Dr. Ebonie Cunningham Stringer

Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice, Penn State Berks

Dr. Ebonie Cunningham Stringer is a sociologist who has devoted her personal and scholarly pursuits to research and service at the intersections of criminal justice, family and religion. Her life mission entails a commitment to center and amplify marginalized voices, and to produce scholarship that can lead to meaningful policy changes and a more just society. Dr. Stringer earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, Sociology and Black Studies from the University of Missouri-Columbia, and completed her doctoral studies at Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN with concentrations in Law & Society, Criminal Justice, and the Family. She is an Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice at Penn State Berks. 

Whether in the classroom, in the community or engaged in research, Dr. Stringer is motivated by her passion for social justice and social change. Her research is driven by a curiosity about the unacknowledged and unseen ways in which the U.S. criminal justice system impacts and is impacted by social institutions, and the social actors within them. Her research on women’s incarceration experiences focuses on women’s roles and identities as mothers. This research explores the ways in which women are able to prioritize motherhood, co-parent, maintain relationships with children and envision motherhood after incarceration. Her work also unveils the ways in which mothers use religion and spirituality to cope with carceral separation from their children. Dr. Stringer advocates for reform that can minimize and dismantle policies that harm incarcerated women, their children and families. She also provides a way forward for legal and institutional policies that can promote successful community reentry and family reunification post incarceration.

Dr. Stringer also investigates the ways in which religious institutions respond to crime and (in)justice in Black communities. A disproportionate number of Black Americans are impacted by crime and the justice system. Black churches are the longest continuing civil institution in many Black communities. Dr. Stringer investigates how Black churches interact with law enforcement, legislators and other agencies to address crime, violence and inequities in the criminal justice system and within the church.

Dr. Ebonie Cunningham Stringer is a respected expert in her field. Her work has been published in several peer reviewed journals including Feminist Criminology, Women & Criminal Justice, Issues in Race & Society: An Interdisciplinary Global Journal, and Family Relations. Her work has also been published in various media outlets. Dr. Stringer was invited to contribute an article to Milliyet, the leading Turkish daily newspaper (and third largest newspaper in Europe) entitled, “Ferguson ateş ve Race Amerika’da devam eden sorunu bir sosyolojik analizi” translated “A Sociological Analysis of the Ferguson Shooting, and the Continuing Problem of Race in America.” Dr. Stringer is also a member of the Color of Justice Research Collaborative of Lehigh Valley. This research group has been charged with investigating and disseminating research on structural racism in policing, courts and corrections in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania.

Dr. Stringer is an engaging speaker and committed educator. She enjoys the challenge of engaging learners and stimulating their intellectual curiosity. She has the ability to make learning exciting and relevant to people with different backgrounds and learning styles. Her teaching pedagogy blends traditional modes of instruction with technology and community engagement. Recently, Dr. Stringer and a colleague secured a grant for a community art project that allows criminal justice students and community youth to collaborate in reimagining the relationships between law enforcement, gender, violence and communities of color. Dr. Stringer offers a variety of courses and workshops in university settings, carceral institutions, and the community. She covers a plethora of topics including spirituality and personal empowerment, race, gender, and justice.

Dr. Ebonie Cunningham Stringer enjoys doing life with her husband of fourteen years, Anthony Stringer, and her two loving boys, Caleb and Micah.