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Dear Friends,

This February we celebrated Black History Month and continued to reflect on the many impactful yet often unjustly overlooked achievements of Black people. Black people and communities continue to thrive in inventive, creative, beautiful, and brilliant ways. This month reminded us that representation matters, and that together we are stronger. In solidarity, National Crittenton continues to fight and advocate for all that girls, young women and gender-expansive people of color can accomplish and change in this world.

National Crittenton

While congress continues to settle into its new session with a new Majority in the House and a slight Majority in the Senate, there have been few legisltive actions. However, our young people continue to make a presence on the Hill and partner with the Administration to create meaningful change. Our advocacy efforts the past month have been nothing but phenomenal. 

In late January, IMPACT Steering Committee and child welfare expert Lanitta Berry participated in a panel discussion hosted by Georgetown University titled "School Support of Expecting and Parenting Students: Today's Rights under Title IX." During the panel discussion, Lanitta talked about the challenges faced by system-impacted young moms in secondary school and what the system can do to better support expecting and parenting students.

In addition, our partnership with the Children's Bureau continues to grow. On February 2nd, three youth advisors took part in a convening with the Associate Commissioner of the Children's Bureau and of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) to work on finding potential solutions on supporting young people who are system-involved. In Solidarity Fellow Chloe (CA) , IMPACT Steering Committee member Kristen (KS), and Crittenton SC participant, Christina, participated in the advisory group which will continue over the year and produce recommendations to the Agencies. 

Lastly, we were so excited to announce the dates for our upcoming In Solidarity Conference! This year the conference will take place at the beautiful Marriott Marquis in San Fransisco California from November 8th through the 10th. More details will be coming soon, and we hope we will see you there!

Lawmakers consider proposal to lighten sentences against domestic violence survivors

Oregon Capital Chronicle - 2.6.23

Sen. Wlnsvey Campos, D-Aloha, plans to introduce a legislation, which would allow the courts to consider evidence of domestic violence during sentencing and give judges the discretion to choose a lighter sentence than mandated under the state’s sentencing requirements. The bill would also allow people to petition the court for a new sentence if evidence of domestic abuse had not been introduced before sentencing.

“There is a group of survivors who remain ignored and subjected to continued abuse by the state through the criminal justice system,” Campos said. “We call them survivor-defendants, a term for defendants in criminal cases who are survivors of domestic violence and for whom that abuse was a contributing factor in the commission of their crimes.”

The concept could affect hundreds of women, with nearly 900 imprisoned in Oregon as of last October. In a survey of more than 140 incarcerated women in Oregon, about three-quarters of them were in a relationship when they were arrested. Of those, 44% said the relationship contributed to their crime, according to a report by the Oregon Justice Resource Center, an advocacy group that helped develop the proposal. 

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The New York Times - 2.1.23

Police officers unleashed a barrage of commands that were confusing, conflicting and sometimes even impossible to obey, a Times analysis of footage from Tyre Nichols’s fatal traffic stop found. When Mr. Nichols could not comply — and even when he managed to — the officers responded with escalating force.

The review of the available footage found that officers shouted at least 71 commands during the approximately 13-minute period before they reported over the radio that Mr. Nichols was officially in custody. The orders were issued at two locations, one near Mr. Nichols’s vehicle and the other in the area he had fled to and where he would be severely beaten. The orders were often simultaneous and contradictory. Officers commanded Mr. Nichols to show his hands even as they were holding his hands. They told him to get on the ground even when he was on the ground. And they ordered him to reposition himself even when they had control of his body.

Experts say the actions of the Memphis police officers were an egregious example of a longstanding problem in policing in which officers physically punish civilians for perceived disrespect or disobedience — sometimes called “contempt of cop.” The practice was notoriously prevalent decades ago.

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U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development - 2.23.23

WASHINGTON - In an effort to help youth in foster care find affordable housing, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded $12.9 million to 16 Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) in 9 states to provide housing assistance to young adults who are transitioning out of foster care and are experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness. The funding was awarded through HUD’s Foster Youth to Independence (FYI) Initiative. 

“Helping young adults to find a place to call home gives them the opportunity to focus on their goals and dreams without having to worry about where they are going to lay their head at night,” said Secretary Marcia L. Fudge. “We are excited to work with Public Housing Agencies to help them meet the housing needs of youth who have aged out of the foster care program so that they have access to safe, stable, and affordable homes.”

