The United States does not meet global human rights standards regarding economic, social, and cultural rights. In 1994 the United States ratified the United Nations core anti-racism treaty, the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD). However, the United States still does not fully comply with the multilateral agreement. Malia Lee Womack explores the United States’ poor compliance with the treaty’s protections concerning 1) Black women’s economic, social, and cultural rights (regarding housing, education, and health) and 2) concerning the U.S. prison industrial complex (its “school to prison pipeline,” discriminatory sentencing practices, as well as police and prison workers’ violence against women). The author applies intersectional theory developed by Black feminists to UN Working Group reports, ICERD’s shadow reports, and ICERD’s monitoring body’s reports to reveal how Black women experience racism differently than men and other racial groups. ICERD implementation strategies must include Black women’s intersectional needs which are often marginalized in anti-racism strategies. This article documents how Black women experience compounded and interrelated forms of oppression due to their intersectional identities. Homogenizing people of color cannot effectively address each group’s specific needs concerning U.S. lack of compliance with ICERD (despite some similarities in their experiences). Therefore, the author focuses on one collective identity (Black women) yet also recognizes that other collective identities deserve attention.

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