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Meet the team behind the PUSHOUT Film.

Monique W. Morris, EdD

Executive Producer and Writer

Monique W. Morris, Ed.D. is the Founder and President of the National Black Women’s Justice Institute (NBWJI), an organization that works to reduce racial and gender disparities across the justice continuum affecting Black women, girls, and their families. They seek to interrupt school-to-confinement pathways for girls, reduce the barriers to employment for formerly incarcerated women, and increase the capacity of organizations working to reduce sexual assault and domestic violence in African American communities.

Morris is an award-winning author and social justice scholar that examines and specializes in the ways in which Black communities, and other communities of color, are uniquely affected by social policies. Her forthcoming book, “Sing A Rhythm, Dance A Blues” (The New Press, 2019), explores a pedagogy to counter the criminalization of Black and Brown girls in schools. She is also the author of “PUSHOUT: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools” (The New Press, 2016), “Black Stats: African Americans by the Numbers in the Twenty-First Century” (The New Press, 2014),  “Too Beautiful for Words” (MWM Books, 2012) and worked withKembaSmith on her book, “Poster Child: The KembaSmith Story” (IBJ Book Publishing, 2011).

Morris has written dozens of articles, book chapters, and other publications on social justice issues where her research intersects race, gender, education and justice. Her three decades of experience allows her to actively lecture on research, policies, and practices associated with improving juvenile justice, education, and socioeconomic conditions for Black girls, women, and their families.

Jacoba Atlas

Director, Writer and Executive Producer

Jacoba Atlas is an award-winning documentarian and broadcast executive. Her extensive list of credits include an Emmy and a Peabody for her work in projects like “Survivors of the Holocaust,” executive produced by Steven Spielberg.

Her other well-known projects include “Dying to Tell the Story” which was shortlisted for an Oscar, and profiles extraordinary women for OWN, hosted by Julia Roberts. She has written, produced and directed seven prime-time PBS documentaries, including: “Too Important to Fail,” which details the education crisis facing Black boys; “A Call to Conscience,” a deconstruction of Martin Luther King Jr.’s pivotal Vietnam Speech; and “Conducting a Life,” a profile of conductor Gustavo Dudamel. From 2000 to 2006, she was head of national content for PBS. For the Turner networks, she wrote and produced the six-part Emmy nominated landmark series, “A Century of Women” about the history of American women in the 20thCentury. The series research and complete interviews are archived at the Schlesinger Library at Harvard University. Atlas began her career at NBC News.

Denise Pines

Executive Producer

Denise Pines is the President of the Medical Board of California. She is an award-winning marketer and serial entrepreneur. She has participated in 10 startups, including multimedia companies and foundations. For PBS and NPR, she has been the creative consultant for several talk shows including one with a 14-year run and ten documentaries.

Pines has more than 20 years of management, sales and marketing experience in personality brand management and traditional media. She is responsible for strategic planning and business development for denise+pinesinc., a socially responsible brand strategy, media development, and event management firm.

She has degrees from San Francisco State University (BS), John F. Kennedy University (MBA), and Stanford University (MBA).

Virginie Danglades

Film Editor

Virginie Dangladesis a film and TV editor who works on strong story- and character-driven films. She’s dedicated to creating immersive and verité-style documentaries, and intimate narrative features and shorts. One of her recent projects, “No Farewells” (“Sans Adieu”), a documentary feature by French photographer-turned-filmmaker Christophe Agou, opened at the Cannes Film Festival in 2017. Along with working on independent films, Dangladesedited the last hour of the four-part documentary series which aired on PBS: “Reconstruction, America after the Civil War.” She has also been a regular editor on the ongoing investigative series “This is Life with Lisa Ling” for CNN, and prior to that, “Our America with Lisa Ling” for OWN. Dangladesis committed to editing content and film projects that will help further the understanding of our complicated world.

Lia Dosik Carney

Supervising Producer

Lia  DosikCarney, a production executive in the television industry for almost 20 years, is currently a partner at Topspin Content. She previously served as Senior Vice President of Production and Operations at Discovery Studios. In that capacity she oversaw all in-house production teams from the development stage through post-production and managed all core and freelance staff. She has been responsible for strategic business planning, studio operations and production management. Prior to joining Discovery Studios, Carney worked as a freelance producer for the History Channel, Channel, TNT, CNN, TLC, the Discovery Channel and PBS.


The in-depth examination in PUSHOUT, about the criminalization of Black girls in the United States, couldn’t have been done without the participation and research by the following experts:

Vivian Anderson

Founder, EveryBlackGirl, Inc.

Susan Burton

Founder, A New Way of Life Reentry Project

Kimberlé Crenshaw

Professor of law, UCLA School of Law, Columbia Law School
Founder of Columbia Law School Center for Intersectionality and Social Policy Studies

Ronald Dahl, MD

Professor, Community Health Sciences
UC Berkeley

Tanisha “Wakumi” Douglas

Co-Founder and Executive Director
S.O.U.L. Sisters Leadership Collective

Nzingha Dugas

Former Program Manager, African American Female Excellence
Oakland Unified School District

Rebecca Epstein

Executive Director
Georgetown Law Center on Poverty and Inequality

Venus Evans-Winters, PhD

Associate Professor of Educational Administration and Foundations
Illinois State University

Judge Terri B. Jamison

Franklin County, Ohio

Monique W. Morris, EdD

Author, “PUSHOUT:  The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools” and
Sing A Rhythm, Dance a Blues: Education for the Liberation of Black and Brown Girls”

Jeannette Pai-Espinosa

President, National Crittenton
Director, National Girls Initiative

Stephanie Patton

Principal, Columbus City Preparatory School for Girls

Joanne Smith

Founder and Executive Director of Girls for Gender Equity