The FYI initiative aims to create a community response to youth experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness who have been involved with the child welfare system. FYI makes Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) assistance available to PHAs who have a partnership with public child welfare agencies (PCWA). Under the program PHAs can provide housing assistance to young adult in between the ages of 18 years and not more than 24 years old who left foster care or will leave foster care in the next 90 days and are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

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W.A may launch a cold-case unit for missing, murdered Indigenous people

Crosscut -1.27.23

Washington lawmakers are pushing ahead with a bill to establish a special cold-case unit for missing and murdered Indigenous people after pushback from some law enforcement officials who claimed the new task force could interfere with their work.

House Bill 1177, requested by Attorney General Bob Ferguson, is sponsored by the 40th District’s Rep. Debra Lekanoff, who sits on the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and People Task Force at the Attorney General’s Office, which offered specific recommendations for the legislation.

The Washington State Association of Sherifs and Police Chiefs a union for executive and top-management law enforcement, argued that the bill’s original language could jeopardize the cold-case investigations. “We cannot tolerate insertion into criminal investigations that could do more harm than good,” James McMahan, policy director for the WASPC, said during a Jan. 17 meeting of the House Committee on Community Safety, Justice, & Reentry. The bill is scheduled for a committee vote on Thursday. 

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Advocate - 2.10.23

Pauli Murray, nonbinary Black activist, lawyer, priest, and poet, will be featured on a quarter in the next round of the U.S. Mint’s American Women Quarters Program, making Murray the first Black queer person to appear on U.S. currency.

Murray’s quarter will be issued in 2024. Others in the 2024 group are Patsy Takemoto Mink, the first woman of color to serve in Congress; Dr. Mary Edwards Walker, a Civil War–era surgeon, women’s rights advocate, and abolitionist; Zitkala-Ša, a writer, composer, educator, and activist for Native Americans’ rights; and Celia Cruz, the Cuban-American singer known as the Queen of Salsa.

“All of the women being honored have lived remarkable and multi-faceted lives, and have made a significant impact on our Nation in their own unique way,” Mint Director Ventris C. Gibson said in a press release. “The women pioneered change during their lifetimes, not yielding to the status quo imparted during their lives. By honoring these pioneering women, the Mint continues to connect America through coins which are like small works of art in your pocket.”

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Meet four young Black women who are making history today

Ignite - 2.9.23

Many young Black women are using their voices to create change across the country, but their stories often go untold. Let’s celebrate these young leaders, today and every day. Keep reading to learn more about some of the young Black women who are making history. 

Imani Barbarin is an activist, writer and speaker from Philadelphia. With 300,000+ followers on TikTok, she uses her platforms to raise awareness and start conversations about racial justice as well as disability rights. Growing up, Imani learned quickly that she had to speak up for herself, or be spoken over. “I had to make as much impact as possible with a limited amount of words. When I try to say things, I try to do so in a way that is digestible for people,” she says. As a Black, disabled queer woman, Imani hopes to help create a community where people can share their stories and experiences. 

Zyahna Bryant is an activist, organizer and student at the University of Virginia. At the age of 12, she organized her first demonstration to raise awareness about police violence following the murder of Trayvon Martin. Since then, she has organized with other young leaders to shed light on issues regarding race and equity.

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Minnesota becomes first state to pass bill enshrining abortion rights post-Dobbs

Mother Jones - 1.29.23

After more than 14 hours of debate, the Minnesota Senate passed a bill on Saturday that would establish a “fundamental right” to abortion in the state. Gov. Tim Walz, a Democrat, has said he will sign the Protect Reproductive Options Act, known as the PRO Act, into law. The move makes Minnesota the first state to pass a law guaranteeing the right to abortion in the wake of the Dobbs decision, accoring to Minnesota Public Radio.

Abortion is already legal in Minnesota as a result of a 1995 state Supreme Court decision. The bill will not have a major impact on Minnesotans’ current access to abortions, but would make it harder to restrict abortion rights in the future.

“What we saw was a need after Roe v. Wade was struck down this past summer, to codify the rights we currently have in Minnesota into the statutory law to provide that extra layer of protection,” said the bill’s lead author, Rep. Jen McEwen of Duluth.

