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Amy Tannenbaum, Program Assistant

Amy Tannenbaum is the Program Assistant for Education and Employment. Prior to joining the Center, she worked at the Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs in their EEO Project. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Hamilton College in 2010 with a degree in comparative literature; her thesis explored how women have used writing and performance to address sexual assault.  Outside of her work with the Center, she volunteers with several women-focused projects in the D.C. area and runs half-marathons.

My Take

4 Reminders from the James Taranto Column on Alcohol and Sexual Assault

Posted by Amy Tannenbaum, Program Assistant | Posted on: February 11, 2014 at 05:17 pm

Whenever I read a column like James Taranto’s “Drunkenness and Double Standards” in the Wall Street Journal, I am reminded of all of the lessons I was taught growing up about how to avoid being assaulted at a party: make sure you have a party buddy, ruthlessly guard your drink, or maybe just avoid leaving the house altogether – just to be sure. These rules are victim-blaming at their finest. Instead of teaching young people how not to get assaulted, we should be teaching them not to assault. My favorite on this list? “Use the Buddy System! If it is inconvenient for you to stop yourself from raping women, ask a trusted friend to accompany you at all times.”

Here are some other important “reminders” from Taranto’s column:


Good News for Black Girls and Women in NYC: Mayor de Blasio Takes First Steps to End Stop-and-Frisk

Posted by Amy Tannenbaum, Program Assistant | Posted on: February 04, 2014 at 10:12 am

Last Sunday, Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City announced that the City’s controversial stop-and-frisk policy, in its current incarnation, will soon be a thing of the past. This is excellent news: the policy, which allowed police officers to detain, question, and frisk pedestrians on the street, was declared unconstitutional by federal district court last year in light of its disproportionate impact on people of color.

In his announcement, Mayor de Blasio noted that the policy “has unfairly targeted young African-American and Latino men.” It has also unfairly targeted women in the same demographic. Given the potentially invasive nature of a police search and pat-down, many women who were stopped likened the experience to sexual harassment. I applaud Mayor de Blasio for not only taking the steps necessary to end Stop-and-Frisk, but also for acknowledging the program’s problematic racial elements. Still, it is important that women and girls of color are not erased when we talk about police misconduct and discipline.


Fairness for Pregnant Workers: A Review of 2013

Posted by Amy Tannenbaum, Program Assistant | Posted on: January 13, 2014 at 10:20 am

2013 was quite a year in the fight for fair treatment for pregnant workers! The issue of providing workplace accommodations for pregnant workers has gotten national attention in the media, and has helped to build momentum for progress on legislation at the federal, state and city level. In a national poll, over 90% of likely voters polled supported workplace protections for pregnant women.

In 2013, the federal Pregnant Workers Fairness Act gained 113 cosponsors in the House of Representatives, and 20 cosponsors in the Senate. The bills, which are led by Rep. Nadler in the House of Representatives and Sens. Casey and Shaheen in the Senate, would make unmistakably clear that employers have a duty to accommodate pregnant workers who need minor job accommodations to continue safely working and providing for their families while maintaining a healthy pregnancy. Bills providing protections for pregnant workers were passed in Maryland and New York City.


Quick Hit: bell hooks and Melissa Harris-Perry at the New School

Posted by Amy Tannenbaum, Program Assistant | Posted on: November 21, 2013 at 03:50 pm

Two weeks ago, the fabulous Drs. bell hooks and Melissa Harris-Perry met for a public conversation at the New School in New York. Their conversation ranged from Renisha McBride, to stereotypes facing single mothers of color, to why it is that they write.

Parts of their conversation also reflected themes we have been exploring in our work on the experiences of girls of color, particularly Black girls, in schools. hooks pointed out that she is often characterized as being “difficult,” when she herself would say that she is precise. Harris-Perry explained that she is also often characterized as “mad,” and clarifies that she often is mad – but that she is mad about something, not as “an inherent aspect of [her] Blackness.”


Remembering Renisha McBride: On Not Forgetting Girls of Color

Posted by Amy Tannenbaum, Program Assistant | Posted on: November 13, 2013 at 11:17 am

Two weekends ago, a 19-year-old woman named Renisha McBride was involved in a car crash. She sought help in a nearby neighborhood. The house's resident shot and killed Renisha while she was standing on his porch. 

Details about Renisha's story are still emerging, but reports indicate that the shooter perceived Renisha as a home intruder. Her death has recently been ruled a homicide. Her story is a sobering reminder of why we cannot leave black girls out of the conversation on the experiences of youth of color. Renisha faced multiple stereotypes about who she was and what she was doing on that home's doorstep. We've heard a bit about how those stereotypes can lead to higher rates of discipline in schools and profoundly affect the educational opportunities available to girls of color, particularly black girls, but frankly not enough. In particular, Dr. Monique Morris has examined how black girls are disciplined for being "loud," which is a persistent negative stereotype of black women of all ages. 

These same stereotypes can be deadly. Take, for example, Rekia Boyd, who was killed by an off-duty police officer in Chicago after the officer, unprovoked, approached a group (of young men and women) standing peaceably on the street and told them to "shut up."