Kesha Moore's profile photo

Kesha Moore

Research Manager, NAACP Legal Defense Fund

Kesha Moore's profile photo
Location: Madison, NJ
Start Year: 2023
TRHT Pillar: Law


As a senior researcher for the Thurgood Marshall Institute (TMI), an interdisciplinary think tank of the Legal Defense Fund (LDF), Kesha uses research to support LDF’s litigation, political advocacy and community organizing efforts to challenge structural racism. Her TMI publications explaining the dynamics of racial injustice within the criminal-legal system and identifying public policy solutions include “When an Arrest Becomes a Death Sentence: Overpopulation of U.S. Jails Increases the COVID-19 Threat to Every Community”; “Pretrial Justice Without Money Bail or Risk Assessments: Principles for Racially Just Bail Reform”; and “Lies, More Lies, and the Truth Behind Crime Statistics: Avoiding Distortions and Improving Public Safety.” She is currently examining the harms of predictive policing and surveillance on Black and Latinx children and interventions in law enforcement to remedy racial bias. Kesha’s research on the intersections of the criminal-legal system and political participation includes a podcast episode on prison-based gerrymandering and her upcoming research on re-entry and jail-based voting. 

Kesha has extensive experience working with marginalized communities to design innovative solutions to redress racial inequality. As a professor at Drew University, she helped build a transformative institutional infrastructure to promote social mobility and reintegration for incarcerated individuals (NJ-STEP), which facilitates students’ transition to college during and after incarceration. Kesha built this infrastructure in collaboration with higher-education colleagues, prison administrators, incarcerated people and formerly incarcerated people. This program has contributed both directly and indirectly to bolstering policy support for higher education in prisons across the nation.


Future Focus

Kesha’s work addresses racialized harm Black youth experience due to structural racism in education. This harm results from an unequal and racially exclusionary curriculum, punitive and exclusionary disciplinary practices, unequal resources and educational opportunities, and a hostile school climate. She integrates social science research into LDF’s litigation, policy advocacy and grassroots organizing efforts to protect every student’s right to an equitable and inclusive public education that serves as a foundation for the multiracial democracy our nation strives to become. The Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation framework can deepen and extend this work to affirm a pro-truth approach to public education, addressing racial disparities and racialized trauma resulting from discriminatory practices, and building cross-racial collective action to improve academic achievement, physical and mental well-being, and strengthen public education overall.




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