How California is failing vulnerable victims of systemic racism

By The Washington Post, Maggy Krell, | October 28, 2020

Maggy Krell and former Emerging Leader Maheen Kaleem penned a new op-ed for The Washington Post discussing the ways in which California fails Black women and girls who are exploited through sex trafficking.

California is known for its progressive stance on racial justice. In September, it became the first state to adopt a law seeking a path to reparations for slavery. But despite this laudable accomplishment, California is still failing some of society’s most vulnerable victims of systemic racism: Black women and girls who are exploited through sex trafficking, their lives damaged further by a legal system that too often treats survivors as criminals.

One of those survivors is Keiana Aldrich. At age 17, Keiana was prosecuted as an adult and sentenced to nearly 10 years in state prison for crimes directly related to her victimization. By then, every person and system that should have protected her had failed her.

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