Crystal Pardue

  • Hosted by American Civil Liberties Union of Washington
  • Sponsored by Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, Microsoft Corporation
  • Service location Seattle, Washington
  • Law school University of Washington School of Law
  • Issue area Indigenous Peoples' Rights
  • Fellowship class year 2019
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Crystal will provide legal advocacy to Native American students and families facing disproportionately high levels of school discipline and juvenile incarceration proceedings.

Culturally-uninformed school discipline proceedings disproportionately affect students of color in Washington State. Compared to their peers, Native American students specifically are 30% more likely to experience long-term school discipline and referrals to the juvenile justice system, twice as likely to repeat a grade, and three times as likely to drop out of school. Native students often lack legal advocacy during discipline hearings, leading to devastating long-term impacts on their access to education.

Crystal went to law school to gain the knowledge and skills necessary to advocate for underrepresented communities. As a Native woman of color, she identifies with the community she serves and deeply understands the unique cultural barriers affecting Native students’ progress in education.

Fellowship Plans

Crystal will build relationships with educators, community centers, and tribes to identify affected students and families. While providing direct representation to affected students, Crystal will identify potential litigation strategies to effect broad systemic change. To ensure the goals of her project continue beyond her Fellowship, Crystal will develop and disseminate resources on culturally-informed school discipline.

As an Equal Justice Works Fellow, I’m committed to addressing the needs of Native American youth in Washington, and I’m eager to work to ensure their secure access to education.

Crystal Pardue /
Equal Justice Works Fellow

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