Growing Up Policed: Surveilling Racialized Sexualities Mini-Conference (New York & Oregon)

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Charisa K. Smith, J.D., Adjunct Assistant Professor, Children’s Studies Program CUNY; Staff Attorney, Advocates for Children of New York

Technology facilitates both the tragic victimization of LGBTQ youth of color and the simultaneous expansion of their identity and influence. Lines of “exclusion” and “inclusion” blur as a new age communities form and keyboards embolden propagators of racism, homophobia, commercial sexual exploitation, and other systems of oppression. While a majority of states struggle to develop policies and courts that foster protection, LGBTQ youth of color are seizing technology to transform their own lives, pop culture, subculture, and broader social justice movements.

Charisa Smith hails from Lawrenceville, NJ. She has worked in juvenile justice for ten years, after being fundamentally affected by a film about the mental health needs of youth in detention. Charisa works to empower youth, families, and communities, to keep children away from courts and jails, and to bring resources and opportunities to disadvantaged neighborhoods. She is a graduate of Harvard University and Yale Law School, and acts as a Staff Attorney at Advocates for Children of New York, Inc. in the Probation Initiative. Charisa provides educational advocacy to families with youth on probation; offers trainings for such families, youth, probation officers, and various other professionals; and collaborates with government officials and advocates to improve the system. Charisa is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Children and Youth Studies Program at the City University of NY (CUNY), Brooklyn College, and looks forward to exploring academia further. Her first book, Blending Colors From Life: Trenton’s Own Watercolorist, Tom Malloy—is an award-winning biography (NY Book Festival, 2010) of the late African American watercolor artist Tom Malloy.

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