Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2018-04-18
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Inaugural gender/justice symposium focuses on women of color
by Liz Baudler
2017-12-13

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Calls for trauma-informed intervention were heard throughout the first ever Gender and Justice Symposium at Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital on Dec. 7, led by the state's attorney herself.

"What we know far too often when we look into the history of the perpetrator they too have been victimized," said Kim Foxx.

Foxx touched on her own history as a survivor of sexual abuse, and said she felt it was "inevitable" that she would enter the criminal justice system, although, she joked, she didn't expect to do it as lead prosecutor. She admonished the room full of community organizers, therapists, and others to learn about the populations they worked with so as to prevent further harm.

"I want to make sure everything we do is informed by everyone we serve," said Foxx.

Deanne Benos, of Women's Justice Initiative, talked about her experiences working in with the correctional department and how staff was "dismissive" of the traumatized female population. Throughout the morning, the audience heard various statistics about incarcerated and detained women. Foxx stated that more than 80 percent of the girls in the juvenile justice system experience violence, while Benos added that 98 percent of incarcerated women have a domestic or sexual-abuse history. She added that confinement likely triggers trauma, getting these women labeled as aggressive.

"We are killing women and girls that enter our justice system," she said. However she pointed out that Illinois recently passed a law requiring gender responsive, trauma informed polices and procedures in the prison and parole system.

The first of two panels made up of practitioners, activists and formerly incarcerated women discussed the importance of gender. Panelists agreed on the need to properly train those who work with incarcerated women. Mariela Villanueva, one of the formerly incarcerated women, now is an artist who works with Free Write, said many correctional employees told her she was "just a check" to them.

Benos had pointed out that incarcerated women were "disproportionately" of color, and moderator Anna Buckingham identified the intersection of race and gender as a crucial variable in this population. Therapist Sequoya Hayes discussed how Black women and girls often play a dual role in households; that of protector versus victim or survivor. She saw Black women as cycling between "resilience, repression and response."

Filmmaker and activist Valerie Goodloe added, "being Black, a woman, and poor is a triple threat." Goodloe told the room about visiting Cook County Jail and seeing a room full of what she presumed to be butch lesbians. Upon talking to one of them, Goodloe learned that this woman had been raped repeatedly by her father and others starting at age 11. At 28, she had 10 kids, and in Goodloe's words, "did not feel worthy of being a women".

Despite the symposium's inclusive title, LGBTQ issues were often addressed sparingly, although many panelists and speakers recognized the identity as an important intersection. Villanueva talked about employees isolating LGBTQ girls and telling them they were "going to hell."

The panel also discussed the myth that working with girls is hard, a myth they partially agreed with. "Women are different," Goodloe said. "We have more challenges and more things we have to be accountable for."

Theology professor Dr. Stephanie Crumpton said she'd had to learn that "everybody's not my daughter and I'm not everyone's mama." Villanueva echoed that trust was the key to building relationships with women and girls in her situation.

Keynote speaker Shakira Washington, of the National Crittenton Foundation, pointed out that often the offenses that put girls in contact with the criminal justice system were "behaviors reflective of the complex lives which they live". Many of girls' initial violations were status offenses such as missing curfew or simple assault, often in the context of a family dispute, situations which Washington said posed "little to no risk to public safety."

Washington explained the effects of ACES, or adverse childhood experiences, such as a divorce, physical abuse or emotional neglect. Those with an ACE score above 4 are four to five times more likely to be socially or cognitively impacted by their trauma. Certain ACES, such as sexual abuse, are much more likely in girls.

"Trauma goes well beyond what ACE asseses," Washington said. She added that girls of color are twice as likely to be incarcerated as white girls, and that 40 percent of detained girls are LGBTQ. While Washington ended her speech on the note of resilience, she acknowledged that girls and youth were often failed by the systems supposedly designed to help them.

"Too often we expect young people to be resilient under conditions no one should have to be resilient under," Washington said.

In the face of the grim statistics, the day's second panel focused on moving forward. Yet moving forward seemed impossible for Hannah Perez, who told the room about giving birth while incarcerated. In the final weeks of her pregnancy, Perez was in a room with no air conditioning, in temperatures approaching 100 degrees and with no cold drinks. She said people rarely responded when she yelled, and after she gave birth and could hardly walk, she was still followed to the bathroom. Officials didn't allow her mother with her as she gave birth, and gave no information to the family about the health of the baby, she said.

The rest of the panel seemed to echo Perez's dark tone, initially. Mark Payne, former executive director of CeaseFire, talked about noticing an uptick of girls being shot but city officials not expressing "a lot of interest" in his observation or bringing in experts to deal with gender. Dr. Kisha Roberts-Tabbs, a Cook County juvenile probation officer, expressed consternation that there was no outreach to the juvenile justice system for dealing with human trafficking. Roberts-Tabbs said she'd gotten over 1,000 calls on the matter since taking her position in 2015.

Roberts-Tabbs also shed light on why girls were more likely to rack up status offenses, pinpointing cultural expectations. "When my daughter's not home, it says I'm not doing something right," she explained.

Payne's advice for progress was to work with organizations that excel at specific outreach and to expand existing programs. He also added that activists were important to policy change, citing an example of the trans community protesting lockup procedure leading to a change in that procedure.

Symposium organizer Liz Alexander closed with a story of the Masaai in Kenya, who often greet each other by asking, "Are the children well?"

"Our children are not well," said Alexander. "The system has failed them." Yet it was clear that to her, the day had served its purpose. "We have come to a point where we can acknowledge all this," said Alexander. "We must create what has never been created before."


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

OUT at CHM Undocumented and Queer panel April 24 2018-04-23 - OUT at CHM: Undocumented and Queer will take place at Chicago History Museum, 1601 N. Clark, Chicago on Tuesday April 24. The event ...


Gay News

2018 Lambda Legal Bon Foster honors Judge Pat Logue 2018-04-20 - Joy, love and occasional notes of somberness and urgency described the feel of 2018's Lambda Legal Bon Foster, held on the evening of ...


Gay News

Acceptance of LGBT people and rights has increased around the world 2018-04-19 - LOS ANGELES — New research from the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law finds average levels of acceptance for LGBT people and ...


Gay News

Free Interactive Workshop on Racial Justice, April 28 at University Church 2018-04-19 - A free, interactive workshop that offers a new perspective on working for racial justice will take place Saturday, April 28 from 9:30 am ...


Gay News

HRC series exposes Pence's career of attacks on LGBTQ Americans 2018-04-19 - WASHINGTON — Today, the Human Rights Campaign ( HRC ), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer ( LGBTQ ) civil ...


Gay News

PM expresses regret for anti-LGBT laws 2018-04-19 - London UK — 17 April 2018 — The following is a response to today's statement at the Commonwealth summit in London from the ...


Gay News

Schock corruption trial continues 2018-04-18 - Department of Justice prosecutors and attorney for former U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock ( R-Illinois ) met in a Chicago federal appeals court April ...


Gay News

Judge rules lawsuit over anti-trans Trump ban will go to trial 2018-04-18 - A federal judge in Seattle rejected the Trump administration's claim that its "new" plan to ban transgender people from serving openly in the ...


Gay News

Black women anti-rape advocates unite at UIC 2018-04-18 - "After Rosa, Before #MeToo"—a panel of the history of Black women's anti-rape organizing efforts—was a chance for four powerful women to commiserate on ...


Gay News

Officials say Lesbian mom who drove family off cliff was drunk 2018-04-18 - In California, Mendocino County authorities said that a woman who drove herself, her wife and their adopted children off a cliff in the ...


 



Copyright © 2018 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.