Crenshaw’s work has been foundational in critical race theory and in intersectionality, both terms she coined. Crenshaw facilitated the first critical race theory workshop in 1989 and taught the nation’s first course on the topic in 1990. Her studies, writing, and activism have identified key issues in the perpetuation of inequality, including the criminalization of Black teenage girls. Through a collaboration between AAPF and CISPS, Crenshaw co-authored (with Andrea Ritchie) Say Her Name: Resisting Police Brutality Against Black Women, which documents and draws attention to the killing of Black women and girls by police. Crenshaw and AAPF subsequently launched the #SayHerName campaign to call attention to police violence against Black women and girls.
Crenshaw is also the co-author of Black Girls Matter: Pushed Out, Overpoliced, and Underprotected. Her writing has appeared in the Harvard Law Review, Yale Law Review, the National Black Law Journal, the Stanford Law Review, and the Southern California Law Review. She is a co-editor of Critical Race Theory: Key Documents That Shaped the Movement and assisted on the legal team representing Anita Hill at the confirmation hearing of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
Crenshaw’s groundbreaking work on intersectionality was influential in the drafting of the equality clause in the South African Constitution. She coordinated NGO efforts to ensure the inclusion of gender in the WCAR Conference Declaration.
Crenshaw is a sought-after speaker who conducts workshops and trainings on intersectionality and structural racism. Crenshaw’s popular podcast Intersectionality Matters! ranks among the top 5 percent of podcasts, and she hosts the internet series “Under the Blacklight: The Intersectional Vulnerabilities that Covid Laid Bare,” which received a WEBBIE recognition. Crenshaw has facilitated workshops for human rights activists in Brazil and India, for constitutional court judges in South Africa as well. She serves on the Committee on Law and Justice of the National Academies of Science and on the board of the Sundance Institute. Crenshaw has received lifetime achievement awards from the Association of American Law Schools, Planned Parenthood, and the ERA Coalition, and was voted one of the ten most important thinkers in the world by Prospect Magazine. Most recently, Professor Crenshaw was named the recipient of the 2021 AALS Triennial Award for Lifetime Service to Legal Education and to the Legal Profession. She also received the 2021 Ruth Bader Ginsburg Lifetime Achievement Award by the Women's Section of the Association of American Law Schools. Professor Crenshaw is a senior nonresident fellow at the Brookings Institute. And she currently sits on the boards of Sundance and the Algorithmic Justice League.
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- The Intersectional Paradigm: Race & Gender in Work, Life & Politics
"Intersectionalilty," a term coined by speaker Kimberlé Crenshaw, calls attention to the multiple forces that create and sustain power and privilege in American society - and contribute to the discrimination and oppression of minority groups. One-dimensional approaches to social justice advocacy continue to divide key constituencies into distant and sometimes competing interests. Nowhere is this division more clearly visible than in discourses surrounding racial and gender bias in the workplace, where one-dimensional approaches often render the experiences of women of color unintelligible. A leading authority in the area of civil rights, black feminist legal theory, race, racism, and the law, Crenshaw shares her groundbreaking work on "intersectionality" in this fascinating keynote, explaining how our inability to view oppression in society in terms of interrelated categories instead of separate ones - for example, separating gender from racial inequality, instead of merging the two - results in greater oppression for those who stand at the intersection of these categories - such as black women.