Amanda Alexander is an assistant professor and postdoctoral scholar in Afro-American studies and law at the University of Michigan. As a member of the Michigan Society of Fellows, her research, writing, and legal practice focus on criminal justice and social policy, prisons, and reproductive justice. She is an attorney in the Child Advocacy Law Clinic, and has worked with the Detroit Center for Family Advocacy. During her 2013-2015 tenure as a Soros Justice Fellow, Alexander founded the Prison & Family Justice Project at Michigan Law, 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.
Alexander received her JD from Yale Law School and her PhD in history from
Columbia University. Previously she has worked with the Bronx Defenders, Yale Law School's Detention and Human Rights Clinic, and the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Housing. She worked on alternatives to stop-and-frisk policing as an Ella Baker Fellow at the Center for Constitutional Rights. Before graduate school, she was a fellow at the Centre for Civil Society in Durban, South Africa, where she researched urban land reform and facilitated trainings for community organizers.
Alexander serves on the board of the Prison Policy Initiative, a nonprofit organization that produces criminal justice research and sparks advocacy campaigns to create a more just society. She is an adviser to the National Resource Center on Children and Families of the Incarcerated, and regularly provides training for the legal community and broader public in support of criminal justice-involved families. Alexander co-facilitates the Inside-Out Theory Group at Macomb Prison, and is taking strides to broaden access to higher education in Michigan prisons. She earned her BA, magna cum laude, from Harvard College.