Amber J Powell
Amber is a Sociology PhD Candidate at the University of Minnesota and an American Bar Fellow National Science Foundation Law & Inequality Fellow and Ruth Peterson Fellow. Her research and teaching commitments include the sociology of law, punishment, gender-based violence, Black feminist theory, critical race theory, and critical legal studies. She is also a former sexual assault victim advocate (Milwaukee) court-watcher (Minneapolis). Her work has been featured in Gender & Society, Law & Society Review, the Handbook of Political Sociology, The Society Pages, and the Gender Policy Report. Amber's work broadly explores how racially criminalized communities experience interpersonal, community, and state violence and how these communities view the role of law in protecting them from (or perpetuating) violence. Her dissertation explores how formerly incarcerated survivors, sexual assault advocates, social workers, attorneys, and activists make sense of sexual victimization within youth confinement facilities. Her prior research (with Heather Hlavka and Sameena Mulla) draws on ethnographic observations to examine how legal actors construct narratives of credibility in child sexual assault jury trials across systems of race, gender, age, and sexuality. She has also worked with Michelle Phelps and Christopher Robertson, exploring how North Minneapolis residents, activists, and law enforcement officials understand policing, police reform, transformation, and abolition.