities that care for everyone. Prevention Institute embodies that belief in the possibilities of communities.”
Lisa Fujie Parks has 25 years of program and policy experience in community development and public health. She is widely recognized as a thought leader in community approaches to preventing intimate partner violence and sexual violence. In 2014, through a statewide network analysis, she was identified as one of the top 20 thought leaders in the domestic violence field in California, reflecting her high level of engagement and collaboration. She received a California Legislature Certificate of Recognition in 2012 for her advocacy work to promote environments that support young people in developing healthy relationships free from violence and abuse. Lisa has served on numerous advisory boards, including the National Intimate Partner Violence Prevention Council Steering Committee, the NoVo Foundation Move to End Violence Initiative Advisory Group, and the California Department of Public Health Domestic Violence Primary Prevention Project Advisory Team, among many others.
Lisa joined Prevention Institute for three years beginning in 2004, then left for seven years to pursue state-level prevention and policy coalition work. She returned to Prevention Institute in 2014, where her work now focuses on promoting community-driven, multisector collaboration to build community resilience, and heal and prevent interrelated forms of violence and trauma.
Lisa is a systems thinker who helps to build bridges across disciplines, relationships among people, and capacity through partnerships. She gathers input, conducts analyses, develops strategy, and helps strengthen capacity through coaching and supporting communities of practice.
Lisa has facilitated numerous capacity-building and strategic-planning processes that have resulted in the development and implementation of local and state strategic plans. In 2017, she was a lead consultant for the Milwaukee Blueprint for Peace, the East San Jose PEACE Partnership Plan, and the Kansas City Missouri Youth and Family Violence Prevention Master Plan. She now serves as lead consultant in a blueprint planning process in Contra Costa County, California, and provides capacity-building support to numerous cities and counties in their efforts to advance a coordinated agenda to shift policy and resources to build safe and equitable communities. Lisa blends her deep knowledge of best practices in community-based public health with her commitment to constituency-driven organizing and advocacy. Local leaders she has coached describe her as thoughtful, knowledgeable, sensitive to the political, social, and environmental factors that can advance or impede progress, tenacious, patient, collaborative, and encouraging.
Lisa is the author of many publications, including Prevention Institute reports, briefs, and profiles on violence prevention, health equity, multi-sector collaboration, and strategies to change policies, systems, and norms. Lisa has also often been quoted in media outlets, including USA Today, The Nation's Health, Sacramento Bee, and TV news and radio programs.
Lisa currently serves on the Board of Directors of Our Family Coalition, a San Francisco Bay Area based nonprofit that advances equity for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) families through support, education, and advocacy. She also serves on the teaching team of the East Bay Meditation Center’s Family Practice Group.
Lisa has always been passionate about social justice and inclusive, healthy communities. Understanding the critical importance of economic opportunity and built/physical environment needs, she began her professional career in the field of community development in San Francisco as project manager and services planner for the Tenants and Owners Development Corporation. She managed the development of affordable housing, brought integrated behavioral health services to the South of Market neighborhood, and conducted voter education and registration activities. Having witnessed the harms of structural and interpersonal violence and the need for community healing and prevention, Lisa joined Communities United Against Violence in San Francisco as education director in 1998. She developed curricula and conducted trainings on relationship violence prevention and coordinated the development and launch of the LOVE & JUSTICE Project, one of the country’s first LGBTQ youth relationship violence prevention projects.
“My experience in the community development field showed me how violence and trauma are real barriers to housing and employment, and how a lack of collective response frays the community’s social fabric. This led me to pursue a holistic public health approach to healing and preventing violence and trauma. More and more, I understand that a strong social fabric based on meaningful inclusion and connection is the foundation for a safe and thriving community.”
From 2000 to 2003, Lisa served as associate director of programs for San Francisco Women Against Rape. During this time, she played a key role in advancing a citywide response and developed a community-based prevention initiative. From 2006 to 2009, she managed the LGBTQ Domestic Violence Training and Technical Assistance Project, working with staff from three organizations to design and carry out a statewide needs assessment, devise a statewide training and technical assistance (TAT) plan, develop a TAT toolkit, and deliver over 500 hours of training and technical assistance on recommended policies and practices to reduce anti-LGBTQ bias and increase accessibility of services to LGBTQ communities.
Lisa holds a master’s degree in public health from San Francisco State University and a bachelor’s degree in international studies from Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana.