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 2018-01-17
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
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

Planned Parenthood Illinois Action PAC to mark 45th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade 2018-01-22 - CHICAGO ( January 22, 2018 ) — Planned Parenthood Illinois Action PAC ( PPIA PAC ) will mark the 45th anniversary of Roe ...


Gay News

Biden Foundation Advisory Councils to focus on violence against women, LGBTQ equality 2018-01-22 - WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the Biden Foundation announced the formation of two Advisory Councils that will support its work to end violence against ...


Gay News

Roe v. Wade 45th anniversary observed during challenging times for reproductive rights 2018-01-22 - WASHINGTON-DC: For 45 years, Roe v. Wade has kept abortion legal in the U.S. — but it hasn't kept politicians from pushing abortion ...


Gay News

State Department sued for discriminating against married same-sex couples 2018-01-22 - Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles, CA — Today, Immigration Equality and Sullivan & Cromwell LLP filed two lawsuits against the U.S. State Department ...


Gay News

Report: 2017 worst in 20 years for hate-related LGBTQ homicides 2018-01-22 - The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs 2017 Report on LGBTQ Hate Violence Homicides reports the highest number of homicides in the 20 years ...


Gay News

Lambda joins brief, holding that defunding unions would undermine work protections 2018-01-21 - ( New York, January 19, 2018 ) — Lambda Legal, joined by the Human Rights Campaign, National Center for Lesbian Rights, National LGBTQ ...


Gay News

City moves to dismiss lawsuit, ACLU demands commitment to Chicago Police reform 2018-01-18 - The below statement comes from Karen Sheley, Director, Police Practices Project, ACLU of Illinois. "It has been one year since the U.S. ...


Gay News

HRC International Corporate Equality Index to rate global LGBTQ workplace inclusion 2018-01-17 - SANTIAGO — Today, the Human Rights Campaign ( HRC ) Foundation kicks off its groundbreaking partnership with FundaciÃ"n Iguales & Pride Connection with ...


Gay News

Number of uninsured Americans shows increase during 2017 2018-01-17 - Washington, D.C. — Today, Gallup News organization reported that the number of uninsured Americans increased during 2017, the first time in four years, ...


Gay News

Landmark ruling OKs marriage, trans rights in Americas 2018-01-17 - The Inter-American Court of Human Rights, on Jan. 9, issued a landmark ruling that recognizes same-sex marriage and transgender rights in the Western ...


 



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


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.