Stand Against Racism: National Day of Action Policy Briefing

The United State of Women - The White House SummitA Lead-in Event to The White House Summit on the United State of Women

Thursday, April 28
10:00 am – 12:00 pm

25 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Suite 900
Washington, DC 20001

The event has now concluded. Watch video on demand from the policy briefing discussion.

Too often, girls of color are left out of conversations about racial justice and gender equity, despite overwhelming evidence that they encounter many of the same harsh realities of institutional and structural racism that boys of color face. When we pay closer attention, we discover that girls of color face stark inequities at the intersection of race and gender that are unique to them.

In this briefing, key thought leaders will explore the ways in which systemic and structural inequities in the justice, education, and health spaces uniquely impact girls of color. Speakers will examine the impact of trauma and violence in the lives of girls of color; the ways in which excessive school discipline and limited educational opportunity undermine their educational success and future economic opportunity; and the stark reality of the sexual abuse-to-prison pipeline. Most importantly, this event will highlight policy solutions that can better support girls of color and dismantle the structural barriers that impede full racial and gender equality.


Catherine Lhamon

Catherine Lhamon, Assistant Secretary, Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education
Catherine E. Lhamon is the assistant secretary for civil rights at the U.S. Department of Education. President Obama nominated her for this position on June 10, 2013, and she was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate on Aug. 1, 2013. Immediately prior to joining the Department, Lhamon was director of impact litigation at Public Counsel, the nation's largest pro bono law firm. Before that, she practiced for a decade at the ACLU of Southern California, ultimately as assistant legal director. Earlier in her career, Lhamon was a teaching fellow and supervising attorney in the Appellate Litigation Program at Georgetown University Law Center, after clerking for The Honorable William A. Norris on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. In 2004, California Lawyer named Lhamon Attorney of the Year for Civil Rights. The Daily Journal listed her as one of the Top 20 California Lawyers Under 40 in 2007, and as one of the state's Top Women Litigators in 2010 and 2007. Lhamon received her J.D. from Yale Law School, where she was the Outstanding Woman Law Graduate, and she graduated summa cum laude from Amherst College.


Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw

Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, Executive Director and Co-Founder, African American Policy Forum, and Professor of Law, Columbia Law School and UCLA Law School
Kimberlé Crenshaw co-founded the AAPF and serves as the executive director. Crenshaw, professor of law at UCLA and Columbia Law School, is a leading authority in the area of civil rights, Black feminist legal theory, and race, racism, and the law. Her articles have appeared in the Harvard Law Review, National Black Law Journal, Stanford Law Review, and Southern California Law Review. She is the founding coordinator of the Critical Race Theory Workshop, and the co-editor of the volume, Critical Race Theory: Key Documents That Shaped the Movement.

A specialist on race and gender equality, she has facilitated workshops for human rights activists in Brazil and in India, and for constitutional court judges in South Africa. Her groundbreaking work on “intersectionality” has traveled globally and was influential in the drafting of the equality clause in the South African Constitution. Crenshaw authored the background paper on race and gender discrimination for the United Nation’s World Conference on Racism, served as the rapporteur for the conference’s Expert Group on Gender and Race Discrimination, and coordinated NGO efforts to ensure the inclusion of gender in the WCAR Conference Declaration. She is a leading voice in calling for a gender-inclusive approach to racial justice interventions, having spearheaded the Why We Can’t Wait Campaign and co-authored Black Girls Matter: Pushed Out, Overpoliced and Underprotected, and Say Her Name: Resisting Police Brutality Against Black Women.

Crenshaw has worked extensively on a variety of issues pertaining to gender and race in the domestic arena including violence against women, structural racial inequality, and affirmative action. She has served as a member of the National Science Foundation’s committee to research violence against women and has consulted with leading foundations, social justice organizations and corporations to advance their race and gender equity initiatives. Crenshaw earned her B.A. at Cornell University, her J.D. at Harvard, and her L.L.M. at the University of Wisconsin.

