Resources

Reports, policy briefs, and other resources developed by NBWJI’s experts.

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Youth-Centered Strategies for Hope, Healing, and Health

May 2022

This report from the Hope, Healing and Health Collective highlights issues that impact access to mental health care for Black girls and BIPOC youth and sets forth actionable solutions that policymakers at the federal, state, and local levels can implement to build a culturally-responsive and gender-affirming mental health care system for all youth, especially youth of color.

The H3 Collective is youth-led policy council that worked to elevate the voices of marginalized youth, particularly Black girls, Latina girls, Indigenous, and LGBTQ+ youth in developing policy solutions to address their own mental health needs, as well as the mental health of all marginalized youth of color in this country.

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How Schools Can Improve Strategies to Protect Students Against Gender-Based Violence

May 2022

This conversation features experts from NBWJI and the Learning Network for Girls of Color discussing how to make schools more supportive of Black girls and other girls of color who experience sexual violence and harassment. Learn from experts who have worked to make Indianapolis Public Schools safer for girls of color about why schools must center girls of color in these efforts and steps you can take to eliminate gender-based violence in your school.

The Learning Network for Girls of Color provides a secure platform for school system leaders and educators to learn from experts across the country about trauma-informed approaches for girls of color and engage in peer-to-peer learning. The Learning Network’s content is guided by a youth advisory committee comprised of girls of color and a steering committee comprised of professionals with expertise in trauma-informed learning and/or issues relating to race, ethnicity, and gender.

The Learning Network was founded by the Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality's Initiative on Gender Justice & Opportunity and is co-lead by NBWJI.

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Bill of Rights to Support the Mental Health of Girls and Gender-Expansive Youth of Color in Schools

May 2022

The Youth Advisory Committee of the Schools for Girls of Color Learning Network recognizes that U.S. schools are not providing necessary mental health supports for girls and gender-expansive youth of color. The advisors have drafted a document of demands that are fundamental to focus and learning. Schools’ recognition of these demands will accord girls and gender-expansive students of color the rights of dignity and respect that are inherent to all human beings.

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Repairing Black Girls' Relationship with School: An Evaluation of the EMERGE Program for System-Impacted Girls

May 2022

Research confirms that schools have protective effects on students. Although the factors that contribute to school bonds and attachment are well-documented, many schools, especially schools serving predominantly Black youth and other youth of color, struggle to cultivate environments that support students’ growth and development. For students of color, schools are sites where their physical, psychological, and emotional safety and wellbeing are under constant assault. This is particularly true for Black students, especially Black girls. Consequently, Black girls—specifically those who are directly impacted by the juvenile legal system and foster care—are at heightened risk of disengaging from and being pushed out of school.

The EMERGE Program operates from the belief that preparing Black girls who have been involved in the juvenile-legal or foster care systems for educational and employment success requires also addressing their mental and emotional wellbeing. EMERGE’s program model integrates educational assistance and accelerated credit accrual with intensive mental wellness and crisis intervention services to create a learning environment organized around its students’ specialized and complex needs. These elements work together to repair students’ connections with learning and academic achievement.

This process evaluation describes and seeks to understand the services, activities, policies, and procedures of the EMERGE (Educating, Mentoring, Empowering, and Reaffirming our Girls for Excellence) Reentry Program, as well as factors that affected its implementation and evolution during its pilot phase.

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Lifting Up Black Women-Led Organizations

March 2022

In the third conversation in the Let’s Link Up series, we discuss how civic organizations and others can support the leadership and lift up the work of Black women-led organizations. We speak with civic leaders from The Links, Incorporated; Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated; and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated about how they support community organizations that serve Black women and girls and why this work is critical to growing and strengthening Black women-led organizations like the National Black Women’s Justice Institute and others. We discuss how participants can help elevate issues regarding the criminalization and punishment of Black women and girls and what it means to advocate for healing-centered justice.

This is part of our event series "Let’s Link Up – Your Voice Gives Me Strength." Join the Western Area of The Links, Incorporated and the National Black Women's Justice Institute in building our collective power to take on critical issues that impact the health, wellbeing, and livelihood of Black women and girls. In this series, we talk to Black women who are leading healing-centered work in their communities and striving to create safe and supportive spaces for Black women and girls.

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NBWJI 2021 Annual Report

February 2022

This report highlights the National Black Women’s Justice Institute's work in 2021 to research, elevate, and educate the public about innovative community-led solutions to end the criminalization of Black women and girls.

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FACTSHEET: Sex Trafficking of Black Women & Girls

January 2022

The public perception of people who have survived sex trafficking often does not reflect the reality of who is actually trafficked in the U.S. The real facts: Black women make up 40% of people who have survived sex trafficking. Black youth comprise 51% of all prostitution arrests for those under age 18—more than any other racial group. This factsheet outlines why we need to shift the narratives around sex trafficking to center Black survivors. We must end human and sex trafficking, stop the criminalization of Black survivors, and create healing-informed responses to support Black women and girls who have survived commercial and sexual exploitation.