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'New York Times' stories on trans youth slammed by writers — including some of its own

NPR - 2.15.23

About 200 New York Times contributors have signed an open letter calling out the legacy newspaper for its coverage of transgender issues.

In the letter addressed to the Times' associate managing editor for standards, the contributors say they have "serious concerns about editorial bias in the newspaper's reporting on transgender, non⁠-⁠binary, and gender nonconforming people."

The list of signatories include a few prominent Times journalists, including opinion contributor Roxane Gay, culture reporter J Wortham and former reporter Dave Itzkoff. It counted a far greater number of writers, such as Ed Yong of The Atlantic and Jia Tolentino of The New Yorker, who contribute only occasionally, and others such as actors Lena Dunham and Cynthia Nixon.

In the letter, they say the Times has treated coverage of gender diversity "with an eerily familiar mix of pseudoscience and euphemistic, charged language," and recent reporting has omitted some sources' associations with anti-trans groups.

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The New York Times - 2.28.23

It was almost midnight in Grand Rapids, Mich., but inside the factory everything was bright. A conveyor belt carried bags of Cheerios past a cluster of young workers. One was 15-year-old Carolina Yoc, who came to the United States on her own last year to live with a relative she had never met.

About every 10 seconds, she stuffed a sealed plastic bag of cereal into a passing yellow carton. It could be dangerous work, with fast-moving pulleys and gears that had torn off fingers and ripped open a woman’s scalp.

The factory was full of underage workers like Carolina, who had crossed the Southern border by themselves and were now spending late hours bent over hazardous machinery, in violation of child labor laws. At nearby plants, other children were tending giant ovens to make Chewy and Nature Valley granola bars and packing bags of Lucky Charms and Cheetos — all of them working for the processing giant Hearthside Food Solutions, which would ship these products around the country.

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Los Angeles County renews pledge to stop incarcerating girls

Imprint - 2.7.23

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously on Tuesday to work toward ending the incarceration of girls and gender-expansive young people, part of a state and national effort that is gaining momentum. 

The motion introduced by Supervisor Hilda Solis directs county leaders to apply for a new California initiative that awards funding and technical support to four counties aiming to end the incarceration of girls. 

Solis called it “a great opportunity,” that supervisors should not pass up. Board of Supervisors Chair Janice Hahn expressed her support during Tuesday’s meeting, stating that “this motion will allow us to double down on our commitment to reexamine the entire system of locking up girls.” 

As first reported by The Imprint, last month the state’s Office of Youth and Community Restoration and the Vera Institute of Justice announced the “Ending Girls’ Incarceration Initiative.” Under a competitive application process described by the state as “unprecedented,” counties can now apply for grants of up to $250,000 accompanied by technical support to phase out the incarceration of girls. Four counties will be awarded the grants in March.

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ABC News- Map: Where gender-affirming care is being targeted in the US

States across the country are considering bans on gender-affirming care for transgender minors.At least six states -- Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, South Dakota, and Utah -- have passed laws or policies that restrict gender-affirming care for people under the age of legal majority, which is the threshold for legal adulthood. In at least 25 states, local legislatures are considering or have introduced bills that would similarly restrict this kind of medical care for trans youth. To see the map and read more click here!

Ujima Inc - Practice Advisory: Anti-Blackness and Immigrant Survivors of Gender-Based Violence

Black immigrant survivors experience intersecting obstacles to relief that were created by systems of oppression for the benefit and maintenance of patriarchal white supremacy, and have profound impacts on their safety and well-being. Practitioners and service providers must pay particular attention to these systems and their resulting obstacles when providing services, and take steps to ensure that their organizations’ policies and practices do not perpetuate anti-Blackness.Practitioners and service providers serving Black immigrant survivors should recognize the enormous scale of violence against Black women in the United States, including trans and non-binary Black women. To read more of this report click here

United States Office of Personnel Management - Government-wide DEIA: Our Progress and Path Forward to Building a Better Workforce for the American People

The federal government will fight to attract top talent to its workforce. To that goal, OPM, which serves as the human resources arm of the federal government, has released its first-ever report on diversity across the federal workforce. The 31-page document breaks down hiring and retention across agencies and gives a snapshot of the administration’s efforts to remove barriers for applicants from underrepresented communities. In June 2021, Biden issued an executive order directing OPM and other federal agencies to draft a strategic plan for prioritizing diversity in hiring and retention. The February 15 report is a result of that order and offers some of the first simple, publicly accessible demographic data on the federal workforce, with breakdowns by race, gender and disability. To read the report click here!

