Race, Gender, and the School-to-Prison Pipeline: Expanding Our Discussion to Black Girls

Race, Gender, and the School-to-Prison Pipeline: Expanding Our Discussion to Black Girls argues that the "pipeline" metaphor fails to capture and respond to the set of conditions affecting Black girls today, building upon AAPF's long articulated stance that an intersectional analysis is the key tool needed to reveal the causal and correlative factors that contribute to Black girls and women's continuing vulnerabilities inside and outside of our immediate communities.  By pulling together a substantive body of literature, author Monique Morris articulates what we have all long known: The current "crisis" in Black communities is one faced by our boys and our girls.

Confined in California

Confined in California: Women and Girls of Color in Custody, co-authored by Monique Morris, Stephanie Bush-Baskette, and Kimberlé Crenshaw, sheds light upon the increasing rates of criminalization and incarceration of Black and Latina women in California over the last decade.  The Report presents statistics on adult and juvenile females of color, highlighting the connection between race, gender, and criminalization in California.  Significant statistical trends in criminalization are highlighted, revealing racialized and gendered vulnerabilities that, when compounded, create a pipeline to incarceration to which girls and women of color are specially vulnerable.  The Report goes on to highlight policy, research, and programmatic implications for its findings, ultimately underscoring the ongoing need for further statistical work in the field in addition to issuing a call for gender and race sensitive interventions honed to combat disproportionate criminalization and incarceration of females of color in the future.

Intersectionality Learning Circle Practitioner's Toolkit

The Learning Circle Toolkit is the result of a collaborative project undertaken by the African American Policy Forum, generously funded by the Public Welfare Foundation.  We gathered together a group of scholars, activists, community leaders, and students who were actively involved in combating systemic racial and gender injustice at both the community and national level, with special focus on the over incarceration of girls and women of color in the United States.  Our collaborators came from diverse backgrounds and brought a wealth of experiences with them to our Learning Circles. In an effort to heal our communities we crossed the divides between our diverse spaces and backgrounds and came together to have a conversation.  Through our collective difficulties, triumphs, and growing pains we learned that hosting learning circles focusing on the over incarceration of girls and women of color is both an incredibly important undertaking as well as quite difficult to execute.  Deciding that many other potential circles could benefit from the experience, we came together outside the circle in order to create this Toolkit.  We have pooled our resources as well as the wealth of knowledge we shared amongst and between one another within the learning circles we held in 2010 and 2011, and created this Advocate’s Toolkit.

Mission

Founded in 1996 to promote women's rights in the context of struggles for racial justice, AAPF works to advance racial justice, gender equality, and human rights, both in the United States and internationally.  AAPF is an innovative think tank that connects academics, activists, and policy-makers in dismantling structural inequality and engages new ideas and perspectives to transform public discourse and policy.  AAPF's work promotes frameworks and strategies that adress the bases of discrimination as they relate to the intersections of race, gender, and class.  

Kimberlé Crenshaw

Kimberlé Crenshaw, Professor of Law at UCLA and Columbia Law School, is a leading authority in the area of Civil Rights, Black feminist legal theory, and race, racism and the law.  Her articles have appeared in the Harvard Law Review, National Black Law Journal, Stanford Law Review and Southern California Law Review. She is the founding coordinator of the Critical Race Theory Workshop, and the co-editor of the volume, Critical Race Theory: Key Documents That Shaped the Movement. Crenshaw has lectured widely on race matters, addressing audiences across the country as well as in Europe, India, Africa and South America. A specialist on race and gender equality, she has facilitated workshops for human rights activists in Brazil and in India, and for constitutional court judges in South Africa. Her groundbreaking work on “Intersectionality” has traveled globally and was influential in the drafting of the equality clause in the South African Constitution. Crenshaw authored the background paper on Race and Gender Discrimination for the United Nation’s World Conference on Racism, served as the Rapporteur for the conference’s Expert Group on Gender and Race Discrimination, and coordinated NGO efforts to ensure the inclusion of gender in the WCAR Conference Declaration.

Crenshaw has worked extensively on a variety of issues pertaining to gender and race in the domestic arena including violence against women, structural racial inequality, and affirmative action.  She has served as a member of the National Science Foundation’s committee to research violence against women and has consulted with leading foundations, social justice organizations and corporations to advance their race and gender equity initiatives.

