New podcast from Ms. Studios and Prof. Dorothy Roberts: Torn Apart


Ms. magazine announced Tuesday the launch of their second podcast under the Ms. Studios banner: Torn Apart, with Dorothy Roberts. 

Torn Apart is the inaugural podcast in the Ms. Book Club Series. Hosted and co-produced by Professor Dorothy Roberts, this limited series podcast in four parts is based on her award-winning book, Torn Apart: How the Child Welfare System Destroys Black Families—And How Abolition Can Build a Safer World (2022). 

Over the course of four episodes, Roberts examines the child welfare system and advocates for abolishing family policing and reimagining child welfare. Tune in to hear the voices of impacted families, family defenders, activists, and scholars.

Episodes 1-3 are available now, and the final episode will be released Monday, Dec. 4. Head to for full episodes, transcripts, further reading and ways to take action. 

“Foster care is one of the chief ways the U.S. state transfers the carceral containment of black communities from one generation to the next.” —Dorothy Roberts

“Those child welfare investigations, in and of themselves, can be profoundly terrifying and traumatizing to children and the parents.” —Kathleen Creamer

“In Torn Apart, I draw on my two decades of research, policy engagement, and activism to reveal that the child welfare system is better understood as a family-policing system.” —Dorothy Roberts

“By relying on policing families as the way to protect children, the system blocks imagining a society that is safer for children.” —Dorothy Roberts

Meet Dorothy Roberts: Dorothy Roberts is a distinguished professor of Africana Studies, Law, and Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania. She is also Founding Director of the Penn Program on Race, Science & Society. An internationally acclaimed scholar, public intellectual, and social justice activist, Roberts has written and lectured extensively on the interplay of race, gender, and class inequities in U.S. institutions. She is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and National Academy of Medicine. She is author of the award-winning Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty (1997) (as well as several others), and more than 100 articles and book chapters, including “Race” in the 1619 Project.

Her latest book, Torn Apart: How the Child Welfare System Destroys Black Families—And How Abolition Can Build a Safer World, culminates more than two decades of investigating racism in family policing and calls for a radically reimagined way to support children and their families.  

About Ms. Magazine: Co-founded by Gloria Steinem in 1972 and published by the Feminist Majority Foundation since 2001, Ms. magazine has been a trusted, popular source for feminist news and information in print and online for nearly 50 years. Ms.’s time-honored traditions of an emphasis on in-depth investigative reporting and feminist political analysis have never been more relevant, bringing a new generation of writers and readers together to share news, analysis, research and strategies for fighting back and moving forward, for shaping the future.


If you would like more information on Torn Apart, or to schedule an interview with Prof. Dorothy Roberts, please email