Author. Social Justice Scholar.
Wise Black women have known for centuries that the blues have been a platform for truth-telling, an underground musical railroad to survival, and an essential form of resistance, healing, and learning. In this highly anticipated follow-up to the widely acclaimed PUSHOUT on the criminalization of Black girls in schools, Monique W. Morris invokes the spirit of the blues to articulate a radically healing and empowering pedagogy for Black and Brown girls.
A passionate manifesto that builds naturally on her previous book, Sing a Rhythm, Dance a Blues reimagines what education might look like if schools placed the flourishing of Black and Brown girls at their center. Grounding each chapter in interviews, case studies, and testimonies of educators who work successfully with girls of color, Morris blends research with real life to offer a radiant manifesto on moving away from punishment, trauma, and discrimination toward safety, justice, and genuine community in our schools.
Read this excerpt published by Zora Magazine
The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools
African Americans by the Numbers in the Twenty-First Century
TOO BEAUTIFUL FOR WORDS
A powerful indictment of the cultural beliefs, policies, and practices that criminalize and dehumanize Black girls in America, coupled with thoughtful analysis and critique of the justice work that must be done at the intersection of race and gender.
THE NEW JIM CROW
If you ever doubted that Supremacy Crimes—those devoted to maintaining hierarchy—are rooted in both sex and race, read Pushout. Monique Morris tells us exactly how schools are crushing the spirit and talent that this country needs
Black Stats is a great tool offering descriptive statistics on the condition of our nation’s promise of freedom, justice, equality and economic opportunity for all.
ABOUT BLACK STATS
An impressive episodic debut . . . Refreshingly original, personal, and intimate.
ABOUT TOO BEAUTIFUL FOR WORDS
MARC H. MORIAL
NATIONAL URBAN LEAGUE
Intoxicating and quietly devastating in its power.
Thank you, Monique Morris, for this gift of knowledge. Black Stats is a brilliant and needed work. We can no longer claim that we didn’t know the depth of our crises or the wealth of our resources and resilience available to counter them. Now that we have the data, we must use it strategically to move our people—the nation and this troubled world— forward.
Morris builds literary bridges so that people can navigate through the cultural meanings of Blackness.
MALCOLM X: A LIFE OF REINVENTION
SUSAN L. TAYLOR,
FOUNDER & CEO, NATIONAL CARES NETWORK/ EDITOR-IN-CHIEF EMERITUS, ESSENCE MAGAZINE
Monique W. Morris, Ed.D. is an award-winning author and social justice scholar with three decades of experience in the areas of education, civil rights, juvenile and social justice. Dr. Morris is the author of Sing A Rhythm, Dance A Blues: Education for the Liberation of Black and Brown Girls (The New Press, 2019), which explores a pedagogy to counter the criminalization of Black and Brown girls in schools. She is also the author of Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools (The New Press, 2016), Black Stats: African Americans by the Numbers in the Twenty-First Century (The New Press, 2014), Too Beautiful for Words (MWM Books, 2012) and worked with Kemba Smith on her book, Poster Child: The Kemba Smith Story (IBJ Book Publishing, 2011).
Dr. Morris has written dozens of articles, book chapters, and other publications on social justice issues and lectured widely on research, policies, and practices associated with improving juvenile justice, educational, and socioeconomic conditions for Black girls, women, and their families. Dr. Morris was a 2018 TED Women speaker and is an executive producer and co-writer for a documentary film, PUSHOUT, which explores how exclusionary discipline impacts Black girls in the United States.
Dr. Morris is the first Executive Director of Grantmakers for Girls of Color, an organizing space for philanthropy to engage in the urgent and necessary investments that will help to transform narratives, structures, and cultures that impact the lives of girls, fem(mes) and gender expansive youth of Black/African, Native/Indigenous, Latinx, Muslim, and Asian Pacific American descent. She is also the Founder and Board Chair of the National Black Women’s Justice Institute (NBWJI), an organization that works to interrupt school-to-confinement pathways for girls, reduce the barriers to employment for formerly incarcerated women, and increase the capacity of organizations working to reduce sexual assault and domestic violence in African American communities. She served as an adjunct associate professor for Saint Mary’s College of California between 2013-2018 and has taught at the University of San Francisco and California State University, Sacramento. Dr. Morris is a 2012 Soros Justice Fellow, the former Vice President for Economic Programs, Advocacy and Research at the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the former Director of Research for the Thelton E. Henderson Center for Social Justice at the UC Berkeley Law School. She has also worked in partnership with and served as a consultant for federal, state and county agencies, national academic and research institutions, and communities throughout the nation to develop comprehensive approaches and training curricula to eliminate racial/ethnic and gender disparities in justice and educational systems. Her work in this area has informed the development and implementation of improved culturally competent and gender-responsive continua of services for youth.
Dr. Morris’ work has been profiled by MSNBC, CSPAN2, The Washington Post, The New York Times, NPR, and PBS, among other national and local print, radio, and television media. Her 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. She also frequently lectures on the life and legacy of the artist Prince.
News and Events
Inspired by the work to interrupt school-to-confinement pathways, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) in partnership with Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) introduced the Ending PUSHOUT Act.
Read the OpEd co-written by Dr. Morris and Rep. Pressley for The Boston Globe here.
Watch Dr. Morris deliver a TED Talk on how schools can interrupt pathways to criminalization and narratives of exclusion for Black girls by becoming locations for healing and engaging learning as Freedom Work.
Photo: Marla Aufmuth / TED