In 1996, she co-founded the African American Policy Forum to house a variety of projects designed to deliver research-based strategies to better advance social inclusion.  Among the Forum’s projects are the Affirmative Action Research and Policy Consortium and the Multiracial Literacy and Leadership Initiative.  In partnership with the Aspen Roundtable for Community Change, Crenshaw facilitated workshops on racial equity for hundreds of community leaders and organizations throughout the country.  With the support of the Rockefeller Foundation, Crenshaw facilitates the Bellagio Project, an international network of scholars working in the field of social inclusion from five continents. Previously, she has served as Committee Chair for the U.S.-Brazil Joint Action Plan to Promote Racial and Ethnic Equality, an initiative of the U.S. State Department. A founding member of the Women’s Media Initiative, Crenshaw writes for Ms. Magazine, the Nation and other print media, and has appeared as a regular commentator on “The Tavis Smiley Show,” NPR, and MSNBC.

Twice awarded Professor of the Year at UCLA Law School, Crenshaw received the Lucy Terry Prince Unsung Heroine Award presented by the Lawyers’ Committee on Civil Rights Under Law, and the ACLU Ira Glasser Racial Justice Fellowship from 2005-07.  Crenshaw has received the Fulbright Distinguished Chair for Latin America, the Alphonse Fletcher Fellowship, and was a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University in 2009 and a Visiting Fellow at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy in 2010.  Crenshaw has previously served as the Faculty Director of the Critical Race Studies program at UCLA School of Law.  Crenshaw currently serves as the Executive Director of the Center for Intersectionality & Social Policy Studies at Columbia Law School.

Co-Founders

Kimberlé Crenshaw

Kimberlé Crenshaw, Professor of Law at UCLA and Columbia Law School, is a leading authority in the area of Civil Rights, Black feminist legal theory, and race, racism and the law.  Her articles have appeared in the Harvard Law Review, National Black Law Journal, Stanford Law Review and Southern California Law Review. She is the founding coordinator of the Critical Race Theory Workshop, and the co-editor of the volume, Critical Race Theory: Key Documents That Shaped the Movement. Crenshaw has lectured widely on race matters, addressing audiences across the country as well as in Europe, India, Africa and South America. Read More.

Luke Harris

Dr. Luke Charles Harris is the former Chair of the Department of Political Science at Vassar College, where he teaches American Politics and Constitutional Law; and the Co-founder of the African American Policy Forum (Policy Forum). The Policy Forum was developed as part of an ongoing effort to promote women’s rights in the context of struggles for racial justice. It is a media-monitoring think-tank and information clearinghouse that works to bridge the gap between scholarly research and public debates on questions of inequality, discrimination and injustice. Read More.

Focus

Currently, AAPF is focusing its efforts in three distinct areas: Affirmative ActionIntersectionality, and Structural Racism.  Many of the projects that we are working on in these areas involve challenging the accepted “color-blindness” theory and shedding light on issues that, having originated with historical trends of racial bias and discrimination, continue to pose a threat to individuals in modern society. By producing and coordinating materials such as youth workshops, research articles and media outlets, the Policy Forum is hoping to achieve its goals in these three areas and give a voice to the counter-narratives that are so often ignored in the media today.

Structural Racism

Structural Racism is the concept that explains how structural inequalities premised on race are created and maintained over time. Much of AAPF's structural racism work aims to offer better articulations of the historical and cultural origins of structural racism in the Untied States in addition to identifying key ways to combat structural racism.  Learn More.

Intersectionality

Intersectionality is a concept that enables us to recognize the fact that perceived group membership can make people vulnerable to various forms of bias, yet because we are simultaneously members of many groups, our complex identities can shape the specific way we each experience that bias.  Much of AAPF's intersectional work focusses on the unique vulnerabilities that women of color experience in the United States.  Learn More.

Affirmative Action

Affirmative Action policies and programs are a kind of institutional response to structural inequalities. They work by opening up pathways to opportunity by taking a particular characteristic—such as race, gender, sexual orientation, or disability—into account in decisions regarding admission into a college or university or hiring decisions.  Much of AAPF's affirmative action work aims to frame affirmative action as a inequity correcting - rather than preference giving - structural intervention.  Learn More.