Christina McDowell is the author of the critically acclaimed books After Perfect: A Daughter's Memoir and The Cave Dwellers: A Novel. Her work has appeared in the Washington Post; the Los Angeles Times; HuffPost; the Guardian; O, The Oprah Magazine; People; LA Weekly; Marie Claire; USA Today; and the Village Voice, among other publications.
Born and raised in Washington, D.C., she is an advocate for children impacted by prison. For several years, McDowell traveled to state prisons to speak on behalf of families of the incarcerated and victims of crime. She taught creative writing to teenage girls at Central Juvenile Hall with InsideOUT Writers in Los Angeles and served on the advisory board of POPS The Club (Pain of the Prison System), the first high school club in the U.S. to empower youth impacted by the mass incarceration crisis. She was awarded for her outstanding advocacy work by the board of directors and its members in 2018.
Previously, McDowell co-wrote op-ed articles with former Clinton and Bush White House spokesman, Robert Weiner, providing in-depth research and analysis of current public policies, regulations and laws. During the 2016 election, she was associate deputy director of the Pasadena field office for Californians for Voter Turnout Education and Registration.
In 2013, McDowell wrote the op-ed, "An Open Letter to the Makers of the Wolf of Wall Street and the Wolf Himself," stirring an international debate about Martin Scorsese's film, The Wolf of Wall Street. It was viewed more than 3 million times, becoming one of the most controversial opinion pieces ever written about a Hollywood film.
In 2012, McDowell lead research and co-produced the Netflix documentary, Survivor's Guide to Prison, directed by Academy Award nominated producer, Matthew Cooke, and executive produced by Academy Award winning actress, Susan Sarandon, as well as actor, David Arquette, and renowned activist, Gina Belafonte.
McDowell is currently at work on a new novel. She lives in Washington, D.C.