Levy-Pounds, Nekima

Nekima Levy-Pounds

Professor

Levy-Pounds,-Nekima
(651) 962-4959
(800) 328-6819, Ext. 2-4959

1000 LaSalle Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55403

Office Location: MSL 332

 

Twitter page: https://twitter.com/nvlevy

J.D., University of Illinois College of Law

B.A., University of Southern California

Professor Nekima Levy-Pounds is the director of the Community Justice Project (CJP), an award-winning civil rights legal clinic. The CJP is a part of the Interprofessional Center for Counseling and Legal Services. Levy-Pounds teaches and supervises law students as they use the law as a tool to advance the cause of social justice in poor communities of color through problem-solving, legal research and writing, community engagement and legislative advocacy. Levy-Pounds’ goal in founding the CJP was to take a more holistic approach to addressing complex issues affecting the poor and working poor.

In addition to her work in the CJP, Levy-Pounds is an active contributor to the field of civil rights and criminal justice by serving as a consultant to local civil rights organizations and community groups, a commentator in local media, and a lecturer and speaker in national and international forums.  Her scholarly interests include African-Americans and the law, the impact of the war on drugs on African-Amrican children and families, the treatment of women in prisons, and intersecting issues of race, class, and the criminal justice system.  Levy-Pounds also focuses on juvenile justice issues, police and community relations, and the school to prison pipeline facing children of color.

Because of her work in the Community Justice Project, Levy-Pounds was selected by Minnesota Senator Al Franken to advise the senator in his decision to nominate Elena Kagan for the United States Supreme Court.

Courses Taught

Number Title Credits
941 Clinic:Community Justice Prjct 6
944 Clinic: Adv Community Justice 1
950 Supervised Resrch & Writing .5

Areas of Academic Expertise:

Social Justice
Civil Rights and Criminal Justice

From the article "Grand Ideas: Faculty members describe the best ideas from their scholarship" St. Thomas Lawyer Magazine Fall 2011

My greatest emphasis in my scholarly writing has focused on intersecting issues such as race, poverty and the criminal justice system on African-American children and families. Alarmingly, there are more than 2.4 million, or 1 in 100, adults incarcerated in the United States. Sadly, poor
African-American men and women comprise a disproportionate number of this group, largely as a result of the war on drugs that began in the mid-1980s. When African-American men and
women are incarcerated, their children often suffer emotionally and psychologically, and are sent to live with other relatives or are placed in what are sometimes broken foster-care systems. I argue that in order to preserve poor African-American families, we must reexamine our drug war policies and work to mitigate the harms these laws and policies have caused to this segment of the population.

Upcoming: Focusing on the link between the language of the 13th Amendment and the current incarceration crisis in the United States.

Contributions and mentions in the media

Minnpost - "YPN5Q: Nekima Levy-Pounds"

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Minneapolis Star Tribune - "Project Reaches Out to St. Paul's Young Black Men"

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Spokesman Recorder - "Is GangNet really gone?"

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The Center for Media Justice - "Children of Incarcerated Parents: Silent Victims of Prison Phone Injustice"

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MinnPost - "Young black men in Minnesota: A clarion call for help"

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MinnPost - "Education-reform debate puts spotlight on institutional racism"

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Minnesota Public Radio - "Hopkins High School black students' suspensions, charges dismissed"

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KMSP TV - "Minneapolis prayer vigil seeks peace after Zimmerman trial"

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Twin Cities Daily Planet - "An open letter to the faith community: A call to action"

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MinnPost - "50 years after the March on Washington: It's time to arise to today's civil-rights challenges"

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Minnesota Public Radio - "King's 'promissory note' remains in default"

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Minnesota Public Radio - Policy and a Pint: Minnesota and Race in the 21st Century

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Humphrey School of Public Affairs - "Martin Luther King's Dream - Where Are We Now?"

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Minnesota Public Radio - "Report: Minnesota's employment gap between races is 'intolerable'"

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Minnesota Spokesman-Reporter - "Humphrey Public Affairs panel agrees: King’s Dream remains a dream, not our reality"

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Star Tribune - "New generation of African-American leaders has new fight"

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The Uptake - "'School-To-Prison Pipeline' Sparks Protest, School Walkout"

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Star Tribune - "Twin Cities religious leaders call for an end to mass student suspensions"

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Minnesota Public Radio - "The challenges African-American boys face in the education system"

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MinnPost - "It's time for a paradigm shift in public education"

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Transform Minnesota - "Time for Church to Talk Candidly About Race"

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Star Tribune - "If We're Serious About Equity, Job Creation Must Become a Priority"

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Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder - "Lawyers of color names Levy-Pounds one of the most influential law professors in the U.S."

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Star Tribune - "White Privilege: The Elephant in Minnesota's Living Room"

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Star Tribune - "In the Spirit of Wellstone, We Must Champion Equity"

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Twin Cities Daily Planet - "Nekima Levy-Pounds walks the walk for civil rights and social justice"

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Star Tribune - "As the Battle for Equity Heats Up, Scapegoats are Caught in the Crossfire"

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Star Tribune - "The Crisis Facing Black Boys in Minneapolis Public Schools"

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Minnesota Public Radio - "African Americans and the incarceration gap"

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Star Tribune - "Do Black Lives Matter in Our Community?"

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MinnPost - "Minneapolis Public Schools: The system needs a reboot"

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Star Tribune - "The Community is Speaking, but Chief Harteau is Not Listening"

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Star Tribune - "An Open Letter to Mayor Betsy Hodges"

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KSTP-TV - "Minneapolis School District Ends Expensive Relationship With Non-Profit"

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TPT - "Almanac"

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MinnPost - "Angry groundswell rips MPS board: 'Stop making excuses,' 'We want an audit'"

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Articles

"Par for the Course?: Exploring the Impacts of Incarceration and Marginalization on Poor Black Men in the U.S."

Levy-Pounds, Nekima, Par for the Course?: Exploring the Impacts of Incarceration and Marginalization on Poor Black Men in the U.S. (2013). 14 Journal of Law and Society 29 (2013); U of St. Thomas (Minnesota) Legal Studies Research Paper No. 14-23. 

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Uzodima F. Aba-Onu, Nekima Levy-Pounds, Joanna Salmen, & Artika Tyner, Evaluation of Gang Databases in Minnesota and Recommendations for Change, 19 Info. & Comm. Tech.  L.  223 (2010).

Nekima Levy-Pounds, Can These Bones Live? A Look at the Impacts of the War on Drugs on Poor African-American Children and Families, Hastings Race & Poverty L.J. 353 (2010).

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Nekima Levy-Pounds & Artika Tyner, Principles of Ubuntu: Using the Legal Clinical Model to Train Agents of Social Change, 13 Intl. J. Clin. Leg. Educ. 7 (2008). 

Nekima Levy-Pounds, From the Frying Pan Into the Fire: How Poor Women of Color and Children are Affected by the Sentencing Guidelines and Mandatory Minimums, 47 Santa Clara L. Rev. 285 (2007)

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Nekima Levy-Pounds, Beaten by the System and Down for the Count: Why Poor Women of Color and Children Don't Stand A Chance Against U.S. Drug Sentencing Policy, 3 U. St. Thomas L.J. 462 (2006).

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Short Pieces

Nekima Levy-Pounds, Fellowship on Inauguration Day, 25 U. St. Thomas Magazine 77 (Spring 2009).

Nekima Levy-Pounds, Beaten by the System and Down for the Count, Insight News (Jan. 1 – Mar. 12, 2007).

Nekima Levy-Pounds, Children of Incarcerated Parents and the Struggle for Stability, 2 Mod. Am. 14 (2006).

Nekima Levy-Pounds, Advice for those Encounters with Bad Actor Lawyers, 11 The Young Law. 4 (2006).