Hometown: Plainwell , MI
high school: Plainwell High School
college: Harvard University
MAJOR: Government and African Studies
GRAD. PROGRAM: Columbia Graduate School (PhD Candidate); Yale University Law School (2013, JD)
Amanda Alexander is a Soros Justice Fellow and attorney in University of Michigan’s Child Advocacy Law Clinic. She directs the Prison & Family Justice Project, which serves families divided by incarceration and the foster-care system using a combination of direct representation, know-your-rights education, targeted litigation, and advocacy. The project works with people in prison and their families to reduce the impact of incarceration and to promote family reunification and successful reentry into society.
Alexander received her JD from Yale Law School, where she cofounded the Women, Incarceration, and Family Law Project and was a student attorney in the Detention & Human Rights Clinic. During law school, she interned with The Bronx Defenders and worked on alternatives to stop-and-frisk policing as an Ella Baker Fellow at the Center for Constitutional Rights. She also conducted research for National Advocates for Pregnant Women and the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Housing in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Alexander serves on the board of the Prison Policy Initiative and is an advisor to the National Resource Center on Children and Families of the Incarcerated.
A PhD candidate in international history at Columbia University, Alexander’s teaching and research interests include mass incarceration, criminal law, reproductive justice, family law, and clinical teaching. Alexander lived in South Africa for several years, where she was a Fulbright-Hays Research Fellow at the University of Cape Town and a fellow at the Centre for Civil Society in Durban. She has given invited lectures and talks at the University of Sussex, the University of Virginia Batten School of Public Policy, Columbia University, the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Cape Town’s Centre for Conflict Resolution and New York’s Center for Immigrant Families. She is co-editor of Biko Lives: Contesting the Legacies of Steve Biko (Palgrave Macmillan) and has published articles in The Michigan Child Welfare Law Journal, Journal of Asian & African Studies, Review of African Political Economy, Feminist Africa, the Mail & Guardian, and several edited volumes. She earned her BA, magna cum laude, in government and African studies from Harvard University.