Karen Dolan is a Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies. Karen holds an M.A. With Highest Distinction in Philosophy and Social Policy from the American University in Washington DC.

Karen joined IPS in 1996. Her public scholarship and activism at IPS has linked community-led organizations with social movements and policymakers at the local, state, and federal levels. The focus of her work is on anti-poverty issues, juvenile justice, criminal justice reform, and transgender rights with a focus on race, gender, and gender identity. Karen currently directs the Criminalization of Race and Poverty project.

Some of Karen’s publications include: Mothers at the Gate: How a powerful family movement is transforming the juvenile justice system; The Poor Get Prison: The alarming spread of the criminalization of povertyClosing the Inequality DivideBattered By The Storm: How the Safety Net is Failing Americans and How to Fix itWe’re Not BrokeOur Communities are Not for SalePaying the Price: the Mounting Costs of War in IraqForeign Policy Goes Local; and she was a contributor for Mandate for Change.

Karen blogs for Huffington Post and regularly appears in other media outlets. Karen serves on the boards of The Participatory Budgeting Project, The Liberty Tree Foundation and Jobs With Justice Worker Rights Board.

Areas of Expertise

  • Progressive movement, policymakers
  • Poverty, economic hardship
  • Criminalization of race and poverty
  • Juvenile justice; criminal justice reform
  • Gender and gender identity; transgender rights
  • Cost of war and militarism at home

Latest

A Pandemic of the Poor

As we approach 1 million COVID-19 deaths, Americans in poorer counties have died at double the rate of wealthier counties.

Clarence Thomas’ Conflicts Put Our Whole Constitutional System at Risk

Federal law requires Supreme Court justices to recuse themselves from cases in which their “impartiality might reasonably be questioned.”

Should one millionaire senator really be able to send millions of children back into poverty?

The human cost of Manchin’s threat to kill the Build Back Better Act.

Three Reasons to Be Hopeful About 2022

The year to come could still see big changes for the better. Here’s how.

Democrats Need to Stop Scaling Back Build Back Better, and Pass the Bill Right Now

The Democrats’ main vulnerability right now is that voters simply have no idea they’re trying to do popular things.

To Curb Inflation, Pass Biden Plan

The bill helps Americans get good jobs and afford food, housing, health care and child care — a strong response to inflation.

Democrats Need to Protect Democracy — And Pass Their Own Agenda

The 2022 elections are still a year away, but all signs point to trouble for Democrats.

“Only a fraction of the size of the investments needed to achieve social and economic equity,” but a historic victory for movements and impacted communities:

The Institute for Policy Studies’ Criminalization of Race and Poverty Project celebrates the historic anti-poverty provisions of the Build Back Better bill passed by the U.S. House while joining social movements in calling for fuller equity.

Historic Relief for American Families Is on Its Way to Your Bank Account

If you’re a parent, odds are you’ll be getting a direct deposit very soon.

The Man for the Moment Who Must Do More

Biden deserves praise for going big and bold on the economy. Let’s push him to go bigger and bolder.

Democrats’ COVID Relief Plan Could Cut Child Poverty by 4 Million

An expanded child tax credit could create the ‘bootstraps’ to lift the next generation.

How We’re Celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Legacy

King was right: We need a multiracial movement to repair our country’s deep divides. Here’s where public scholarship plays a role.

Biden Should Build on Bipartisan Support for Hiking the Minimum Wage and Taxing the Rich

Despite our sharp divisions, a majority of Americans are united behind many policies to combat poverty and reduce inequality.

Congress Must Deliver COVID-19 Relief

Where is the concern for the families of the more than 215,000 Americans who have lost their lives to the coronavirus?

Trump Looks Out For Himself While Americans Struggle

As American lives hang in the balance, Trump enjoys $100,000 worth of cutting edge treatment for his COVID-19 infection.

This Is a Recession. Republicans Need to Stop Blocking Relief.

Prioritizing evidence-based virus safety measures means more than wearing masks and practicing social distancing. It means passing a robust relief package.

This Is an Emergency: Americans Need Relief, and Trump Is Standing in the Way

The president just benefited from lifesaving, taxpayer-funded measures. He has no business blocking Americans from getting the same.

Trump Gets Socialized Health Care. What About the Rest of Us?

The president has free access to the best medical care in the world. There’s no reason why the rest of America shouldn’t get what their taxes pay for.

Reimagining School Safety

A look at the dangers posed to students by law enforcement and how to invest in real school safety for our nation’s children.

Reimagining School Safety Resolution Toolkit

Real school safety means divesting from school resource officers and investing in restorative practices, social development, health, and counseling.

Project Director

Criminalization of Race and Poverty

Email this expert

202-787-5228

Community Policing, Criminal Justice, Families of Incarcerated, Juvenile Justice, Local Democracy, Mass Incarceration LGBTQIA, Participatory Budgeting, Race and Poverty, Racial Justice

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