Rocío Inclan

Rocío Inclán, Director, Human & Civil Rights Department, National Education Association
Rocío Inclán, the director of human and civil rights for the National Education Association, leads NEA’s work on immigration reform, LGBTQ rights, school to prison pipeline, social justice, cultural competence, diversity, English language learners, minorities, women, and social justice advocacy. She also launched NEA’s Bully Free: It Starts With Me campaign which has engaged thousands in bullying prevention, and Inclán helped create the NEA Priority Schools Campaign focused on equity and low performing schools. Since joining the NEA staff, Inclán has taken on a number of different assignments: As an organizational specialist, she worked to strengthen NEA local associations and low performing schools and served on the NEA Great Public Schools Project in New Mexico for two years; and in NEA constituent relations, Inclán served as liaison to National Council of Urban Education Associations, and she worked with our nation’s largest school districts on issues of reform and equity.

As a bilingual teacher, Inclán taught for several years at Heard Elementary School in the Phoenix School District, and later served as an assistant principal and Title VII director in the Isaac School District. Inclán holds a bachelor’s degree in bilingual education from Arizona State University, and earned a master’s degree in administration, planning, and social policy from Harvard University. Inclán brings a deep and abiding passion for improving the education of poor children to her work at NEA. Growing up in Mexico and going to school in the U.S., she learned first-hand that education is indeed the key to a better life.

Danielle Moss Lee

Danielle Moss Lee, Ed.D., CEO of YWCA of the City of New York and NYC Commissioner for Gender Equity
Dr. Danielle Moss Lee joined YWCA City of New York — the nation’s first YWCA association — in 2012 as president and chief executive officer, bringing to the role over 20 years of experience in education and human services. Under her tenure, YWCA City of New York has expanded its program portfolio to include a women’s speaker series for professional women, girls’ leadership programs, and STEM education for girls and young women, and has increased advocacy for women and girls in New York City. Since taking the helm of YWCA City of New York, she has launched the #YWWomanKind Campaign to amplify the organization’s work to engage, uplift, and support women of all ages from all walks of life. In 2015, these efforts were recognized when the Speaker of New York’s City Council asked Moss Lee to co-chair the NY City Council’s Young Women’s Initiative, a citywide effort to remove the systemic barriers to achievement that disproportionally affect girls of color. In 2016, Mayor DeBlasio appointed her to the city’s newly established Commission on Gender Equity.

Moss Lee began her career as a teacher in the Bronx and Brooklyn. She previously served as president and CEO of the Harlem Educational Activities Fund (HEAF), adjunct assistant professor of urban youth policy at CCNY, director for community and parent partnerships at The After-School Corporation, and consulting project director for The Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth. She co-founded and was the lead applicant of Sisulu-Walker Children’s Academy – Harlem Charter School, the first authorized charter school in the state of New York. She received her B.A. in English literature and history with a concentration in Black studies from Swarthmore College, and holds M.A. and Ed.M. degrees from Teachers College Columbia University, where she also completed her doctorate in organization and leadership with a focus on education administration.

Sunil Mansukhani

Sunil Mansukhani, Principal, Raben Group, on behalf of Futures Without Violence
Sunil Mansukhani is a principal at The Raben Group, where he provides clients with strategic advice, counseling, and advocacy assistance in areas that include education, civil rights, and legal services. Before joining The Raben Group, he served as deputy assistant secretary in the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR), where he led the office’s policy and data collection initiatives. During his tenure, OCR issued ground-breaking policy guidance in areas such as the consideration of race in school admissions, harassment and bullying, sexual violence, athletics, and equal access for students with disabilities.      

Mansukhani's other experience includes serving as the first executive director of the District of Columbia Access to Justice Commission, litigating civil rights cases on behalf of the United States while at the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, working as a teaching fellow doing disability rights work at Georgetown University Law Center, clerking for a federal judge, and working as a law firm associate. His awards include being named one of the “Best Lawyers Under 40” by the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association. Mansukhani is a summa cum laude graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Yale Law School.

