Spring 2021 Edition
From the Editors
We are delighted to present the 19th edition of The Public Purpose Journal. The Public Purpose is an academic journal led by graduate students in American University’s School of Public Affairs. We strive to publish work that contributes to the literature of our disciplines. These papers reflect outstanding work on public policy, public administration, government, justice, law, criminology, and terrorism studies. As a student-run organization, we are grateful to the Graduate Student Council and the Dean’s office for their support.
The papers published here show the range of important topics that our graduate students tackle in their classes. From analyzing significant domestic policy issues to reflecting on international events that have affected the global climate of democracy, our students’ work highlighted here shows the great depth and range of issues American University graduate students care about. Our theme, “Whose America?” is a framework we use to reflect on current events. We posit the following questions: Whose America is it? Who gets to decide what happens in America? What does “a perfect Union” mean? Who gets to tell the story of what America? or What should the story of America be? Who seems to be represented when we look around our spaces and places?
As a school committed to public service excellence, we continue to strive for innovation in public policy and administration through learning experiences inside and outside the classroom. The Public Purpose Journal prides itself on showcasing our student’s work through a peer review process that allows students to complement their graduate education with co-curricular opportunities. We thank our student writers, editors, and production staff members for their hard work. Additionally, we thank our staff for their work behind-the-scenes and their dedication to the journal’s mission. Lastly, we would like to offer a special thank you to the faculty review board for collaborating in this process.
Arsene Frederic Jr. | Editor in Chief
Sandra Mansour | President
Erin Williams | Print Editor
Solai Sanchez | Associate Print Editor
Using Immigration to Define Americans as White and White as American
Benjamin Cohn, MS in Justice, Law, and Criminology
Fighting the War on Drugs: How Presidential Administrations Produce Distinct Policing Regimes
Samuel Murray, MA in Political Science
Unseen: A Perspective on How Black Women are Left Out of America’s Social and Political Movements
Sydney K. Lang, MS in Justice, Law, and Criminology