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NBWJI Mission

We research, elevate, and educate the public about innovative, community-led solutions to address the criminalization of Black women and girls. We aim to dismantle the racist and patriarchal U.S. criminal-legal system and build, in its place, pathways to opportunity and healing.


We envision a society that respects, values, and honors the humanity of Black women and girls, takes accountability for the harm it has inflicted, and recognizes that real justice is healing.

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Core Commitments


Dismantle pathways to criminalization and confinement for Black women and girls.

Racial and gender inequities are embedded in U.S. systems and institutions. These inequities produce unjust barriers and disadvantages that increase Black women and girls’ risk of coming in contact with law enforcement, courts, and places of confinement. It is critical that we study and understand risk and protective factors to create interventions and advance policy that build avenues to success and well-being for Black women and girls.


Increase and enhance opportunities with and for formerly incarcerated women and girls.

Returning home from a period of confinement is a daunting experience filled with uncertainty, instability, and a sense of powerlessness. It is imperative that we increase access to services and strengthen and amplify community-led solutions—and we must do so in partnership with women and girls who have been incarcerated, as well as the organizations that support them.


Promote healing-centered justice.

The overwhelming majority of Black women and girls who come in contact with the criminal legal system have experienced deep trauma and harm in their lives. The status quo of criminalization and punishment only causes more trauma and does not heal or increase public safety. We must advocate for access to and expansion of services that support and promote healing and connection and help Black women and girls reclaim their power.

Guiding Principles

Data Driven

We ground our work in evidence and data.


Race and gender equity

We believe that an intersectional framework is critical for eliminating racial and gender bias in our criminal legal system. 


Elevate and amplify community expertise

We center and uplift the voices and experiences of Black women and girls who have been affected by the criminal legal system.



We believe that creating opportunities for healing is the true meaning of justice.


Our Approach

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