Resource Development Associates

Cherida Smith, M.S.

Program Associate

Cherida comes to RDA with expertise in criminology and education. She applies this knowledge to projects intended to help structural inequities among disenfranchised communities, specifically within justice and academic systems.

Cherida began her career as an educator, teaching English as a Second Language to low-income students in Washington, DC. Prior to RDA, she helped design and develop the Juvenile Alternatives to Suspension Program (JASP) at Visitacion Valley Middle School in San Francisco. In collaboration with San Francisco Unified School District, San Francisco Department of Juvenile Probation and a community based non-profit organization, the JASP program aimed to mitigate the school-to-prison pipeline among at-risk youth in San Francisco’s lowest performing middle school. During her experience with JASP, Cherida created the criteria of the program and provided direct services to students and their families.

Cherida’s academic background is in justice policy, and combined with her experience as an educator, she continues to be passionate about eliminating racial and ethnic disparities in schools and in the criminal justice system.


  • B.A. in Sociology – Spelman College, Atlanta
  • M.S. in Justice, Law, & Society – American University, Washington, D.C.

Select Projects

  • AB 109 Evaluation (Sonoma County)
  • Alameda County Proposition 47 Evaluation
  • Contra Costa County Office of Reentry and Justice, Reentry System Strategic Plan
  • Oakland Police Department Measure Z Evaluation