Monique W. Morris is a 2012 Soros Justice Fellow and a lecturer for Saint Mary’s College of California in the Leadership Studies Graduate Program. Morris is also the CEO of MWM Consulting Group, LLC, a research and technical assistance firm that advances concepts of fairness, diversity and inclusion. She is the former Vice President for Economic Programs and Executive Director of the Financial Freedom Centers for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and has nearly 20 years of professional and volunteer experience as a scholar advocate in the areas of civil rights and social justice. Prior to joining the NAACP, Morris was the Director of Research and Senior Research Fellow at the Thelton E. Henderson Center for Social Justice at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law. She has also served as Director of the Discrimination Research Center, as senior research staff with the National Council on Crime and Delinquency, and as a consultant for the Corrections Standards Authority, the Contra Costa County Probation Department, and a number of nonprofit community based organizations.
Morris is the author of Too Beautiful for Words and several articles, book chapters, and other publications on social justice issues. She is the author of the paper, Countering Discrimination in Mortgage Lending: An NAACP Guide to Fair Lending, and the principal author of the NAACP’s 2009 white paper, Year One: Toward Safe Communities, Good Schools, and a Fair Chance for All Americans, which was featured in the New York Times. Her paper, Discrimination and Lending in America: A Summary of the Disparate Impact of Subprime Lending on African Americans (NAACP), was featured for Congressman Al Green’s (D-TX) brain trust at the 2009 Congressional Black Caucus and was the focus of her presentation to the National Conference of Black Mayor’s 35th Annual Convention. Additionally, Morris’ 2008 study, A Higher Hurdle: Barriers to Employment for Formerly Incarcerated Women (UC Berkeley School of Law), which is one of the first testing studies to examine the impact of a criminal record or period of incarceration on the employment outcomes of women, was referenced in a special report commissioned by Congressman Danny K. Davis (D-IL).
Morris has led research on language access at public health care facilities, equal access to employment, and the impact of anti-affirmative action legislation on people of color and women in public contracting. Her groundbreaking work on affirmative action and public contracting has led to public and private sector policy improvements to support the inclusion of businesses owned by people of color and women of all racial groups.
Morris is also a leader in facilitating community response strategies designed to reduce the disproportionate representation of youth of color in the juvenile justice system. For over 15 years, she led efforts to examine and respond to racial disparities in the justice system. She has worked in partnership with state and county agencies, academic institutions and communities throughout the nation to develop comprehensive approaches and training curricula to eliminate ethnic and gender disparities in the justice system. Her work has informed the design and development of improved culturally-competent and gender-responsive continua of services for youth.
Morris is a member of the Advisory Collective for the new Human Rights and Social Movements Program for the Harvard Kennedy School’s Carr Center for Human Rights Policy; a member of the California State Subcommittee on Reducing Disproportionate Minority Contact; and a Board member for the Center for Young Women’s Development, a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, CA, which provides intensive intervention and rehabilitative services for young women who have been involved in the justice system. She is also a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.