Kimberlé Crenshaw: The urgency of intersectionality
Kimberlé Crenshaw - Civil rights advocate
As a pioneer in critical race theory, Kimberlé Crenshaw helped open the discussion of the double bind faced by victims of simultaneous racial and gender prejudice. Full bio
Abby Dobson - Artist
Passionate about using music as a tool for empathy cultivation, Abby Dobson creates music to inspire audiences to reflect on the world we live in and engage in action to promote transformative social change. Full bio
that you don't recognize,
we're going to see what they know. OK?
and take a look.
are still standing.
to put you on the spot.
so you can be seated.
the first group of names know
who have been killed by the police
is also African-Americans
within the last two years.
the names that you know
that there's nothing at all distinct
that we've just seen.
dozens of times around the country.
I've done it with students.
I've done it with sociologists.
progressive members of Congress.
of the level of police violence
that this would be the case.
talked about a lot lately.
who is implicated by these problems,
who is victimized by these problems,
never come to mind.
with the available frames,
incorporating new facts
about a problem.
have slipped through our consciousness
for us to see them,
or demanded that they speak to them.
and an issue that affects women,
black people who are women
a trickle-down approach to social justice,
all the members of a targeted group,
of our movements,
the term "intersectionality"
that many of our social justice problems
of social injustice.
that gave rise to intersectionality
with a woman named Emma DeGraffenreid.
was an African-American woman,
from the pages of a legal opinion
who had dismissed Emma's claim
for her family and for others.
for her children and for her family.
because she was a black woman.
dismissed Emma's suit,
for dismissing the suit was
did hire African-Americans
was not willing to acknowledge
that were hired,
maintenance jobs, were all men.
or front-office work,
how these policies came together
the double discrimination
to put two causes of action together
by allowing her to do that,
to have preferential treatment.
by having two swings at the bat,
only had one swing at the bat.
African-American men or white women
and gender discrimination claim
they were experiencing.
weren't exactly the same
to include African-American women,
completely out of court.
of antidiscrimination law,
to work at the plant.
doubled down on this exclusion
no name for this problem.
where there's no name for a problem,
you pretty much can't solve it.
was a framing problem.
or to see race discrimination
there was an alternative narrative,
to see Emma's dilemma,
to rescue her from the cracks in the law,
to better see Emma's dilemma.
the roads to the intersection would be
was structured by race and by gender.
would be the hiring policies
that ran through those roads.
was both black and female,
where those roads overlapped,
like that ambulance that shows up
only if it can be shown
on the race road or on the gender road
being impacted by multiple forces
that African-American women,
all over the world,
of dilemmas and challenges
that are sometimes quite unique.
that black women live their lives,
that black women face
their encounters with police.
in front of their parents
in front of their children.
when they've called for help.
when they were with others.
being homeless while black.
talking on the cell phone,
in front of the White House
in the backseat of the car.
of media attention and communal outcry
of their fallen brothers?
Policy Forum began to demand
is being discussed.
to the often painful realities
that many black women have had to face,
that I'm about to share with you
to some of this violence.
of the phenomenal Abby Dobson.
and some who have not survived them,
at the beginning of this talk,
there's going to be a roll call.
to join us in saying these names
to bear witness
About the Speakers:Kimberlé Crenshaw - Civil rights advocate
As a pioneer in critical race theory, Kimberlé Crenshaw helped open the discussion of the double bind faced by victims of simultaneous racial and gender prejudice.
Why you should listen
Kimberlé Crenshaw, professor of law at UCLA and Columbia Law School, is a leading authority in the area of cvil rights, Black feminist legal theory, and race, racism and the law. Her work has been foundational in two fields of study that have come to be known by terms that she coined: critical race theory and intersectionality.
Crenshaw’s articles have appeared in the Harvard Law Review, National Black Law Journal, Stanford Law Review and Southern California Law Review. She is the founding coordinator of the Critical Race Theory Workshop, and the co-editor of the volume, Critical Race Theory: Key Documents That Shaped the Movement. She has lectured widely on race matters, addressing audiences across the country as well as in Europe, India, Africa and South America. A specialist on race and gender equality, she has facilitated workshops for human rights activists in Brazil and in India, and for constitutional court judges in South Africa. Her groundbreaking work on intersectionality has traveled globally and was influential in the drafting of the equality clause in the South African Constitution.