Federal lawsuit suing the FDA over the authorization of Mifepristone

After the overturn of Roe v. Wade last year, National Crittenton doubled down on our unapologetic commitment to reproductive justice and rights, launching the Reproductive Freedom Fund, and convening over 115 girls and gender expansive youth of color to hear directly from them on the consequences of curtailing reproductive health care access. Over and over in those conversations, we heard from young people that Dobbs was just the beginning of what would become an ongoing strategy of restricting reproductive freedom and justice in our country. And they were right.

The federal lawsuit suing the FDA over the authorization of mifepristone- one of two safe and effective drugs used for medication abortion and miscarriage care- is yet another step to strip girls, women and gender expansive young people who can become pregnant of control over the bodies, and their futures. In solidarity with girls and gender expansive young people of color, we are taking steps to raise awareness and elevate the potential impacts that this decision will have on the most vulnerable and overlooked populations- young people of color.  

To learn more about Mifepristone and the policies around it click here!

Workshops & Programs:
Ascend at the Aspen Institute & Child Trends- 2GEN Data Snapshot of Families with Low Incomes 

Join for a national briefing on a new, groundbreaking two-generation analysis of families with low incomes across the US. This new comparative analysis of 2011 and 2021 Census data, looking at children and the adults in their lives together, paints a richer portrait of the state of families in 21st century America and how that data has changed over the last decade.This analysis will illuminate the diversity of families across the US, examining single and dual parent households, families with young children and ones with at least one child under the age of 18, as well as young parent and multigenerational households. Researchers Elizabeth Wildsmith and Marta Alvira-Hammond from Child Trends will illuminate 10 major findings. This is a virtual event on Thursday March 2nd. To register click here

Barnard Center for Research on Women -Survival and Mobilization: Mutual Aid in Migrant Justice Struggles
In 2019, a news story broke nationally of a Tennessee man who had been protected from an ICE arrest when his neighbors surrounded his van and waited hours for ICE to leave. This demonstration of solidarity is connected to tactics being used in many states by people seeking to protect their communities from immigration enforcement. Alerting each other about police checkpoints, supporting people who are currently in ICE detention and their families, assisting deportees and their families, and collaborating on mutual aid projects related to housing and transportation needs are just some of the mutual aid projects people working for migrant justice are pursuing. In this conversation with Dean Spade, Nikki Marín Baena will share her experiences working for migrant justice with Mijente and Siembra NC, discussing how this work is unfolding, how it relates to ongoing shifts and changes in immigration enforcement, and how mutual aid work fits into the broader project of ending immigration enforcement. This is a virtual event on Tuesday March 7th. To register click here!

The New Jersey Justice Collaborative for Girls* - Youth Advisory Board Presents at the NGO CSW67 Forum
The New Jersey Justice Collaboratives for Girls’* Youth Advisory Board will be hosting a live virtual panel to discuss how movements can be authentically youth-driven. The NGO CSW Forum is the civil society gathering that runs parallel to the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW).  Listen as members of the Youth Advisory Board share their experience in their own organizing work around New Jersey and what they hope other youth-centered movements will begin to embody. This is a virtual event on Saturday March 11th. To register click here!

The Lighthouse: Black Girl Projects - The Black Girl Research Institute
The Black Girl Research Institute is a six-week summer research-intensive program hosted by The Lighthouse | Black Girl Project’s Policy & Research Team. The institute aims to equip aspiring and current researchers with the tools needed to conduct ethical research regarding Black and Brown girls and women. The institute includes a two-week residency during which research fellows participate in research trainings and workshops as well as conduct fieldwork. This year’s BGRI residency will be 10 days long in San Basilio de Palenque, best known as Palenque, a village located in Bolivar – Colombia. To learn more and to apply click here!

