In Brazil, Professor Crenshaw stands with her students after a meeting with a leading NGO committed to fighting the injustices against women of color.

As an exciting component of  Prof. Crenshaw’s Seminar, Intersectionalities: Race and Gender Conscious Remedies at UCLA and Columbia law schools, Prof. Crenshaw and Project Coordinators, Camila Morsch and Julia Nevia, embarked with thirteen students on a field study of India and Brazil for two weeks in March 2008.   This is the second group of students undertaking field work under the Global Affirmative Action Praxis Project—a project of Professor Crenshaw and her students, made possible by the support of the African American Policy Forum (AAPF), UCLA School of Law, and Columbia Law School.

Professor Crenshaw and Professor Harris delivers the opening speech at the Dalit Center for Young Women along with Martin MacWan and Manjula, the Center’s director.

Professor Crenshaw joined the eleven students from UCLA’s law school and human rights lawyer/project coordinator Julia Nevia in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Starting with a lecture at PUC- SP in Prof. Flavia Piovesan’s class, Prof. Crenshaw and Ms. Nevia lead the students through a series of exciting and insightful meetings with notable scholars and activists in Brazil. Some students sought out the colorful hip hop culture and saw how these artists utilized this music as a mouth piece to voice discontent over unacknowledged racial boundaries. Others utilized the opportunity to meet local government officials such as Claudete Alves, the only female Afro-Brazilian councilwoman in the City of Sao Paolo in the last 450 years.

As part of the program, students were given the opportunity to directly interact with the people of India in order to obtain data for their research

Splitting time between the two countries, Prof. Crenshaw also guided a smaller and more intimate group from Columbia University in India on visits with scholars and activists at the Dalit Foundation, JNU University, and the Institute for Dalit Studies amongst many others. While in Delhi, Professor Crenshaw, Professor Luke Harris of Vassar College, Camila Morsch (also Associate Director of AAPF), and students Noopur Gaarg and Ehi Oviasu were hosted by the Rai Foundation. In the second part of the trip Camila guided the students on an immersion into the grassroots projects of Martin Macwan, director of the Dalit organization Navsarjan Trust, and activists in a small village in Gujarat. The students stayed within the Dalit Empowerment Center (DSK), a vocational and identity building center for Dalit youth. The group was able to witness first hand this sometimes chaotic culture that still feels the rigid grasp of caste culture and gender discrimination. 

The African American Policy Forum, Columbia Law School and UCLA School of Law co-sponsored these trips in order to make this dynamic learning experience possible for the law students.

Each student and project coordinator chronicled their experiences in India and Brazil through blogs posted daily. To see their insightful perspectives, please visit: Indian Praxis Project and the Brazilian Praxis Project.

Also read Prof. Crenshaw’s speech given at the Dalit Foundation festival for more insight on the India trip: Speech to Dalit Foundation 2008



%d bloggers like this: