Our Team

Bethany Young

Deputy Director

Dr. Bethany Young, Deputy Director at DC Justice Lab, is an attorney and policy expert. Her research has centered on the experiences of youth of color with a particular focus on challenges faced by Black students in academic settings; the impact of stereotype threats on Black girls; and the effects of racial and gender discrimination on adolescent mental health. She regularly advises independent schools and academic non-profit organizations in Washington, DC to assess and strengthen their Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion efforts. 


Dr. Young has years of experience directing complex, multi-state criminal justice research and reform projects. She has advised the D.C. Police Reform Commission on police practices and community safety and conducted legal and policy research for the US Department of Education and the Educational Opportunities Project of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.


Prior to DC Justice Lab, Dr. Young worked at Urban Institute, where she was a member of the DEI Council, responsible for developing systematic responses to staff concerns about equity and inclusion and advancing equity-focused strategic planning.


She also previously served as an attorney at the Center for Death Penalty Litigation and at the Equal Justice Initiative. Dr. Young’s work focused on capital appeals and she worked with policymakers on initiatives to reconsider the death penalty and reduce physical and sexual assaults at the Alabama Department of Corrections. 


Dr. Young earned her BA from Spelman College, a JD from The George Washington University Law School, and a MA and PhD in Sociology from Duke University. 

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