Taurjhai Quinay Purdie is a driven student leader at Georgetown University who has dedicated herself to addressing racial injustice through her service, advocacy, and exemplary scholarship. Taurjhai brings her energy and leadership to our campus community as Vice President of Georgetown University Women of Color and Secretary of the Georgetown University Minority Pre-Law Association, as well as a "Know Your Rights" peer trainer in our campus ACLU chapter. She is also committed to giving back to the DC community, volunteering with our Prisons and Justice Initiative as a mentor for youth affected by parental incarceration, as well as with ONE DC, which addresses the impact of gentrification and development on communities of color. She demonstrates an unwavering commitment to her community, and is preparing to become a civil rights attorney so that she can continue to advocate for justice and equity after graduation.
Growing up in Baltimore, Maryland has permitted me to witness, first-hand, the ugliness present within the U.S Criminal Justice System-its embodiment of toxic race relations, its disproportionately negative impact on people of color, and its false promise of justice. These observations have ignited a passion for dismantling the anti-Black racism embedded within the law and its institutions, and have shaped my dedication to civic engagement.
Through the Georgetown University Prisons and Justice Initiative, I had the opportunity to mentor a child affected my parental incarceration. On campus, I serve as Vice-President of Georgetown University Women of Color, Secretary of the Georgetown University Minority-Pre Law Association, and a member of the Patrick Healy Fellowship. These organizations have permitted me to advocate for the most oppressed communities and raise awareness of the issues that disproportionately impact communities of color.
As an aspiring civil rights attorney, I hope to address the criminalization of Blackness and Black bodies, counteract the functioning of mass incarceration as a racial caste system, and undertake the perpetuation of the prison-industrial complex. The end goal: to ensure that Black-Americans have access to justice, due process, and protection under the law.