Feminist Anti-Carceral Policy & Research Initiative

Feminist Anti-Carceral Policy & Research Initiative

Background image: Logo for Feminist Anti-Carceral Policy & Research Initiative

According to the ACLU, nearly 60% of people in women’s prison nationwide, and as many as 94% of some women’s prison populations, have a history of physical or sexual abuse before being incarcerated. For many survivors, their experience of domestic violence, rape, and other forms of gender violence are bound up with systems of incarceration and police violence.

Logo for Feminist Anti-Carceral Policy & Research Initiative

In response, local and national organizations launched the Survived and Punished project in 2015 which illuminates the “gender violence to prison pipeline,” providing a structural analysis for and political challenge to the criminalization of survivors of domestic and sexual violence.

The Feminist Anti-Carceral Policy & Research Initiative (FACPRI) will build on this surge of organizing in two ways. First FACPRI will collaborate with Survived and Punished as they develop a policy strategy to create sustained routes out of prison for survivors of violence. Second, FACPRI will support efforts to address the lack of research and theory about the criminalization of survivors of domestic and sexual violence, and how gender violence is integral to carcerality.

About the FACPRI

FACPRI was seeded within the CRG through connections developed in the following major events:

  • 2013 conference, “Race, Domestic and Sexual Violence: From the Prison Nation to Community Resistance,” which featured Profs. Angela Davis, Kimberle Crenshaw, and Beth Richie as keynote speakers, organized by the Center for Race & Gender and the Thelton E. Henderson Center for Social Justice at the UC Berkeley Law School.
  • 2015 symposium, “#SurvivedAndPunished: Building Radical Coalitions to End the Criminalization of Survivors,” which also featured scholars, local organizers, and Renata Hill from the New Jersey 4 and Kelly Ann Savage, activists who spoke on the experience of surviving the intersections of domestic/sexual violence and carceral/state violence. The symposium was collaboratively organized by the CRG and community organizations, California Coalition for Women Prisoners, Stand With Nan-Hui, and Free Marissa Now.
  • The 2015 symposium also screened Out in the Night, an award winning documentary about the prosecution of four black lesbians in New Jersey for defending themselves from sexual violence and the grassroots movement to free them.

FACPRI also contributed to the following powerful Oakland-based community events:

  • Co-sponsored the 2017 “No Selves to Defend” community art exhibit, a collection of poster art telling the stories of survivors who have been criminalized.  The exhibit was organized by Survived and Punished.
  • Contributed testimony at the 2016 event, “Breaking the Silence: Oakland Town Hall on Women and Girls of Color.” This Town Hall created the space for local decision makers to listen to the challenges and daily experiences of girls and women of color across a range of issues including displacement, education, interpersonal and inter-communal violence, and criminalization.  The event was organized by the African American Policy Forum, Impact Hub Oakland and members of the BTSTH_Oak Planning Committee.

Past FACPRI Scholars

(Bios reflect scholars’ status at the time of their appointment at the Center for Race and Gender.)

Alisa wearing a green shirt

Alisa Bierria

Alisa Bierria is a University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Gender & Women’s Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. Alisa is also the founder and coordinator of the Feminist Anti-Carceral Policy & Research Initiative, an initiative hosted by the Center for Race & Gender at UC Berkeley. She received her PhD in Philosophy from Stanford University. She is also a member of a number of community based projects, including Survived and Punished, a national project that develops policy, legal advocacy strategies, and community education and organizing materials that challenge the criminalization of survivors of domestic and sexual violence.

With a specific focus on black women’s agentic practices, Alisa’s dissertation, Missing in Action: Agency, Race, & Recognition, contends that philosophical accounts of intentional action must incorporate an analysis of sociality, relations of power, and recognition. She is a recipient of the Stanford University Diane J. Middlebrook Prize for Graduate Teaching, and has years of experience writing, teaching, and organizing on issues of gender violence and redress.  Other research interests include feminist/queer carceral studies, black feminist and feminist of color theory, social ontology, and popular culture.

Alisa is co-editor of Community Accountability: Emerging Movements to Transform Violence, a special issue of Social Justice: A Journal of Crime, Conflict, and World Order.  Her writing can also be found in Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist PhilosophyJournal of Popular Music Studies; Left Turn Magazine; Shout Out: Women of Color Respond To Violence; What Lies Beneath: Katrina, Race, and the State of the NationThe Revolution Will Not Be Funded: Beyond The Non-Profit Industrial Complex; Color of Violence: The INCITE! AnthologyReal Change NewspaperThe Feminist Wire; and Scholar & Feminist Online.


