The current political climate in America surrounding the multiple acts of racial violence and the governmental/police force responses to them have brought the white supremacy of our country to the forefront of our minds and made this dynamic more visible. From John Crawford here in Ohio being shot at a Wal-Mart to the murder of Mike Brown in Ferguson, MO, these events are tragic and unacceptable, while realistically reflective of the white supremacist world in which we live. Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies hopes to provide a learning community where ideas about race and class privilege are challenged on multiple levels and to cultivate social justice language and action in order to avoid repeating the mistakes of history and to move into a more progressive and egalitarian social climate. We are proud of our graduate students, undergraduate students, faculty members and staff members who are taking action by showing up to rallies and adding to the momentum of the conversation in person and on social media.
Graduate student Tay Glover initiated a gofundme fundraiser to help Columbus residents travel to Ferguson, MO in solidarity with Ferguson citizens. Glover raised over $3,000 and among donors was black feminist scholar Kimberle Crenshaw. Glover and faculty member Treva Lindsey among many other Columbus residents and WGSS members traveled to Ferguson this past weekend in solidarity.
Finally, on Thursday, August 28th WGSS faculty and graduate students Shannon Winnubst, Treva Lindsey, Lynn Itagaki, Mary Thomas, Debanuj Dasgupta, and Haley Swenson presented in a Mike Brown Teach-In at the Hale Black Cultural Center on campus. In addition, The Ohio Student Association also presented on how they are currently agitating for the state government to take the death of John Crawford seriously as well as many other political actions which impact black lives in Ohio. This presentation formally addressed the issue and stressed the importance of this moment and how it is indicative of America’s racist climate, the ubiquitous presence of militarization in our lives, and the unacceptable violence that black bodies continue to experience as a result. The MLK lounge was packed full and precipitated engaged and emotional Q&A’s and feedback. The event used the twitter hashtag #MikeBrownTeachIn so those who could not attend could read what those tweeting the event had to say and to add momentum to conversations around Mike Brown throughout social media. Thanks very much to all who attended and contributed to this event!
Below is the PowerPoint presentation from the event.