AAPF Community Congratulates ED Kimberle Crenshaw on Receiving Gittler Prize

AAPF Community Congratulates ED Kimberle Crenshaw on Receiving Brandeis University's Gittler Prize

The entire AAPF community celebrates our co-founder and Executive Director Kimberle Crenshaw today as she receives the esteemed Joseph B. and Toby Gittler Prize from Brandeis University for enduring scholarly contributions to racial relations. Read the press release below:

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AAPF Co-Founder and Executive Director Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw is being honored today by Brandeis University for her enduring contributions to social justice and equality.

Crenshaw, whose research and writing have galvanized thinking and action about race, racism, and the law worldwide, is receiving theJoseph B. and Toby Gittler Prize, which the university awards annually in recognition of outstanding and lasting scholarly contributions to racial, ethnic, and/or religious relations.

Crenshaw will receive the prize at an award ceremony this evening in Waltham, Massachusetts as part of a three-day residency at Brandeis. Earlier in the week, she met with students and faculty, and this afternoon will deliver a public lecture, "Race, Reform, Retrenchment Redux: Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality Beyond Post Racialism."

“Kimberlé Crenshaw is one of the rare scholars whose exceptional academic work has become an important part of dialogue and change inside and outside the academy,” Brandeis University President Ron Liebowitz said in a statement. “Her innovative thinking underscores important values associated with the Gittler Prize and with our university.”

“Kimberlé Crenshaw organically combines sophisticated theoretical analysis, brilliant cultural and political commentary, on-the-ground experiential knowledge, and complex legal argumentation to describe, contest, and fashion remedies for some of the most pressing social problems of our time,” added Devon Carbado, Professor of Law at UCLA and Board Member of the African American Policy Forum.

Illuminating the Oppression of Women of Color
Twenty-eight years ago, Crenshaw coined the term intersectionality to describe the exclusion of black women from feminist theory and policy discourse directed against racism. The particular manner in which black women are subordinated does not reflect the interaction of race and gender and is greater than the sum of both, she argued in an article published in the University of Chicago Law Forum. In 2015, Crenshaw launched the Say Her Name campaign, which calls attention to police violence against Black women, and brings together family members of Black women killed by police to heal and advocate for accountability for their lost loved ones.

“Kimberlé Crenshaw, and the Say Her Name platform has given me and many other families a voice!” said Rhanda Dormeus, mother of Korryn Gaines, who was killed by Baltimore Police in 2016. “She has shed light on the countless women and their families who've gone unnoticed, in comparison to their male counterparts, in numbers of unnecessary police involved shootings. Dr. Crenshaw has been my LIFELINE!”

Crenshaw directs the Center for Intersectionality and Social Policy Studies,which she founded in 2011. She is co-founder and executive director of The African American Policy Forum, a think tank that promotes efforts to dismantle structural inequality, as well as co-editor of “Critical Race Theory: The Key Writings That Formed the Movement,” the leading anthology on the subject.

“Kimberlé Crenshaw is a gifted legal theorist and an extremely innovative social activist whose work is grounded in the lives of those who are most marginalized in society,” said Luke Harris, Cofounder of the African American Policy Forum. “From her brilliant law journal articles to the Black Girls Matter Report; from the #SayHerName campaign to the extraordinary town hall meetings that AAPF sponsors in cities across America her work fully embodies what it means to see intersectionality in action.”

A Global Voice
Crenshaw, whose work has appeared in the Harvard Law Review, the National Black Law Journal, the Stanford Law Review, and the Southern California Law Review, is currently a visiting professor at the London School of Economics’ Gender Institute.

She has lectured nationally and internationally on race matters, addressing audiences throughout Europe, Africa, and South America. In Oct. 2016 she delivered a TED Talk on intersectionality illuminating #SayHerName, the campaign she launched the year before to call attention to police violence against Black women in the U.S.

Crenshaw also has facilitated workshops for civil rights activists in both Brazil and India, as well as for constitutional court judges in South Africa, where she was instrumental in the drafting of the equality clause of the nation’s constitution.

In 2016, Crenshaw became the first woman of color to receive the Outstanding Scholar Award from The Fellows of the American Bar Foundation. She has been recognized by Harvard Law School, where she earned her law degree in 1984, as one of its “Women Inspiring Change,” and by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, a newsmagazine focused on matters of access and opportunity for all, as an outstanding woman leader.

Previous winners of the Gittler Prize include Martha Minow (2015) and Gustavo Gutiérrez (2014). The prize is hosted by the International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life on behalf of the Office of the President of Brandeis University.