Invisible No More Symposium Spring 2018

Invisible No More: A Symposium On Resisting Police Violence Against Black Women & Women Of Color

03.21.2018 | 4:00 – 7:30 PM |  Multicultural Community Center at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Student Union

03.22.2018| 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM |  Multicultural Community Center at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Student Union

Experiences of women of color – often invisible in broader debates and movements around police violence, criminalization, and gender-based violence – must fuel our research & resistance.

FEATURING: Screening of the Academy Award-nominated Film, Traffic Stop & the Berkeley premiere of the national art exhibit, No Selves to Defend



A roundtable of organizers and scholars will discuss why gendered analyses have often been marginalized in activism, policy, and research addressing police violence and how to shift the paradigm for a more expansive and transformative politics.

4:00 pm : Welcome & Opening

4:45 pm: Screening of Academy Award Nominated film, Traffic Stop

5:20pm : Reception

5:50 pm : Honor Families

6:15 pm : Shifting the Paradigm Panel


10:00 am:  WELCOME 


Moderated by Leti Volpp, UC Berkeley Center for Race & Gender

Martha D. Escobar, California State University, Northridge

Saira Hussain, Asian Law Caucus; Survived & Punished

Angie Junck, Immigrant Legal Resource Center

Lee Ann Wang, University of Washington


Moderated by Xandra Ibarra 

Jill Adams, UC Berkeley, Center on Reproductive Rights & Justice

Monica Jones, OUTLAW Project

Emi Koyama, Coalition for Rights & Safety for People in the Sex Trade

12:45 pm:  LUNCH (on your own) ~ Books on sale by Eastwind Books ~ 


Moderated by Alisa Bierria, UC Berkeley; Survived & Punished 

Nan-Hui Jo, Survived & Punished; Stand With Nan-Hui

Mimi Kim, California State University, Long Beach; Creative Interventions

Romarilyn Ralston, California Coalition for Women Prisoners; California State University, Fullerton

Lidia Salazar, Community United Against Violence

2:45 pm:  BREAK, SNACKS


Melina Abdullah, California State University, Los Angeles; Black Lives Matter- Los Angeles

Cat Brooks, Anti-Police Terror Project

Aminah Colbert, California Coalition for Women Prisoners; Survived & Punished

Lisa Earl, Justice for Jackie; Rachel Herzing, Center for Political Education

Janetta Johnson, TGI Justice Project

Mia Mingus, Bay Area Transformative Justice Collective

Ola Osaze, Black LGBTQIA Migrant Project

Connie Wun, Transformative Research


In the midst of intensified immigration enforcement, doubling down on discredited drug war tactics, initiatives flooding communities of color with police, continuing disrespect for Indigenous sovereignty, rampant Islamophobia, increased attacks on gender, sexual, and reproductive liberation, and ongoing criminalization and violations of people with disabilities, police violence is poised to escalate on every front. Simultaneously, we are in the midst of a national conversation about sexual violence that offers tremendous opportunities to shine a light on sexual violence committed by police officers, as well as criminalizing responses to survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence. In each of these contexts, the experiences of women of color — often invisible in broader debates and movements around police violence, criminalization, and gender-based violence — must fuel our resistance. 

To advance these critical conversations, this event convenes scholars, artists, survivors, organizers, and advocates living and working at the intersections of race, gender, sexuality and criminalization to join us for a two day symposium examining and building on the themes, trends, and strategies explored in Andrea Ritchie’s recent book, Invisible No More: Police Violence Against Black Women and Women of Color (Beacon Press, 2017). Placing stories of individual women—such as Sandra Bland, Kayla Moore, Charleena Lyles, Jessica Williams, Monica Jones, and Mya Hall—in the broader frame of the twin epidemics of police violence and mass incarceration, it documents the evolution of movements centering women’s experiences of policing and demands a radical rethinking of our visions of safety—and the means we devote to achieving it.

Exploring racial profiling, police violence, criminalization, mass incarceration and immigration enforcement through the lens of the experiences of Black women, Indigenous women, and women of color, symposium participants will engage the crossroads between organizing, research, art, and policy strategies to transform conditions of state violence in this historic political moment.

This event is made possible by the following generous co-sponsors: African American Studies; American Cultures; Barnard Center for Research on Women; Center on Reproductive Rights and Justice; Division of Equity and Inclusion; Ethnic Studies; Gender & Women’s Studies; Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society LGBTQ Cluster; Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society Diversity and Health Disparity Cluster; Institute of Governmental Studies; Institute for the Study of Societal Issues; Multicultural Community Center; Thelton E. Henderson Center for Social Justice; Third Wave Fund; The Doreen B. Townsend Center for the Humanities.