by Amanda Azad
Picture a college kid 10 years ago. In addition to the acid-washed skinny jeans and an obsession with Angry Birds, imagine this person is a sophomore pursuing a political science major. They are politically active on campus, participating in protests against the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq; and they love camping. Usually, this student would be seen by law enforcement as just a normal college kid doing normal college kid stuff. Except for one thing: This kid is Muslim. Because of this, they are instead seen as a potential terrorist.
This is the legacy of the War on Terror: an America where everything about the Muslim identity has been criminalized and that criminalization is embedded in our criminal justice system.
Continue reading OPINION: Islamophobia Is a Criminal Justice Reform Issue, Here’s Why
by Carmen Rivera
I am the daughter of the first Puerto Rican police officer in the Seattle Police Department (SPD). He was hired when law enforcement organizations began fully implementing affirmative action hiring during the early 1970s, shortly after SPD did away with their height requirement. His police academy class was the first to train alongside women, all three of them. I was raised around Seattle Police officers and do not believe all cops are bad, and as an adjunct professor for the Criminal Justice Department for Seattle University, I know the institution of policing is problematic.
Continue reading OPINION: To Protect and Serve, Defund Police
by Carmen Rivera, MSc
Students sit quietly in a converted classroom, formerly a home economics room furnished with stoves and sinks. The stoves are unplugged, desks and computers are shoved against the old kitchenette spaces. A unit of students sits in front of computers with little instructor involvement. Teachers are largely managing online learning, rather than teaching. The program being used is ‘Edgenuity,’ an online learning and credit recovery provider for students behind in middle/high school credits.
Continue reading OPINION: Washington State’s Institutional Education is Criminally Underfunded