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

Protected: Reimagining School Safety Resolution Toolkit

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Get Cops Out of Schools: A Factsheet

Educators are waking up to the grave emotional and developmental harm school resource officers cause. School districts must reallocate their resources.

The Fight for Equality Just Won a Huge Victory

There’s a lot of bad news out there, but I hope we’ll celebrate amid the pain.

The Movement for Black Lives Is a Small-Town Movement, Too

Turns out a whole lot of Americans don’t like racism or police brutality — even in conservative, white, rural, or southern towns.

Trump’s War on the Hungry

The Trump administration has waged war on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, commonly called food stamps.

The Real Coronavirus Threat to Kids: Poverty, Hunger, Homelessness

Half our children are at risk of the economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic.

Trump Breaks Promise on Medicare, Other Safety Net Programs

Trump promised to keep his hands off of Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security—while also trying to cut them to pieces.

The White House Crusade to Kill Food Assistance

This rule change doesn’t promote work — it promotes misery. And it’s only the beginning.

Trump’s New SNAP Cuts Amount to War on the Poor

Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced plans to cut SNAP benefits that could drive millions further into poverty.

Teenagers Are Changing The World. Let Them Vote.

Young activists are leading global struggles over climate change and civil rights. They deserve to have a say in who runs their government.

Even Alongside Impeachment, AOC’s Plan to Eradicate Poverty Should Be Headline News

While Trump’s potential impeachment dominates news feeds, let’s not lose sight of the deep policy changes needed to make this country work for all of us.

Census Fails to Count 100 Million People as Living in Poverty

Census data asserts US poverty has fallen to 11.8 percent, or 38.1 million Americans. Yet, 40 percent of all Americans can’t afford a $400 emergency.

About 100 Million Americans Are Effectively Hidden by Official Poverty Statistics

Millions of us are living in poverty — we need investments to raise the standard of living.

We’re the Wealthiest Country — Our Kids Shouldn’t Go to School Hungry

The Trump administration recently proposed cuts to SNAP. Now they want to roll back national nutrition standards for school lunches.

Trump’s Cuts to Food Stamps Are Indefensible, Economically and Morally

The SNAP program reduces poverty better than anything else, with very little fraud.

Transgender People’s Rights Are in Peril

The majority-conservative Supreme Court is poised to review the application of Title VII to trans people in the workplace.

All I want for Mother’s Day Is Equality for My Child

My child has fought her whole life for her right to exist. This administration wants to take that away.

Men Like Kavanaugh Always Enjoy the Presumption of Innocence; Others Aren’t so Lucky

White males with high economic status are almost always presumed innocent, often at the expense of minorities and white women.

Punitive, Zero Tolerance Policies Are Endangering Our Students

Restorative justice is a promising alternative to arming teachers and putting cops in schools. And we can prove it.

Help Spread the Word: #RealSchoolSafety

Help spread the word about our new report, Students Under Siege

Project Director

Criminalization of Race and Poverty

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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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