Race, Sex & Policing in America

This program is part of a four-part 2021 series: Advancing Women's Equality: Confronting Barriers to Full Inclusion and Progress. In this series, we address women's status in the United States through a civil liberties lens, examining how histories of race, sex, immigration, and LGBTQ discrimination undermine constitutional equality. The series identifies historic and contemporary legal and social barriers to women's advancement and identifies pathways forward.

Our program on February 8, 2021, Race, Sex, and Policing in America features Michele Goodwin (ACLU of MN and National Executive Committee Member); Nusrat Choudhury, the Roger Pascal Legal Director of the ACLU of Illinois; Amy Fettig, the Executive Director of the Sentencing Project; and Judge Glenda Hatchett, former Chief Presiding Judge and department head of one of the largest juvenile systems in the nation.

Their conversation will grapple with the historic and modern-day challenges involving women, policing, and incarceration. What are the lessons that can be learned from a history of policing rooted in race and sex discrimination? How have money-bail systems affected women? How does policing affect women even after they've been incarcerated, such as in cases of solitary confinement? This program addresses the glaring lack of consideration given to how policing is perceived, which results in rendering women invisible as victims and targets in the criminal justice system.

Learn more about our special guests:

  • Deirdre Fischel is an award-winning filmmaker whose film Women In Blue will premiere on PBS on Feb. 8th. Fischel spent two years in Minneapolis documenting the Minneapolis Police Department and women's roles and experiences in the department.
  • Nusrat Choudhury is the Roger Pascal Legal Director of the ACLU of Illinois. Nusrat served as the Deputy Director of the national ACLU Racial Justice Program. Nusrat's work at national highlighted the connection between debtors' prisons and race and sex as Black women distinctly and often disproportionately suffered the consequences of "money bail" in states like Georgia and Mississippi.
  • Amy Fettig is the former Director of the national ACLU Prison Project. She was responsible for the groundbreaking ACLU report on women and solitary confinement in prisons. She is now the Executive Director of the Sentencing Project.
  • Judge Glenda Hatchett is the former Chief Presiding Judge of the Fulton County, Georgia Juvenile Court and as such addressed policing and youth. She became Georgia's first African American Chief Presiding Judge of a state court and the department head of one of the largest juvenile court systems in the nation. She was lead counsel in civil litigation brought in the wake of Philando Castille's death.

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