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Kim  Crenshaw

Kim Crenshaw

Civil & Women's Rights Activist


Kimberlé Crenshaw is popularly known for her development of “intersectionality,” “Critical Race Theory,” and the #SayHerName campaign, and is a leading authority on Civil Rights, Black feminist legal theory, and race, racism and the law. She is the most cited woman legal scholar in the history of the law, was named one of the ten most important thinkers in the world by Prospect Magazine in 2019, and writes a column for The New Republic. She is a frequent contributor on MSNBC and NPR. Read More >

She is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of the African American Policy Forum, a gender and racial justice legal think tank, the founder and Executive Director of the Center for Intersectionality and Social Policy Studies at Columbia Law School, and the Promise Institute Professor at UCLA Law School and the Isidor and Seville Sulzbacher at Columbia Law School. She hosts the popular podcast Intersectionality Matters!, and since March 2020 has moderated the widely impactful webinar series Under The Blacklight: The Intersectional Vulnerabilities that the Twin Pandemics Lay Bare, which over the course of five months has convened almost 20 times to discuss the lethal intersection of pre-existing inequalities, opportunistic disease, and police violence. The series serves as a snapshot of a uniquely disruptive moment in American history.

Based on interviews with the mothers of Black women slain by police, she has co-authored a play entitled “Say Her Name: The Lives that Should Have Been.” The plot entangles the stories of six women, victims of police violence and their mothers, to weave a tapestry of intergenerational loss, grief, resistance, and rebirth.

She is a leading voice in calling for a gender-inclusive approach to racial justice interventions, and alongside the #SayHerName campaign, has spearheaded the “Why We Can’t Wait” campaign and co-authored Black Girls Matter: Pushed Out, Overpoliced and Underprotected and Say Her Name: Resisting Police Brutality Against Black Women.

Her groundbreaking work on “Intersectionality” has traveled globally and was influential in shaping the South African equality clause. She has held visiting professorships at the London School of Economics and the European Institute, and was the Fulbright Chair in South America. Crenshaw authored the background paper on gender and race discrimination for the World Conference on Racism and has given talks on race and gender justice around the world.

She received her J.D. from Harvard, L.L.M. from University of Wisconsin, and B.A. from Cornell University. She sits on the Boards of VDay, and the Algorithmic Justice League. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

Highlight Reel

The Urgency of Intersectionality

Speech Topics

Intersectionality 101: 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.


The Anatomy of Neo-Racism: How to Think About Racial Injustice in the Age of Trump

Thieves in the Night: How We Lost Our Civil Liberties Under the Threat

The Matrix: Just Science Fiction? Think Again!