Structural Racism

Negril 2011

The African American Policy Forum (AAPF) hosted its 6th annual Social Justice Writers Workshop in July of 2011 from the 13th to the 27th.  The goal of the Workshop is to bring together a community of like-minded scholars and advocates to provide critical feedback on both individual research and AAPF work projects designed to advance social justice.  This exchange of ideas plays a critical role in enhancing the publications of attendees as well as the productivity of AAPF’s various programs.  This year, the workshop allowed participants to present articles that emerged from last years’ Critical Race Studies Conference on Intersectionality that are scheduled for publication.  The retreat is among the most important and valuable activities that AAPF facilitates in order to bridge scholarly research and public discourse pertaining to social justice. As a conveyor of information between the academy and civil society, AAPF recognizes the importance of developing environments in which ideas can be hatched, nurtured, and readied for “prime time.”  

Although many of the participants work in academic institutions and social justice networks, AAPF realizes that existing institutional settings do not always provide the most fertile terrain for the development of ideas to advance scholar’s and activist’s projects. Consequently, AAPF seeks to create environments built around broadly shared values and visions of society in order to support and sustain this work.



Crenshaw Highlight Reel

This segment features highlights of co-founder Professor Kimberle Crenshaw’s commentaries, television appearances, debates and public speaking engagements. She shares her opinions and knowledge about affirmative action, myths surrounding the Founding Fathers, the Obama presidency, and misconceptions about racial preferences. Features include the Tavis Smiley Show (PBS, 2008), Intelligence Squared Debate (Asia Society, 2007), CASBC Fletcher Fellows Public Lecture (2009) and Fulfilling the Dream Fund (Public Interest Projects, 2008).

Anisah (Interview by Janet Garcia)

Anisah, a reentry aid, a community associate, and a former incarceree discusses in depth the obstacles to employment for previously incarcerated women of color. She proposes an increase in workshops and apprenticeship, along with gender-specific solutions. Janet Garcia interviews Anisah, a formerly incarcerated 51 year old female. After five arrests and two separate terms in NY correctional facilities, she now serves as a reentry aid and a community associate. Anisah discusses in depth the obstacles to employment that previously incarcerated women, particularly African-American women, face. Specifically, there is a lack of employment opportunity for previously incarcerated African-American females due to the relative absence of African-American owned not-for-profit organizations. Anisah elaborates upon the problem by suggesting multi-racial inequalities and lack of opportunity. Furthermore, she brings up the problem of an extreme rate of incarceration for African-American males, which she believes adds increased pressure upon women to serve as caretakers for the family—which results in prostitution, drug and alcohol abuse and crime. Anisah suggests that the Department of Corrections focus on finding more gender-specific solutions to reentry problems for African-American women and maintain records of apprenticeship and training in order to alleviate the risk of unemployment upon attempts at reentry.