Vivianne has been a social worker in criminal and civil defense for over twelve years and is the Director of Social Work and Mitigation at the Federal Defenders of New York in the Eastern District. Vivianne was previously an Investigator and Social Worker at the Southern Center for Human Rights in Atlanta, Georgia, where she supported litigation that challenged conditions in juvenile and adult jails and prisons in Georgia and Alabama, the provision of indigent defense in Georgia, and the proliferation of debtor’s prisons in Georgia.. Vivianne began working in public defense as a Social Worker at the Bronx Defenders in 2007, where she worked with clients charged in domestic violence and mental health courts. While working towards her Master’s Degree in Social Work, Vivianne conducted street outreach at The Bowery Residents’ Committee where she worked one-on-one with homeless individuals on the streets and in the subways of New York City.
Vivianne is a graduate of New York University and Columbia University’s School of Social Work (CSSW ‘08). Vivianne holds a certificate in Restorative Justice and Restorative Circles and received training from Kay Pranis, Planning Change, and the International Institute in Restorative Practices. Vivianne Guevara began facilitating peacemaking and community-building circles in 2014. Since 2014, Vivianne planned and facilitated circles within/for the criminal legal system, schools, universities, coalitions, community members, and private and non-profit organizations. She is a volunteer circle-keeper at Hidden Water in NYC, an adjunct professor at CSSW, and a co-teacher of the first restorative justice class at CSSW. Vivianne comes from a family of farmworkers, religious workers, and social justice workers, and strives to honor their legacy and that of her ancestors through a life of service. She continues to learn through teaching others and by providing opportunities that promote community and healing.