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Don’t miss Kimberlé Crenshaw’s events this week

By The Brandeis Hoot

Section: Editorials

October 20, 2017

Kimberlé Crenshaw, the woman who coined the term “intersectionality,” will be on campus next week.

Crenshaw will be at Brandeis to receive the Joseph B. and Toby Gittler Prize, an annual award that recognizes lasting scholarly contributions to racial, ethnic and/or religious issues. The prize includes $25,000 and a medal, which are presented at a public ceremony and lecture. Crenshaw will be on Brandeis for several days next week, attending various events and discussions before the presentation of the award.

Crenshaw, professor of law at UCLA and Columbia Law School, is one of the nation’s leading scholars on critical race theory and black feminist legal theory. She has facilitated workshops for human rights activists in Brazil and for constitutional court judges in South Africa. She pioneered the scholarly work on intersectionality, the idea that social identities do not exist separate from one another, but intersect to create a more complex, nuanced understanding of oppression and marginalization. She is an incredibly accomplished woman and it is an honor to welcome her to campus. Everyone should take advantage of the following events this coming week.

The first event Crenshaw will attend is the “Ebony Axis” zine launch on Monday, Oct. 23 at 7 p.m. “Ebony Axis,” a poetry zine for Black women founded by LaShawn Simmons ’18, marks its third installment this semester. Published with help from a Creativity, the Arts and Social Transformation (CAST) grant, its launch ceremony will be in the Intercultural Center (ICC), and Crenshaw will be in attendance to respond to student work.

On Tuesday, Oct. 24, Brandeis will host “Sharing at the Intersections: An evening of art, identity, and lived experience with Dr. Kimberlé Crenshaw” in the SCC Multipurpose Room. Students will present various forms of art such as spoken word poetry and photography that relate to the intersecting parts of their identities. Crenshaw will attend the event to witness and respond to student work, providing a more relaxed, informal setting for students to interact with Crenshaw.

Crenshaw’s Gittler Prize award presentation culminates in an event titled “Race, Reform, Retrenchment Redux: Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality Beyond Post Racialism.” On Wednesday, Oct. 25 at 4 p.m. in the Rapaporte Treasure Hall, Crenshaw will receive her award and discuss critical race theory during the post-civil rights era, as well as how to apply intersectionality in the risks of post-racialism during Trump’s presidency.

Crenshaw will also speak to Women, Genders, and Sexuality and Black Feminist Thought classes.

Having Crenshaw on campus is a not-to-miss opportunity that students and faculty alike should take full advantage of. An often-cited scholar, Crenshaw’s work is on the syllabi of many classes at Brandeis, and this is a unique opportunity to engage with a leading scholarly figure. The number of attendees varies at Brandeis events. While some draw crowds in the hundreds, other see only a handful of guests. Take a look at your schedules, and try to make it out to these events.

Many big names will be at Brandeis in the coming weeks, but don’t just go see Colin Jost and X Ambassadors—make sure to check out Kimberlé Crenshaw’s events as well.

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