AAPF - A Timeline

1998 – 2000 AAPF Criminal Justice Series

    February 1998

  • Salon Workshops examine the growth of Prison Industrial Complex
  • Dynamics of poor Black women, economy & domestic violence in limelight
    November 1999

  • Public discussions on Kemba Smith case in the crossfire of Domestic Violence & U.S. Drug Policy
  • Drug policies for women of Color & consequences for their families initiatives
    Spring & Late 2000

  • Downward Push on Upward Mobility - Salon Themes on Welfare Reform, Post-Industrial society, Rights to Education
  • Race & The Criminal (In)justice System – Conference on Proactive Resistance
  • Kemba Smith Retreat– Public Education on Contemporary Drug Policy
  • Kemba Smith Youth Foundation receives grant from Soros Foundation

  • Kimberle W. Crenshaw guest co-hosts on “Equal Time” on CNBC

  • Americans For A Fair Chance (AFC) commissions FAIR (Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting) study detailing huge discrepancies in media representation of Affirmative Action issues
  • Policy Forum Affirmative Action Discussion & Book Party celebrates launching of We Won’t Go Back by Matsuda & Lawrence

  • Policy Forum Cosponsored Affirmative Action Symposium discussing right-wing misrepresentations & way to move forward
  • Claude Steele & Susan Sturm on the Myths of Standardized Testing & effects on higher education
    2000 & 2001

  • UN World Conference Against Racism
  • May 2000 - National Conference on Black Women & the Law serves as a precursor to UNWCAR
  • May 2000 - Geneva UN PrepCom takes intersectional work to the international arena with participants from Brazil, India, Portugal, UK, Israel, Guatemala, Philippines, Mali & Uganda
  • December 2000 - Citizen’s Conference Against Racism & Preparatory Intergovernmental Meeting of the Americas in Santiago, Chile – Introduces intersectional framework into activist works & UN Human Rights agenda
  • May 2001 - Second Geneva UN PrepCom
  • August – September 2001 - Durban, South Africa – AAPF urges intersectional analysis to be incorporated into UN Declaration & Platform of Action
    2003 – 2010

  • Expansion of:
  • Affirmative Action
  • Structural Racism
  • Intersectionality
  • International Collaboration
  • Strategic Interventions
  • Applied Reframing
    March 2003

  • Affirmative Action Teach-In/Workshop Conference
  • Grutter vs. Bollinger (2003)
  • Affirmative Action Strategic Intervention Media Workshop addresses counter-strategies to existing media bias
  • Prominent scholars, activists, lawyers, psychologist, journalists convene to generate ideas & actions for honest Affirmative Action discourse & outreach

July 2003

    Partnership with Aspen Institute Begins

  • Structured around Social Justice issues and assault on Affirmative Action, the partnership with AAPF provides long term knowledge building process within Structural Racism lasting until 2008
    October 2003

  • Freedom Sunday – Crenshaw & Harris conducts church speaking tour to raise awareness & connect vital information about Affirmative Action; messages connecting churches & The Civil Rights Movement.
    2004 – 2006

  • AAPF carries out major initiatives during the heat of MCRI (Michigan Civil Rights Initiative) with Media Intervention Project, Conferences & Workshops
  • Defending Affirmative Action: Confronting Distortions in the Public Debate
  • The Affirmative Action Strategy Summit (April 2004)
  • Promoting Equal Opportunity Post-Grutter (October 2004)
  • Research Consortium & Policy Initiative (October 2004)
  • Affirmative Action Leadership Training & Community Mobilization (2006)
  • Negril Social Justice Writers Retreat, Jamaica (2006)


    Battle over Affirmative Action

  • March 2006 – AAPF & ACLU Michigan convenes at Detroit for “Affirmative Action Leadership Training” for “grass tops” activist leaders & community
  • June 2006 - AAPF & ACLU Michigan’s “Mobilizing Our Base” with NAACP, LaSed, ACCESS & ADC – Michigan.
  • “10 Myths” are presented to enthusiastic audiences
  • 13 Myths about Affirmative Action comes into being
  • AAPF with ACLU Michigan creates coordinated response to Ward Connerly’s campaign

