Meet the Change Agents
Sara J. Kruzan
a.k.a Agent Sarajay Faith
Carrie Christie never thought about mass incarceration, California’s prison problem or those living behind the walls until studying at San Diego State University. Carrie was inspired by a Women’s Studies course taught by Sophia Arredondo, Women of Color in the United States, an experience that opened her eyes to the extreme struggles faced by women in our modern justice system. During the course, a screening of the film Sin by Silence reminded her of the story she heard about Sara Kruzan. A letter from Carrie to Sara changed everything. Carrie focused on Sara and her well-being instead of fighting a broken system that does not fully comprehend the complexities of abuse and trauma. Through careful orchestration of letter writing and social media campaigns, media coverage, landing the story on the Dr. Phil show, senate and assembly hearings, a change.org petition gathering over a quarter of a million signatures, continuing efforts to keep the pressure on the Riverside District Attorney, a worldwide movement was born. This ultimately led to a friendship and a shared experience of working together to educate the masses while fighting for Sara's freedom. This lead to the creation I am SJK. The notion that anyone could have been Sara resonated with people around the globe. People found similarities and common threads with Sara’s life story. A new kind of community was born; insiders and outsiders worked together to create real change, and after years of advocacy—Sara came home. At this point, their focus naturally shifted from freedom fighting to planning for Sara’s successful reentry. Today, I am SJK looks to use what was accomplished for Sara as a blueprint for the other ladies left behind. Our team continues to give hope and a voice to the women who still reside behind the walls.
Carrie works in the mental health field at Mental Health America of San Diego County. MHASD envisions a just, humane and healthy society in which all people are accorded respect, dignity and the opportunity to achieve their full potential free from stigma and prejudice. She is currently a Mental Health First Aid Instructor and has taught hundreds of trainings in diverse venues, certifying thousands of participants at schools, universities, non-profits, social service agencies, prisons, human trafficking safe houses, churches, community centers and a variety of other organizations. She enjoys facilitating groups and using expressive arts as a vehicle to connect, transform heartache into hope and help those on their journey of healing. Carrie’s philosophy is simple, lift as you climb. Her favorite affirmation is, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has (Margaret Mead).