Dear NBWJI Family:
I could not let 2019 come to a close without sincerely thanking you for your support this year. Thank you for getting behind NBWJI's vision to increase our collective capacity to create spaces where Black women and girls are safe from gender-based violence. Thank you for amplifying and demonstrating that trauma and healing-informed spaces in schools for our girls are possible. Thank you for helping us amplify that Black women and Black girls are sacred and loved.
As many of you know, I was on sabbatical this fall, hosting screenings and conversations for my new documentary, PUSHOUT, and discussing my latest book, Sing a Rhythm, Dance a Blues: Education for the Liberation of Black and Brown Girls (The New Press, 2019). I want to give a special and very public thank you to Dr. Sydney McKinney, our Acting Executive Director, who has led the Institute in my absence. I also want to thank our incredible NBWJI team, who has continued to move our significant work forward. Please read more about NBWJI's accomplishments this past year here.
We launched NBWJI five years ago to help counter the criminalization of Black women, girls, and their families. We recently took a big step toward that goal. NBWJI stood with tremendous pride next to Representative Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), and her co-sponsors Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN), and Representative Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ), as they introduced The Ending Punitive, Unfair, School-Based Harm that is Overt and Unresponsive to Trauma (PUSHOUT) Act, a bold new piece of federal legislation seeking to disrupt school-to-confinement pathways by investing in safe and nurturing school environments for Black and Brown girls, and other students affected by unnecessary exclusionary discipline. Research conducted by the National Black Women's Justice Institute shows Black girls disproportionately experience exclusionary school discipline such as suspension and expulsion. The legislation proposes to implement many of the research-based recommendations developed by NBWJI and our colleagues in this work to improve learning conditions for all students.
And we have no intention of slowing down. In 2020, NBWJI's ability to center Black girls' experiences, inform public policy discussions, and uplift innovative responses will continue! As we close 2019, will you consider making a $50.00 donation towards our end of year campaign to help us reach our $2,500.00 goal? Donations made by December 31, 2019 are deductible on your 2019 tax return. All donations can be made here.
On behalf of the whole team here at NBWJI, have a happy and safe holiday season. We look forward to 2020!
Monique W. Morris, Ed.D.
President & Co - Founder
National Black Women's Justice Institute