RSVP Today! Be Her Resource: School Resource Officers and Girls of Color


Grassroots Education Series
RSVP Today:

Be Her Resource: School Resource Officers and Girls of Color 

Thursday, April 5th 2:00-3:00pm ET

Today there are an estimated 30,000 officers now in schools, up from roughly 100 in the 1970s. Although the stated purpose of these officers is to maintain a sense of safety, a very troubling consequence is greater arrest rates and referrals for minor disruptive behaviors — with especially harsh results for girls of color.  

According to 2013-2014 data from the U.S. Department of Education, Black girls are 2.6 times as likely to be referred to law enforcement on school grounds as white girls, and black girls are almost 4 times as likely to get arrested at school. Disparities affecting Latinas are especially severe in elementary school where they are 2.7 times more likely to be arrested than young white girls. In light of this data, schools and districts must work to improve interactions between girls of color and school resource officers (SROs), striving to keep girls of color safe and supported in schools and reduce disproportionate rates of contact in the justice system.

Join us as we discuss a new toolkit, Be Her Resource: A Toolkit about School Resource Officers and Girls of Color, which offers strategies and much needed guidance to improve relations between SROs and girls of color at schools. The toolkit, developed by National Black Women’s Justice Institute and Georgetown Law Center on Poverty and Inequality, is centered on first-of-their-kind focus groups and interviews with SROs and girls to learn first-hand perspectives about their interactions.  

Our speakers will include:

Monique W. Morris, Ed.D., Co-Founder and President, National Black Women’s Justice Institute

Rebecca Epstein, Executive Director, Georgetown Law Center on Poverty and Inequality

Marianna Islam, Director of Programs & Advocacy, Schott Foundation for Public Education (moderator)

Come with questions, insights, and calls to action during our Q&A session at the end!
Join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #GrassrootsEd.

Register Today:

About the Speakers

Monique W. Morris, Ed.D.Monique Morris

Monique W. Morris, Ed.D. is an author and social justice scholar with more than 25 years of experience in the areas of education, civil rights, and juvenile and social justice. Dr. Morris is the author of several articles, papers, and books including her most recent, Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools. Dr. Morris’ research intersects race, gender, education, and justice to explore the ways in which Black communities and other communities of color are uniquely affected by social policies. Dr. Morris is an adjunct associate professor for Saint Mary’s College of California and the Co-Founder and President of The National Black Women’s Justice Institute. She holds a Master's of Science in Urban Planning from Columbia University and a doctorate in Educational Leadership and Change from Fielding Graduate University.

Rebecca EpsteinRebecca Epstein

Rebecca Epstein is the Executive Director of the Georgetown Law Center on Poverty and Inequality. She has dedicated her career to advancing race and gender equity. At the Center, she focuses on policies and practices that support marginalized girls. Rebecca is the lead author of Girlhood Interrupted:  The Erasure of Black Girlhood (June 2017); Gender and Trauma: Somatic Interventions for Girls in the Juvenile Justice System and Implications for Policy and Practice (2017);and Blueprint:  A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Domestic Sex Trafficking of Girls (2013). She is also the co-author of a recently-released toolkit to improve interactions between school resource officers and girls of color, as well as a seminal report on the sexual-abuse-to-prison pipeline for girls.

Rebecca was recently honored by the Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center with an award that recognized her “contributions to the body of knowledge about the experiences of girls and young women impacted by the justice system.” Her work has been published in news outlets across the country, and she frequently serves as an expert speaker on marginalized girls issues. 

In addition to her position at the Center on Poverty, Rebecca serves as the Associate Director of the National Girls Initiative, a program funded by the US Department of Justice Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, and a steering committee member of the Girls @ the Margin National Alliance.

Previously, Rebecca served as a senior trial attorney in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice; a staff attorney at Public Justice, a national public interest law firm; and policy counsel at the National Partnership on Women and Families through a fellowship awarded by Georgetown University Law Center.

Rebecca received her B.A. in history with honors from Brown University and her J.D. from New York University School of Law, where she was awarded a fellowship from the Arthur Garfield Hays Civil Liberties Program. She clerked for the Honorable Raymond A. Jackson in the Eastern District of Virginia, and is a member of the District of Columbia, New York, and Supreme Court Bars. 

Marianna IslamMarianna Islam

Marianna Islam is the Director of Programs and Advocacy at the Schott Foundation for Public Education where she works with the program team to develop and implement the Foundation’s resource delivery strategy. Marianna brings over a decade of experience in the philanthropic sector, having served as the Associate Project Director for Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Roadmaps to Health Community Grants Programs at Community Catalyst and Vice President of Community Impact Initiatives at the United Way of Central Massachusetts. Marianna brings passion to her role as a philanthropic leader, youth worker and community organizer for racial, gender, economic and social justice. Facilitating learning communities, addressing structural racism and empowering marginalized communities are long-standing threads in her work. Marianna is charged by her experiences as a parent, formerly undocumented immigrant, Muslima and woman of color to center and elevate the voices of marginalized communities in social justice movements. Marianna is a founding member of Massachusetts Women of Color Coalition. She has an undergraduate degree in Policy Studies from Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University.