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Dr. Whitney Richards-Calathes

Senior Director of Research, Advocacy, and Policy

Whitney (she/her) is a community-based researcher, transformative justice practitioner, organizer, and writer. Born into a family of labor organizers and youth workers, Whitney holds movement work at her center. For over ten years she has worked on issues that she believes deeply in and that inspire her: young women’s leadership development, educational access, prison abolition, racial justice, and gender equity. She has worked with organizations such as the Sadie Nash Leadership Project, and Community Connections for Youth in NYC, as well as the Youth Justice Coalition in Los Angeles. Whitney holds a PhD from The Graduate Center at the City University of New York, and writes about the impact of incarceration on generations of Black women in Los Angeles.

She is experienced in participatory research and Black feminist methodologies, while also centering collaborative and accountable research that’s in service to change. Whitney believes that social justice is beyond the jobs we have—that it is an ethic in how we live life, build relationships, respect and interact with the Earth, and how we value ourselves. Whitney is from the Bronx and is currently based in Harlem, lands originally kept and protected by the Lenape people.