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Shifting the Narrative and Centering Black Survivors of Sex Trafficking

January 2022

In the second conversation in the Let’s Link Up series, we discuss the urgent need to shift the narratives around sex trafficking. The public perception of people who have survived sex trafficking often does not reflect the reality of who is actually trafficked in the U.S. The real facts:

- Black women make up 40% of people who have survived sex trafficking.

- Black youth comprise 51% of all prostitution arrests for those under age 18—more than any other racial group.

This is part of our event series "Let’s Link Up – Your Voice Gives Me Strength." In this series, we talk to Black women who are leading healing-centered work in their communities and striving to create safe and supportive spaces for Black women and girls.

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FACTSHEET: Mental Health of Black Girls: The Case for Gender-Specific and Culturally Affirming Services

October 2021

There is an epidemic of unmet mental health needs among Black women and girls. But instead of addressing those mental health needs, Black girls are punished and criminalized. This factsheet outlines why it is imperative that we develop and remove barriers to culturally and gender affirming mental health services.

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Strengthening Black Girls’ Resilience Through Culturally & Gender Affirming Mental Health Services

October 2021

In the first conversation in the Let’s Link Up series, we discuss the urgent need to expand access to culturally-affirming and gender-responsive mental health services for Black women and girls. We talk with experts who remind us why this work is vitally important, what we can do to transform the landscape of services for Black women and girls, and the consequences if we do not act now.

This is part of our event series "Let’s Link Up – Your Voice Gives Me Strength." In this series, we talk to Black women who are leading healing-centered work in their communities and striving to create safe and supportive spaces for Black women and girls.

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In the Extreme: Women Serving Life Without Parole and Death Sentences in the United States

September 2021

One of every 15 women in prison—amounting to more than 6,600 women—is serving a life sentence and nearly 2,000 of these have no chance for parole. Another 52 women in the U.S. are awaiting execution. Black women account for 1/3 of women serving life sentences and virtual life sentences in the U.S. Many women serving extreme sentences were victims of physical, sexual, and emotional abuse long before they committed a crime.

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Boy as Allies: Increasing the Capacity for Adolescent and Teenage Boys to be Allies in the Work to End Sexual Violence Against Black Girls in School

August 2021

Boys as Allies is an educational curriculum designed for Black boys
and young men, ages 11 to 18, to help them identify and understand gender-based violence and its impact on Black girls in an effort to eliminate sexual violence and create a culture where Black girls are physically, psychologically, and emotionally safe.

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NBWJI 2020 Impact Statement

December 2020

This report is an overview of the National Black Women’s Justice Institute (NBWJI) work in 2020 to help eliminate racial and gender disparities in the U.S. criminal legal system that are responsible for its disproportionate impact on Black women, girls, and gender-nonconforming people.

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End School PushOut for Black Girls and Other Girls of Color: Federal, State, and Local Policy Recommendations

September 2019

This new brief amplifies resources, policies, and practices to create supportive learning environments, where all students have the opportunity to succeed and where Black girls have access to a robust array of targeted services and supports able to propel them to a lifetime of success.

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Expanding Our Frame, Deepening our Demands for Safety and Healing for Black Survivors of Sexual Violence

February 2019

Expanding Our Frame, Deepening Our Demands calls for an expansion of messaging and responses to more explicitly center the experiences of Black women, girls, trans and gender nonconforming people. The brief highlights ways in which systems advanced as sources of “safety” from sexual violence—including law enforcement, educational settings, social services, and health care provider—often in fact serve as perpetrators of sexual violence against Black women and girls.

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NBWJI Data Sheet on School Discipline and Girls of Color

October 2018

This report is a data analysis from the 2015 - 2016 U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights Data Collection. The data summary offers national trends and regional trends associated with school discipline for girls in public U.S. elementary, middle, and high schools. This document also presents data for charter schools.

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PROJECT FOCUS: School Culture and Discipline Reform in Boston-Area Primary and Secondary Schools

March 2018

This document is the culmination of a year-long participatory learning and community-response project. The document outlines policy and school-led practice recommendations responsive to a host of conditions that were named to be of concern by girls of color in the Boston community, and that are typically associated with negative disciplinary and performance outcomes among girls of color nationwide.

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Be Her Resource: A Toolkit About School Resource Officers and Girls of Color

September 2017

This toolkit is based on first-of-their-kind focus groups and interviews conducted by the Center on Poverty and the National Black Women’s Justice Institutite with school resource officers (SROs) and girls of color. It offers strategies and guidance to improve interactions between school-based police and girls of color and decrease the disproportionate use of school discipline with girls of color, The report was focused on the South, an area often overlooked in related research.

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Centering Black Women, Girls, Gender Nonconforming People and Fem(me)s in Campaigns for Expanded Sanctuary and Freedom Cities

September 2017

This report discusses concepts of "sanctuary" and "freedom" through a policy lens that centers Black women, girls, gender nonconforming people and fem(mes). Offering a policy platform that amplifies the work of the Ms. Foundation Safety cohort, this report offers a policy framework that expands constructs of freedom and offers anti-criminalization strategies to uplift safety.