  • In lieu with AAPF’s global outreach to form consent for racial justice and inclusion policies, AAPF expands on Globalizing Affirmative Action with summits in Niteroi, Brazil and Bellagio, Italy strategizing first steps for GAAPP or Global Affirmative Action Praxis Project
  • AAPF in collaboration with UCLA School of Law takes law school and graduate students every Spring to Brazil or India to conduct extensive field research pertinent to Affirmative Action and report their findings for comparative outlooks. In addition, scholars from Brazil and India come to the US for multilateral discussions on affirmative action, race and justice

  • January – AAPF collaborates with National ACLU to host Affirmative Action Summit convening writers, community members, activists and scholars to promote strategies for Affirmative Action outreach
  • March – Work for JAPER (Joint Action Plan to Eliminate Racial and Ethnic Discrimination and Promote Equality), a joint initiative between US and Brazilian government begins. Kimberle W. Crenshaw serves as a co-chair for the Civil Society Committee.
  • August – Kimberle W. Crenshaw makes major appearance on PBS’ NOW on sideline of Democratic National Convention to defend Affirmative Action and analyzes the false debate over Obama’s nomination, Post-Racial America and struggle for racial justice
  • AAPF begins working on Section 8 Housing Discrimination, documenting and investigating incoming residents of Antioch, California.

  • June - AAPF organizes cross-disciplinary study and seminar on Colorblindness at the Stanford Center for the Study of the Behavioral Sciences with more than twenty five scholars representing ten academic disciplines. Kimberle W. Crenshaw also receives prestigious Fletcher fellowship and at the Stanford Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences
  • June – GAAPP program brings students from Brazil and India to UCLA School of Law for the first time after two consecutive years of UCLA and Columbia Law School conducts fieldwork in both countries
  • June – Social Justice Writer’s retreat brings together academics, scholars, journalists, human rights activists in Negril Jamaica for another year of intensive seminar work, writing projects on social justice issues. AAPF’s regular collaborators provides valuable feedbacks and counsel for AAPF’s oncoming projects
  • September – Eve Ensler guest lectures for Kimberle W. Crenshaw’s class on Intersectionality and AAPF collaborates with distinguished guests on V-Day. Kimberle W. Crenshaw presents her poem Respect to full house at the Apollo.
  • October – First phase of engagement with national educational organization Communities in Schools begins on Structural Racism that plans to bring together CIS participants from all over the country for intensive workshop in August.
  • October - AAPF prepares to launch to major projects for 2010 on Intersectionality Learning Circle and Brother to Brother Initiative. These ambitious projects plans to center and bring home the role of intersectional analysis for gender, cultural and structural discrepancies, especially as Kimberle W. Crenshaw’s major theoretical gesture has traveled widely around in academic, activist and policy making circles around the world.

  • March – In a major event at the UCLA School of Law, 4th Annual Critical Race Studies Symposium unfolds with around two hundred and fifty panelists and over four hundred participants including distinguished scholars, activists, writers from all around the world to commemorate twentieth anniversary of Intersectional theory and practices. Kimberle W. Crenshaw presents the keynote speech delineating her hopes, inspirations and ambitions for future of Intersectionality to a full house.
  • May – August – AAPF continues its intensive engagement with Communities in Schools preparing participants with discussions, webinars and assistance for August workshop integrating Structural Racism in CIS outlooks.
  • August – AAPF conducts two back to back workshop in one week for over 100 participants including CIS board members, supervisors and coordinators to apply and reframe Structural Racism in CIS outlooks and practices

Our Executive Director, Kim Crenshaw on GRITtv

Kimberle Crenshaw on GRITtv"Post-Racial" Politics and History September 30, 2010

We hear a lot about "post-racial" politics these days--the election of Barack Obama supposedly has led us into a post-racial age, but have we really seen anything change? Not much, notes Kimberle Crenshaw, co-founder of the African-American Policy Forum, and it's not really new either. But a lack of a sense of history is another symptom of today's politics, and Crenshaw notes that even black elected officials and candidates sometimes fall victim.

Crenshaw joins Laura in studio for a look at black tea party candidates, the troubles facing Adrian Fenty and other black mayors, and the problem with claims of "reverse racism."

