Our Cut50 Director's Intern Explores Oakland

Bailey with Cut50 President and Co-Founder Van Jones
Bailey with Cut50 President and Co-Founder Van Jones

Bailey Colfax, '19, is a Director's Intern this summer at Cut50, a national bipartisan effort to smartly and safely reduce America’s incarcerated population by 50 percent over the next 10 years, based in Oakland, California. We caught up with the Santa Fe, NM, native to see what she has been up to.

What do you study at Harvard? How have your academics influenced your internship and vice versa?

I am an African and African-American Studies and History joint concentrator. So I am very tuned into how the intersection of race and history has changed the world we are in. Every morning I ride from a predominantly affluent white area to the predominantly poor black community where I work. The border between these two communities is marked by the highway running between them. I learned that this racial segregation goes back to WWI when the Bay Area was a huge ship building site. The white ship builders lived closer to the bay and the black workers lived across the highway in housing projects. This sharp segregation remains today.


What is your favorite part of your internship?
I really enjoy the fast paced nature of my internship. Everyday I am doing something new and exciting!

What would surprise people about your experience in your city or internship?
I think people would be surprised at how stunningly beautiful this city is. Each morning I get to look over the crystal clear bay, and each day I remain impressed.