Shaping all of National Crittenton’s work is a deep collective understanding that we do not live single-identity or single-issue lives.
Thus, we must take a cross cutting, root cause approach in all that we do. We refuse to accept silos and the politics that divide us and we do not fear change in any form. Rather, we embrace it as critical to the pursuit of justice. We recognize that some change may come from adaptation, but abolition and radical revisioning are also required.
National Crittenton is acutely aware of the continuing invisibility of her/them* in national conversations and efforts to achieve racial/ ethnic and gender justice. We believe this is rooted in the “hierarchy of human value,” a term coined by Dr. Gail Christopher, where cis and trans girls, young women, and gender-expansive young people, particularly those of color, are pushed to the bottom.
National Crittenton’s interconnected focus areas of policy and system change, national organizing, and collaborative research and innovative thought work together to advance the disruption and dismantling of all forms of marginalization and bigotry – including their individual, social, and systemic manifestations. We seek to replace it with a society that provides care and support grounded in conscious compassion, healing, opportunity, and justice. This transformation is personal. It is political and it is complex. It is the work to which we are dedicated.
Policy and Systems Change
At National Crittenton, our advocacy work centers around reshaping and radically reimagining biased and broken policies, services, programs, and siloed systems into interconnected and just ecosystems of healing and opportunity. We are dedicated to following her/their* leadership, and because building and sustaining momentum requires a diverse array of partners, all of our work is intersectional and intergenerational. Together we know that we can boldly and unapologetically build something new.
Our national organizing focus area bolsters partnership and shared advocacy across a variety of stakeholders. These include youth leaders and advocates, direct service providers, organizers, activists, systems stakeholders, community-based organization participants, staff, and leadership, among others. These partnerships exist across local, state, national, and tribal communities that are critically addressing and overcoming siloes while connecting across the country to build a powerful united force for change.
Collaborative Research and Innovative Thought
Driven by innovative thought, both intersectional and intergenerational, our research yields the qualitative and quantitative data analysis that can catalyze change and inform effective policy. Through participatory action research, collaborative primary research, and vetting and promoting the work of others, we will center and share the stories that will fuel bold short and longterm change.
These core practices are central to all of our work:
- Following the leadership of cis and trans girls and gender expansive young people most impacted by broken systems — centering those of color, and offering opportunities and providing support for them to lead and advocate while organizing and building their own collective power at the state and national level.
- Working in collaboration with a wide array of cross cutting partners to break down existing silos using an intersectional and intergenerational approach to build collective power and achieve short and long term change. National Crittenton is an active member of many specific and cross-sector coalitions, networks, initiatives, and strategic alliances.
- Generating and leveraging, both quantitative and qualitative research, to fill data gaps about her/them* in order to shift the deficit and biased narratives as the basis for policy and system reimagination.
- Engaging local and state partners such as advocates, decision makers, service providers, young people, and families in shaping national policy. This is key to the passage of effective federal policy, which respects the complex context of peoples' lives and recognizes the strengths and challenges in local communities.