Does Race (Still) Matter? Reconsidering Affirmative Action in the US and Brazil

The U.S. and Brazil appear to be approaching a temporal crossroad on race and affirmative action. While the myth of racial democracy has loosened its grip in Brazil and opened up unprecedented opportunities for Afro-Brazilians, post-racialism is becoming a powerful force in the US, undermining the future of social inclusion programs.  What can advocates for racial equality in the two countries learn from each other?  How can transnational cooperation between governments and civil society advance racial justice in the two Americas?  Come hear leading voices in the Joint Action Plan to Eliminate Racial discrimination (“JAPER”) in the US and Brazil.

A panel discussion with:

Daniel Teixeria Staff Lawyer and Projects Coordinator at the Research Center on Labor Relations and Inequality; former Co-Chair for the Civil Society (JAPER) “Demystifying Racial Democracy in Brazil”

Maria Aparecida Silva Bento Executive Director of the Research Center on Labor Relations and Inequality; Associate Researcher at the University of Sao Paulo; “Quantifying Employment Discrimination in Brazilian Banks”

Clarence Lusane Professor of Political Science in the School of International Service at American University; Co-Chair for the Civil Society (JAPER) “Afro-Brazilians and the Continuing Struggle for Racial Equality”

Kimberlé Crenshaw Professor of Law at Columbia & UCLA Law School; former Fulbright Chair for Latin America; Co-Chair for the Civil Society (JAPER) “Framing Joint Action in the Matrix of Colorblindness and Racial Democracy”

Monday, September 27th, 2010 ∙ 6pm Columbia Law School ∙ Greene Hall, Room 103 Reception to Follow: Columbia Law School ∙ Case Lounge ∙ 7:30pm

Sponsored by: African American Policy Forum ∙ Institute for Research in African American Studies Center for Brazilian Studies ∙ Latin American Law Students Association


AAPF welcomes new Associate Director

Leda K. DeRose - AAPF Associate DirectorAAPF welcomes Leda K. DeRose as our new Associate Director. Originally from Meriden, Connecticut, Leda graduated from Barnard College, where she received a Bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies with a concentration in Political Science. While at Barnard, Leda excelled academically, earning the distinction of magna cum laude. Her senior thesis, entitled “Youth Voices on Lockdown: Identity Shaping in Service Learning Programs” focused on the intersectionality of race, gender and class identities and how they shape volunteers’ perceptions of the inmates they taught in their service-learning class. Leda continues to be interested in the criminal justice movement and its far reaching implications for low-income communities of color.

Since graduating, Leda had worked in the corporate law sector before coming to the Policy Forum. She remains passionate about social justice issues and plans to pursue a career in law...Welcome Leda!

AAPF convenes 2010 Social Justice Writer's Retreat

While the day-to-day administration of the work of the Policy Forum is undertaken by full-time and part-time staff under the direction of our Executive and Program Directors, we rely on a community of exceptionally creative thought leaders and writers from both the academy and civil society to help us advance our work.  We meet with these individuals informally during the course of the year, and work intensively with them in a workshop setting each summer. In this respect, the Social Justice Writer's Retreat affords us the opportunity to bring together a community of writers from disparate fields: a) to provide critical feedback to one another on their current "writings in progress" on social justice issues; and b) to offer constructive critiques of Policy Forum projects designed to advance social justice goals. Participants not only receive valuable input from peers on the articles and books that they are developing, but they also provide us with wise counsel with respect to our ongoing projects - vetting our materials, research initiatives, organizational strategies and programmatic endeavors.

While the seminars are work-intensive, the seclusion of the retreat setting provides an environment that is wonderfully conducive to a heightened focus on the issues at hand. Everyone benefits, which is why we have such a rich variety of colleagues who embrace the experience. Retreat participants have included, among others, journalists, academics, literary agents, foundation program officers, and human rights advocates - all of whom share a commitment to social justice work.

The annual Social Justice Writer's Retreat convenes in Negril, Jamaica.

Influential books that were written by SJR participants

Two influential books have come out of the Social Justice Writer's Retreat in Negril, Jamaica.

