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Brandi Slaughter

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Associate Clinical Professor; Program Director, The Karabelle Pizzigati Fellows Initiative in Advocacy for Children, Youth and Families

Brandi Slaughter brings a wealth of public policy experience to her roles at the University of Maryland having served nonprofits and government in advocacy and lobbying roles. At the outset of her career, Brandi offered direct service to children and families—mainly those considered high-risk youth at several Columbus settlement houses. As an advocate for policy change, she has supported the development of state and federal policy which has impacted people with disabilities, the health of Ohioans, and children and families. She worked in the Ohio Senate as a legislative staffer and has lobbied on behalf of the Ohio Department of Health and the Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission. While at Public Children Services of Ohio, she advocated for reforms to the foster care system. She has coordinated and mobilized advocates from across the country to pass a bi-cameral, bi-partisan federal bill, “Fostering Connections to Success Act” to support children in foster care. At Voices for Ohio’s Children, Slaughter led policy reform and system change to maximize the well-being of Ohio’s children, most notably work to expand Medicaid in Ohio and defense of the Affordable Care Act at the congressional level. Through teaching, Brandi has inspired graduate students to use there power and influence to advocate for reform. Her passion of bringing voice to marginalized communities is apparent in all of her work.

Slaughter is an ordained clergy with the Church of God in Christ and has served in various ministry positions. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Morgan State University, and a Juris Doctor from Capital University with a concentration in Child and Family Law.

Areas of Interest
  • Poverty and economic security; Children’s health; Racial justice; Child welfare

Students will gain a contextual understanding of how policy decisions and legal structures affect different people, as well as the role of law in organizing and advocating for just policy and social change. Students will analyze how structural inequities are shaped by historical, legal, social, and political factors, building on that knowledge to strategize solutions to problems requiring policy reform and systemic change.

Schedule of Classes

3 Credit(s)

Understanding pluralism and how groups and individuals coexist in society is an essential part of the public policy process. This course will examine the ways in which the diverse experiences of race, gender, ethnicity, class, orientation, identity, and religion impact the understanding of and equitable delivery of public policy. The examination of how identity development shapes our understanding of society and influences the decision-making process is central to students’ shaping policy that is truly for the people. This course will equip students with the skills needed to analyze pluralism and draw conclusions about the application of various theories to public policy issues. 
Schedule of Classes

3 Credit(s)

For poor and low-income families, federal programs such as Medicaid, Child care, SNAP and child nutrition programs are a lifeline every day. Some programs also have policies that consider more than income eligibility, such as number of hours of work, disability, and immigration status. Budget choices have a significant impact on policy intentions. Students will learn about and analyze the major federal programs and federal budgets for these policy areas; understand from data the impact of such programs and policies; and be introduced to significant advocacy efforts and considerations that shaped hese policy decisions.
Schedule of Classes