Click Here to register for this virtual event.
Many believe the child welfare system protects children from abuse. But as Torn Apart uncovers, this system is designed to punish Black families. Drawing on decades of research, legal scholar and sociologist Dorothy Roberts reveals that the child welfare system is better understood as a “family policing system” that collaborates with law enforcement and prisons to oppress Black communities. Child protection investigations ensnare a majority of Black children, putting their families under intense state surveillance and regulation. Black children are disproportionately likely to be torn from their families and placed in foster care, driving many to juvenile detention and imprisonment.
The only way to stop the destruction caused by family policing, Torn Apart argues, is to abolish the child welfare system and liberate Black communities.
Dorothy Roberts, an acclaimed scholar of race, gender and the law, is the George A. Weiss University Professor of Law and Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania. The author of four books, including Killing the Black Body, she lives in Philadelphia. Her path breaking work in law and public policy focuses on urgent social justice issues in policing, family regulation, science, medicine, and bioethics. She has been featured in countless media outlets including The New York Times, MSNBC, NPR, PBS, Vice News, CNN, ABC, and many others.
Roberts will be in conversation with Keeanga-Yahmatta Taylor, author of Race for Profit: How Banks and the Real Estate Industry Undermined Black Homeownership, published in 2019 by University of North Carolina Press. Race for Profit was a semi-finalist for the 2019 National Book Award and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in History in 2020. She is a 2021 MacArthur Foundation Fellow and is Professor of African American Studies at Princeton University. She is currently a contributing writer to The New Yorker along with other outlets.