In 2009, George Washington Law School Professor Paul Butler - a participant in the inaugural workshop -  had a book party to celebrate the publication of his new book: Let's Get Free - which is a deeply perceptive critique of the criminal justice system.  Paul had presented draft chapters of this book at the Retreat on two previous occasions. We applaud its publication and thank him and the rest of our summer colleagues for the wise counsel that they offer to the Policy Forum.

Barbara Tomlinson, Associate Professor in the Department of Feminist Studies at UC, Santa Barbara also devoted a great deal of time at our 2009 Retreat to pen the newly 2010 release of, Feminism and Affect at the Scene of Argument: Beyond the Trope of the Angry Feminist. Using case studies from controversies in socio-legal studies, musicology, and science studies, among other disciplines, Tomlinson examines the rhetorics of anger, contempt, betrayal, intensification, and ridicule. She employs a set of critical tools—feminist “socio-forensic” discursive analysis—that will prove indispensible for understanding and countering tropes like that of the angry feminist. Moreover, these tools will advance feminism, which, she argues, is generated in and by arguments with allies and antagonists.

AAPF applauds their work and is proud to call them one of our own!

Welcome 2010 Social Justice Writers

On this designated blog, you will be able to share your thoughts and ideas as you spend time in Negril, Jamaica. Be sure to sign your name at the end of your entry. We are excited for another productive retreat!

These are highlight photos from previous summer retreats. We look forward to making new memories.

Crenshaw speaks as Ruth Bader Ginsburg Lecturer at Thomas Jefferson School of Law

Excerpt from Thomas Jefferson School of Law news: "Intersectionality" is a term that may have been new to many of the people who attended the 10th Annual Women and the Law Conference at Thomas Jefferson School of Law on Friday, April 30, but now they have a much better grasp of this significant legal concept. Indeed, the conference was titled "Women of Color and Intersectionality: Understanding and Addressing Challenges" with the specific goal of creating more awareness about this dilemma that impacts untold numbers of women in this country who seek relief from race and sex-based discrimination.

Who better to define intersectionality than Professor Kimberle Crenshaw of UCLA and Columbia law schools? She was this year's Ruth Bader Ginsburg Lecturer at the conference, which was presented jointly by TJSL's Women and The Law Project and UCLA Law School's Critical Race Studies program.

Click to read more >

Crenshaw presents lecture on race relations at ASU

April 5, 2010

ASU, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Danielle Legler


Kimberlé Crenshaw, co-founder of the African American Policy Forum and a leading authority in the areas of civil rights and the politics of race, brings her perspective to Arizona State University April 8 for the 15th anniversary A. Wade Smith Memorial Lecture on Race Relations. “Educating All Our Children: A Constitutional Perspective” is the topic of her talk, to begin at 7 p.m. in the Memorial Union Ventana Ballroom on ASU’s Tempe campus...

 Read full ASU article here.

Copyright Clearance

The African American Policy Forum is committed to making our expansive library of research and reports available to interested members of the public, community organizations, independent and institution-affiliated scholars, businesses, non-profits, schools, universities, and governments.

If you or your organization would like to secure a license to use one or more of our publications please feel free to contact us and our team will be in contact with you shortly.

Note on Intellectual Property of Kimberlé W. Crenshaw and Luke Charles Harris:  As part of AAPF’s commitment to making important gender and race conscious advocacy and scholarly work available we routinely facilitate copyright clearances for work authored by our founders, board members, and other affiliates.  If you are interested in securing licensing for works authored in whole or in part by  Kimberlé W. Crenshaw and/or Luke Charles Harris use the form below to submit your request.

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New study: Caste-based discrimination against “Dalits” widespread untouchability practiced across Gujarat.

Press Release
Manjula Pradeep, Executive Director of Navsarjan Trust

Untouchability pervasive across public and private life in India study finds
Largest study ever conducted of practices of caste-based discrimination against “Dalits” widespread untouchability
practiced across Gujarat.

Caste-based discrimination, or “untouchability”, against Dalits, the community referred to as “untouchable”, continues to penetrate numerous aspects of daily life in India according to a new report to be released on 27th January 2010 by Prof. S.K. Thorat Chairperson of the University Grants Commission, India at Ahimsa Shodh Kendra, Ahmisa Bhavan, Gujarat Vidyapeeth, Ahmedabad at 4 pm on the eve of 60 years of the Indian Constitution.

