Black Feminist Foundations: An Interdisciplinary Research Panel – A Recap

I work as the social media coordinator for the Critical Race Initiative(CRI). This year I took the lead on a series called Black Feminist Thoughts with Wendy Marie Laybourn and Kevin Winstead. Black Feminists Thoughts expands on the landmark book by Patricia Hill Collins as an effort of open engagement about the field of Black feminism past, present and future.

The program is divided into two parts. The University of Maryland acts as homebase for the portion of the program that involves academic outreach. Dawn Dow led a talk on the challenges, opportunities, and strategies of intersectional research. As a researcher and faculty member, Dawn has a level of expertise in publishing, analyzing, and critiquing intersectional research vital for the graduate students that attended.

We followed that event with a panel led by graduate students from three disciplines:

Eona Young-Harrison presents at Black Feminist Foundations: An Interdisciplinary Research Panel – A Recap

Black Feminist Foundations: An Interdisciplinary Research Panel

  • Eona Young-Harrison, Sociology
  • Caroline Titan, Education Policy Studies
  • Terrance Wooten, American Studies

All of them are doing exciting work. Eona frames her work on contraceptive use among Black women with theories by Collins and Kimberle Crenshaw. She asks how the contraceptive use of Black women is constrained within the matrix of domination  at the intersection of race, gender and eugenics.

Caroline ‘s work on South Asian students is informed by Crenshaw’s work on structural intersectionality. Her analysis attends to how systems of power reproduce racism against South Asians in schools. Lastly, Terrance builds on work by a multitude of Black feminists, including Collins and Ida B. Wells, to critique dominant conceptions of home and homelessness. He calls attention to how the marginalization of Black men relies on a narrow social construction of criminality.

I think this panel recognizes the many ways that Black feminism is visible in the work of graduate students across disciplines.


Our digital portion involves 30 Days of Black Feminist Thoughts. The CRI website is homebase for daily content focused on Black women intellectuals and artists. This portion will occur three times throughout the 2016-2017 school semester.

  • November: Black Feminist Foundations
  • January: Black Feminist World
  • April: Black and Asian Solidarity

The first round kicks off next Tuesday. Each Friday we will host a Twitter chat from 1pm – 3 pm. Visit the CRI website for more information. We hope you’ll join us.

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