Crenshaw authored the background paper on race and gender discrimination for the United Nation's World Conference on Racism, served as the rapporteur for the conference's expert group on gender and race discrimination, and coordinated NGO efforts to ensure the inclusion of gender in the WCAR Conference Declaration. She is a leading voice in calling for a gender-inclusive approach to racial justice interventions, having spearheaded the "Why We Can't Wait" campaign and co-authored Black Girls Matter: Pushed Out, Overpoliced and Underprotected, and Say Her Name: Resisting Police Brutality Against Black Women.
Crenshaw has worked extensively on a variety of issues pertaining to gender and race in the domestic arena including violence against women, structural racial inequality and affirmative action. She has served as a member of the National Science Foundation's committee to research violence against women and has consulted with leading foundations, social justice organizations and corporations to advance their race and gender equity initiatives.
In 1996, she co-founded the African American Policy Forum to house a variety of projects designed to deliver research-based strategies to better advance social inclusion. Among the Forum's projects are the Affirmative Action Research and Policy Consortium and the Multiracial Literacy and Leadership Initiative. In partnership with the Aspen Roundtable for Community Change, Crenshaw facilitated workshops on racial equity for hundreds of community leaders and organizations throughout the country. With the support of the Rockefeller Foundation, Crenshaw facilitates the Bellagio Project, an international network of scholars working in the field of social inclusion from five continents. She formerly served as Committee Chair for the U.S.-Brazil Joint Action Plan to Promote Racial and Ethnic Equality, an initiative of the U.S. State Department.
Crenshaw has received the Fulbright Distinguished Chair for Latin America, the Alphonse Fletcher Fellowship and was a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University in 2009 and a Visiting Fellow at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy in 2010. Currently, Crenshaw is director of the Center for Intersectionality and Social Policy Studies at Columbia Law School, which she founded in 2011, as well as the Centennial Professor at the LSE Gender Institute 2015-2018. Crenshaw received her J.D. from Harvard, L.L.M. from University of Wisconsin and B.A. from Cornell University.
Passionate about using music as a tool for empathy cultivation, Abby Dobson creates music to inspire audiences to reflect on the world we live in and engage in action to promote transformative social change.
Why you should listen
Abby Dobson is the 2016 artist-in-residence with the African American Policy Forum (AAPF). A sonic conceptualist artist, Dobson's sound is the alchemy of R&B/Soul, jazz, classic pop, gospel and folk, forging a gem that erases musical boundaries. Dobson has performed at venues such as S.O.B's, Kennedy Center Millennium Stage, Apollo Theater, Blue Note Jazz Club, Queens Museum and "The Tonight Show." Her debut album, Sleeping Beauty: You Are the One You Have Been Waiting On, was released in 2010 to glowing reviews. Featured on Talib Kweli’s album Gravitas on State of Grace, Dobson was also nominated for a 2014 BET Hip Hop Award for Best Impact Song.
Dobson received a Juris Doctorate degree from Georgetown University Law Center and a Bachelor's degree from Williams College in Political Science and History. Her interests have been deeply impacted by intersectionality discourse and critical race theory. An artist and independent scholar, Dobson's interests focus on the intersection of race and gender in the imagination, creation and consumption of music. A sampling of recent presentations include: International James Baldwin Conference at American University of Paris (2016), Association for the Study of African American History and Life Conference (2013-2015); Anna Julia Cooper Project at Tulane University (2013); and National Women's Studies Association (NWSA) Conference (2013).
Passionate about using music as a tool for empathy cultivation, Dobson creates music to inspire audiences to reflect on the world we live in and engage in action to promote transformative social change. She creates music to privilege black female voices and highlight the human condition. Inspired by AAPF’s social justice work, Dobson composed and performs "Say Her Name" in tribute to the black women lost to state and non-state violence.
Dobson also volunteers with the National Organization for Women, NYC Chapter's Activist Alliance serving as a member of its Intersectionality Committee. She is currently wrapping up recording for Sister Outsider, the follow-up to her debut album, slated for release in 2017.