Happy February! I am excited that I can now publicly announce that, for the next six months at minimum, I will be working with the National Council for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls to research and reveal the use of analytics and artificial intelligence in the child welfare sector. I am one of the 2019 Reimagining Communities fellows!
Last weekend, I met the other fellows and the National Council core team for our kickoff in Jackson, Mississippi. It was amazing, inspiring, and if I’m being honest, a little daunting. Other projects include exposing and dismantling the foster care to prison pipeline, healing the children of incarcerated parents, providing better grief care to incarcerated parents whose children pass away, establishing legal self-advocacy support, post-felony employment equity, and supporting Native American women who are disproportionately targeted by the criminal justice system. Those are just a few examples–but you can already see how important they are. The fellows are also predominantly women of color who have been previously incarcerated, which means that this is a group of people hungry for change who are often overlooked or excluded from other fellowship opportunities. Needless to say, I feel a little inadequate–but I am also extremely grateful to be included in this group of activists and organizers. I am stuck in Florida for the foreseeable future (unless I lose my case altogether; then I will be utterly heartbroken, but also free to go back to Seattle), so while I am here, I am going to focus on unearthing the truth about these programs. Crazy that I just so happen to be in the center of this issue, right here in Broward. I will try to get a real blog post up soon, but for now I just wanted to make this quick announcement, hooray!