Daily Record Staff//August 24, 2022
//August 24, 2022
With an educational background in criminal justice, Schai Schairer has used her expertise to address injustices. As the founder of Fighting Injustice Standing Together (FIST), a nonprofit that provides women-specific tools, resources, and care for both currently and formerly incarcerated women, Schairer works to aid women’s re-entry into society with skills and confidence.
Since its inception in 2019, FIST has served more than 130 women inside the Maryland Correctional Institute for Women. According to Schairer, each participant reported the program has empowered them to articulate their thoughts, individuality, and passions which increased their confidence to apply for, obtain and retain jobs. Graduates reported having a greater understanding of how to outline and achieve their goals, and an increase in their wellness.
While simultaneously being on the ground personally mentoring and sponsoring these inmates, Schairer is also working towards obtaining her Harvard Kennedy School, Nonprofit Executive Leadership Certificate, and is near completion of her Master’s in Social Work (MSW) from Howard University. She also serves as a respite care provider for an 11-year-old foster child recovering from trauma.
Schairer has been named a 2022 recipient of the Montgomery County Serves Award for excellence in volunteering. FIST was also named a finalist in the Harvard Kennedy School’s New World Social Innovation Program.