Navsarjan Trust is the largest state level organization that promotes the rights of Dalits, the “untouchable” caste of Indian society in Gujarat. Dalits face discrimination at almost every level: from access to education and medical facilities to restrictions on where they can live and what jobs they can have. Navsarjan is one of the leading organizations in the advancement of Dalit rights in India.

The study was undertaken by Navsarjan Trust and The Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights (RFK Center) Segregation of housing, drinking water wells, places of religious worships, and separate sitting arrangement in schools and public events by touchable and untouchable castes continues to be nearly universally practiced across villages in Gujarat, the western-most state in India, despite national laws banning such actions.

 After the largest data-gathering effort to date on the topic, the report, “Understanding Untouchability: A Comprehensive Study of Practices and Conditions,” outlines a pattern of persistent discrimination not only against Dalits by members of non- Dalit castes, but even between sub-castes of Dalits. The report was envisioned by 2000 RFK Human Rights Laureate Martin Macwan, the team members of Navsarjan and RFK Global Advocacy Team members, including Dr. Christian Davenport, Professor of the University of Notre Dame and Dr. David Armstrong of the University of Michigan.

Using three years of intensive research, the study outlines a framework for quantifying a diverse range of human rights abuses against Dalits, collecting data and conducting analysis that surpasses all previous examinations of the issue. The 53-page report presents data from 5462 survey-respondents across 1589 villages collected by 106 Navsarjan activists in Gujarat, covering almost all known untouchability practices including communal, caste based and religious life, food, and touch.

“Understanding untouchability is crucial to ending untouchability. Dalits face untouchability in every aspect of their lives. By lifting the veil of ignorance we have no excuse not to end it,”, said Martin Macwan, founder of the Navsarjan Trust and 2000 RFK Human Rights Award Laureate.

“The study provides not only new data but a framework for the unpacking of the complexities of untouchability. We hope this new approach will help bring the development of solutions within the grasp of government officials, activists, religious institutions and all of society,” said Dr. Christian Davenport, a co-author of the study.

For millennia, the practice of untouchability has relegated a sector of Indian society to a life marked by humiliation and indignity. These practices were sanctioned by the dominant religion in India, Hinduism, in its most important texts (e.g., the Vedas and Manusmruti), but are not practiced by members of all religions. Legally the practices were abolished by the Constitution of India and subsequent legislation including the Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1976 and the Prevention of Atrocity Act, 1989, which punishes those non-Dalits who continue this discrimination . The issue continues to be one of the most politically divisive issues in the country.

“Caste-based discrimination is the most complex human rights issue facing India today. It is our hope that these findings will provide critical data for the Dalit movement to shape its interventions, for the Government of India to seriously and systematically examine and address its own gaps in ending discrimination, and for the international community to apply similar approaches to ending discrimination globally,” said Monika Kalra Varma, Director of the RFK Center for Justice and Human Rights.

“This study provides advocates with the information they need to see strengths and weaknesses in the current laws protecting the human rights of Dalits. The continued prevalence of these demeaning and hateful practices across all communities shows that the legal system is failing to address untouchability, including between the Dalit sub-castes, and the time for action is now”, Manjula Pradeep, Executive Director of Navsarjan Trust.

For further information please contact: Ms. Manjula Pradeep, Executive Director, Navsarjan Trust Cell: 02717-324323/ 9898515090, email: director@navsarjan.org


Crenshaw keynote speaker at Dartmouth College's MLK celebration

The Dartmouth
MLK speaker highlights a 'non-racial' America
By Ryan King
January 19, 2010


Decades after the civil rights movement, Martin Luther King Jr.’s sense of the “fierce urgency of now” when combatting racial inequality remains necessary and prevalent, according to Kimberle Williams Crenshaw. A University of California at Los Angeles law professor and leading authority on civil rights, Crenshaw spoke at the College’s annual celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday.

During her keynote address to a packed crowd in Spaulding Auditorium, Crenshaw stressed that by ignoring the topic of racism, today’s society remains post-racial rather than non-racial.