Doctoral Student Sheena Gilbert Presented Her Research at the ASC Anti-Racism and Intersectionality in Feminist Criminology Virtual Forum
Sheena Gilbert, a doctoral student in UNOs School of Criminology and Criminal Justice (SCCJ), was recently tapped to present her research at the Forum on Anti-Racism and Intersectionality in Feminist Criminology and Academia. This virtual forum was hosted by the American Society of Criminology (ASC) Division of Women and Crime in conjunction with American University School of Public Affairs and their Antiracist Research and Policy Center.
This forum drew scholars together for critical discussion on issues touching the lives of women and people of color. The goal was to share knowledge so that scholars can enhance awareness of these matters in their classrooms and impact the research agenda of others in academia. Additionally, discussions were held on how to better recruit and retain marginalized people in academia.
Gilbert, who hails from Kimberly, Wisconsin, is a proud Native American and citizen of the Stockbridge Munsee tribe. Her research focuses on Native Americans within the scope of criminology and criminal justice. “My goal is to create awareness and educate others of the issues facing Native Americans,” she said.
She has been extremely successfully in her short time as a doctoral student with two research publications in which she was first author. Both articles focused on Native American populations and issues.
The first of these papers, entitled “How Non-Native Researchers Collaborate with Native American Population” was published in May 2021 in ASCs Criminologist Essay. She wrote this “how to guide” because she recognizes that conducting Native American research at times can be intimidating due to the extra steps required in collaborating with a tribe. She believes this additional layer of work limits the amount of research dealing with crimes against Native Americans. By sharing her ideas on how to facilitate collaboration, she hopes more research dealing with issues facing Native Americans will be conducted.
Her second paper is a peer reviewed article in the May issue of Feminist Criminologist. This policy paper entitled “Decolonizing VAWA 2021: A Step in the Right Direction for Protecting Native American Women” included her three recommendations on how the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) can be strengthened to better support Native American women.
Gilbert knows that Native Americans face higher victimization rates, higher incarceration rates, higher homicide rates, higher rates of missing people, and higher rates of their children bring removed from the home than other ethnic groups. No one seems to know why. “I’m not aware of any criminology and criminal justice scholars who focus exclusively on Native Americans,” she said. “We need to get people to care more about this marginalized population. It is emotionally draining work,” she added “but it’s essential to make things better for my people.”
Since it appears few criminology scholars have focused on Native American populations for his/her research agenda, Gilbert has decided to make it her agenda. Her participation in this forum, titled “Badass Emerging Scholars,” allowed Gilbert to give a voice to this population. “Native Americans are ignored in every facet of society, particularly in legislative policy. This population is completely overlooked. We are afterthoughts” she noted. But Gilbert plans to change that. “As a scholar, I want to bring a Native American lens to every aspect of criminology and criminal justice. My larger goal is to make things better for my people,” she said.
Published June, 2021