Andrea J. Ritchie, author, advocate, and researcher who has authored several books and articles on policing, criminalization, mass incarceration, and immigration enforcement, will deliver the address at the 92nd Commencement exercises on Saturday, May 14, 2022.
Since graduating from Howard University School of Law, Ritchie has spent three decades litigating and organizing around policing and the criminalization of Black women, girls, trans, and gender nonconforming people. She is the author of Invisible No More: Police Violence Against Black Women and Women of Color and co-author of Say Her Name: Resisting Police Brutality Against Black Women, Queer (In)Justice: The Criminalization of LGBT People in the United States, and the forthcoming No More Police: A Case for Abolition. She is currently in residency at the College’s Intercollegiate Feminist Center (IFC), where she will lead a conference on prison abolition later this spring.
Scripps senior class co-presidents Uma Nagarajan-Swenson and Elizabeth Howell-Egan managed the commencement speaker selection process. They say that Ritchie’s achievements as an organizer, scholar, and writer, as well as her work and advocacy for all women, queer, and trans people of color, has served as an inspiration, particularly as the COVID-19 pandemic has emphasized the need for collective and communal organizing. With Ritchie in residence at the IFC, they “couldn’t imagine a more perfect speaker.”
“We believe that Ms. Ritchie’s career and her work exemplify the deeply nuanced vision with which we must see the world and demonstrate the challenges to come, as well as the tangible hope with which we must take on this fight for a better future,” Nagarajan-Swenson and Howell-Egan say. “The pandemic highlighted the ongoing inequities faced by students and the need for long-lasting organizing and community care. Ms. Ritchie’s work speaks deeply to our collective values of care, courage, and hope.”