DR. MONIQUE W. MORRIS
Founder, National Black Women’s Justice Institute
For three decades, Dr. Monique Morris has been dedicated to the uplifting of black women. An award-winning author and social justice scholar, Morris is also the founder of the National Black Women’s Justice Institute, an organization that works to “interrupt school-to confinement pathways for girls” and also aims to help formerly incarcerated women find employment. Additionally, the organization aims to reduce sexual assault and domestic violence in communities.
The author of several books, including 2019’s Sing a Rhythm, Dance a Blues: Education for the Liberation of Black and Brown Girls, which explores the criminalization of black and brown girls in schools, and 2016’s Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools, she urges all black women to embrace their power.
“I would like for black women to continue standing in space, advocacy and healing with and for black girls—demanding and supporting policies and practices that engage and respond to us at the intersection of our identities, as well as equipping ourselves with the resources and other tools that can help us heal as we seek to introduce and sustain that healing for our girls and young women,” says Morris. “Declaring the sacredness of our girls means that we must also honor that sacred space in ourselves.”
Her 2020 NAACP Image Award–nominated film, PUSHOUT: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools began airing earlier this years on PBS. —Y.C.