National Crittenton and IMPACT Steering Committee- The IMPACT National Advocacy Alliance 

The IMPACT National Advocacy Alliance is a national alliance consciously centered on young mothers, birth givers, and their families. Our goal is to come together and build a collective power of young mamas who share the same passion. The Alliance will focus on actively advocating for change, especially when it comes to broken systems and policies that affect young families and their communities; they will do this alongside each other, the IMPACT Steering Committee members, and advocates and allies that align themselves with us. As an Alliance member, you will be provided with training, webinars, leadership opportunities, and chances to participate in committees, panels, and other advocacy efforts. We will work to create and connect with regional, and local young mom networks and organizations so we can further our advocacy efforts and collaborate with like-minded people. This will be a place where we can exchange resources, collaborate, troubleshoot, and create new efforts. To learn more and to apply click here!

Job Opportunities:

National Crittenton - Director, Policy & Systems Change
National Crittenton is a 139-year-old national advocacy organization with a mission to advocate for social, economic, and political justice working with and for cis and trans girls, young women and gender expansive young people impacted by chronic adversity, trauma, and various intersecting forms of social and systemic oppression. 

Reporting to the Vice President, Policy and Systems Change, the Director will co-develop, support, promote and advance National Crittenton’s  policy and advocacy priorities. The Director will work closely with fellow staff and external partners. This position will also work closely with young leaders and advocates as well as Congressional staff and representatives, attend coalition meetings, and advance National Crittenton’s policy agenda of supporting girls and gender expansive youth of color. This position is a full-time salary exempt position and is required to be in the District of Columbia Metropolitan area. As a national organization, our work may require some travel. Learn more and apply here!

National Crittenton- Senior Finance Director
National Crittenton is currently looking for a detailed oriented individual with a strong social justice orientation to lead the day-to-day financial operations of National Crittenton. This position is responsible for directing the accounting functions for the organization and works closely with the Chief Operating Officer to generate and track budgets both for internal purposes and outside funders. They must be able to adapt to a continually evolving environment and thrive in an autonomous and deadline-oriented workplace while managing finance staff. The Senior Finance Director is a full-time exempt position, reports directly to the Chief Operating Officer, is a member of the Finance & Operations Team and is classified as a Confidential Employee. This position is hybrid and based out of National Crittenton’s Portland office. At times, this position requires travel. Learn more and apply here!

Indigenous Justice Circle - Communications, Marketing, Design Intern
The Indigenous Justice Circle (IJC) (, a Native-female led non-profit, is seeking a Communications, Marketing, Design Intern for our Indigenous Adolescent Girls’ Empowerment Network (IMAGEN) ( project. IMAGEN combats MMIWG and strengthens the protection, safety, and resilience of girls in Native American communities by reclaiming neighborhood spaces in which to rekindle sacred matrilineal traditions through Girl Societies (group-based mentoring and leadership development). The evidence-based approach consists of a set of adaptable tools, honed by our team over the past 20 years in global Indigenous settings, that enable one to establish neighborhood safe spaces for girls. Weekly “Girl Society” meetings are led by pairs of local women who serve as mentors/aunties. Girls’ families, elders and local experts are invited to the Girl Society regularly.

This internship is a 5-6 month part-time paid internship with the option to renew based on performance and project budget. The role requires an energetic, innovative, dedicated and detail-oriented person who can manage multiple tasks. This individual is a team-player with an entrepreneurial spirit, willingness to learn and ability to manage multiple tasks while adapting to shifting priorities. The intern’s main responsibilities will be planning and carrying out public relations, marketing, communications, social media and donor research. Learn more and apply here!

The Urgency of Intersectionality

Now more than ever, it's important to look boldly at the reality of race and gender bias -- and understand how the two can combine to create even more harm. Kimberlé Crenshaw uses the term "intersectionality" to describe this phenomenon; as she says, if you're standing in the path of multiple forms of exclusion, you're likely to get hit by both. In this moving talk, she calls on us to bear witness to this reality and speak up for victims of prejudice.

Watch the Ted Talk here!

Beyond Black History Month
Black History Month happens every February, but the Black community’s impact on America goes way beyond a mere 28 days. This podcast delves into Black history all year round, while also providing nuanced conversations about race and inequality in the U.S.

Listen here!
Copyright © 2023 National Crittenton, All rights reserved.

National Crittenton advocates for social, economic, and political justice for and with cis and trans girls, young women, and gender-expansive young people impacted by chronic adversity, violence, and oppression. Support our work.

Mailing address:
610 SW Alder Street, #215
Portland Oregon 97205

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