Dara Richardson-Heron

Dara Richardson-Heron, M.D., CEO, YWCA USA
Dara Richardson-Heron, M.D., was named CEO of YWCA USA in December 2012. Featured in The New York Times as one of four women chief executives discussing female voices in leadership, she is using her platform to lead YWCA USA and more than 220 YWCA local associations, together the 24th-largest nonprofit in the nation, in building a national movement for the elimination of racism and the em­powerment of women.

Richardson-Heron regularly represents the organization on Capitol Hill, at the White House, and in the media. She has been featured in CNN, Forbes, Chronicle of Philanthropy, Huffington Post, Non­Profit Times, and Black Enterprise, among others. She has received numerous awards, including Woman of Excellence in Philanthropy, “25 Influential Black Women in Business,” and the YWCA Acad­emy of Women Achievers. She has been named one of the “21 Leaders for the 21st Century” and also included in the Ideagen Impact 100 list. In 2013, 2014, and 2015, she was named to The NonProfit Times “Power & Influence Top 50” CEO list and in 2015, she was honored with the Distinguished Alumna Award from Barnard College, her alma mater.

Lindsay Rosenthal

Lindsay Rosenthal, Senior Program Associate and Gender Justice Fellow, Vera Institute for Justice
Lindsay Rosenthal’s work at the Vera Institute aims to prevent and end the incarceration of girls in America by reforming unnecessarily punitive law enforcement practices and creating pathways to long-term well-being, safety, and justice for girls in their communities. At Vera, Rosenthal leads the Project for Gender Equity in Health and Justice, which implements public health solutions to violence and incarceration for girls and LGBT/GNC youth of color. Prior to joining Vera, she was a post-graduate policy and advocacy fellow at the Ms. Foundation for Women. There she co-authored a groundbreaking report, The Sexual Abuse to Prison Pipeline: The Girl’s Story, which was published through the Georgetown Law Center on Poverty and Inequality in 2015. The report systematically exposes the widespread incarceration of girls of color in America as a direct result of their status as victims of violence.

Rosenthal currently serves on the steering committee of the New York City Council’s Young Women’s Initiative, a $20 million public-private partnership for girls and young women of color. Her prior work includes research and advocacy on women’s health and rights at the Center for American Progress and direct-service with girls in foster care and the juvenile justice system in Miami-Dade County. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Florida International University and a master's degree in humanities from the University of Chicago with a concentration in legal anthropology.

Malika Saada Saar

Moderated by: Malika Saada Saar, Public Policy and Government Relations Senior Counsel – Civil and Human Rights, Google
Malika Saada Saar is Google's senior counsel on civil and human rights. She previously worked as executive director of the Human Rights Project for Girls (Rights4Girls) and the Raben Group's special counsel on human rights. As a human rights lawyer and advocate, Saada Saar led the effort to shut down Craigslist sex ads that served as the leading site for the trafficking of children for sex, ended the federal practice of shackling pregnant mothers behind bars in U.S. prisons, and successfully advocated for millions in federal funding for treatment services for at-risk families. Newsweek and the Daily Beast have named Saada Saar as one of “150 Women Who Shake the World.”

The Obama White House selected Saada Saar to serve on the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS. She also serves on the board of directors for the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Human Rights. She has also been honored by Brown University's highest alumni award, the Roger Williams award, and by Georgetown Law Center's esteemed Robert F. Drinan Award for Public Service. Saada Saar holds a B.A. from Brown University, M.A. in education from Stanford University, and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.

Catherine V. Beane

Remarks by: Catherine V. Beane, Vice President, Public Policy & Advocacy, YWCA USA
Catherine Beane is the vice president of public policy & advocacy for YWCA USA, where she leads the advocacy department’s efforts to impact legislation and policy related to racial justice and civil rights, women’s empowerment and economic advancement, and women’s health and safety. Beane has more than two decades of experience addressing equity issues in public policy and legal settings. Most recently, she addressed gender equity, school discipline, and student achievement issues for the National Education Association, and served as the policy director for the Children’s Defense Fund. Beane began her career providing direct service as a trial attorney representing indigent youth and adults in juvenile and criminal proceedings. Beane earned her B.A. from Emory University and her J.D. from Catholic University of America.