Racial Equity Resource Guide


5 Things that a 'My Sister’s Keeper Initiative' Must Include

Author: Dr. Monique W. Morris

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An open letter to President Obama in June 2014 asked for the inclusion of women and girls in the My Brother’s Keeper initiative. 5 Things that a 'My Sister’s Keeper Initiative' Must Include is an opinion article by Dr. Monique W. Morris offering five critical components and considerations for forming the foundation for a national, companion effort to support the healthy development of women and girls of color.

  • A race-conscious gender analysis: An initiative for women and girls of color must explicitly include gender expression and identity in strategies to support the well-being of women and girls of color. 
  • A structural analysis: Intervention strategies must be responsive to the unique ways that women and girls of color are affected by racist and exploitive policies, systems, and institutions structures. 
  • A centered response to victimization: Research has shown that Black women experience homicide at higher rates than their White counterparts and intimate partner violence at higher rates than other women. A Sister’s Keeper Initiative must embrace a strong anti-victimization narrative. 
  • A prioritization of criminalization over incarceration: A racial justice agenda to prioritize criminalization over incarceration must consider the ways that females are also subjected to institutions and a prevailing consciousness that favors punishment over rehabilitation. 
  • A commitment to building community: An initiative for women and girls of color does not undermine a focus on Black male achievement. Such an initiative must be clear that Black girls and boys are sharing communities, institutions, homes, and lives with each other. 

Dr. Monique W. Morris is an author and social justice scholar and Co-Founder of The National Black Women’s Justice Institute.

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