Narratives of Scholarship, Resistance and Activism by Women/Womxn of Color
In the 1980s, three black women scholars.
—Gloria T. Hull, Patricia Bell Scott, and Barbara Smith—published a seminal text in understanding the placement of black women in academia. Entitled All the Women are White, All the Blacks are Men, But Some of Us are Brave, this research considered the emerging fields of Black Studies and Women Studies and the frustration that Black women felt as they attempted to incorporate Black women’s scholarship in a scholarly landscape dominated by Black men and white women. In this sense, Hull et al. edited volume was groundbreaking because it established a space to consider the scholarly work and influence of Black women in these fields and narrate the experiences of Black women scholars.
In honor of Women’s History Month, this annual lecture series pays tribute to the spirit of Hull et al. declaration, continuing in that important legacy of creating space for the voices of women/womxn junior scholars of color. This lecture series provides students, faculty, staff, and the Tacoma community an opportunity to learn from, engage with, and experience the outstanding research and activism that women/womxn of color scholars produce and how that research continues to work toward inclusivity and equity in academia.
Thursday, March 5 at 4:30 p.m. in Trimble Forum
Guest Speaker: Binah McCloud
Lecture Title: When Being Brave is the Only Option
About the Lecture: She was born during the time of the 1960’s Fishing Wars, the youngest of eight. Her mother an activist and father who followed the path of his ancestors. They became the ultimate example of courage. From her mother came the passion of protecting Mother Earth and its resources. Her father gifted her with a deep appreciation of what it means to sacrifice for the needs of others.
Truth be known, the American dream didn’t include protecting the lifestyle of its indigenous inhabitants, which is why Binah and her siblings learned to be brave at a very young age. You see, bravery wasn’t a choice; it was who you became in the face of adversity.
From preservation to advocacy, there is never a day that goes by where bravery isn’t part of her daily life. As a Culture Director of Chief Leschi school, she faces the opposition of preventing total assimilation, the act of which nothing is sacred. Her mission is to ensure that each child understands the rich fabric of their Native roots through storytelling, culture exchange, and community events. Within the heart of her being, she understands that the future is in the seed, referring to every child that walks this land. While reminding each generation that we are a sacred nation, protectors of this land.
Educator and Storyteller. Culture Director of Chief Leschi School. Puyallup and Tulalip Heritage. Binah McCloud shares part of her narrative of always being brave. Join us.
Puyallup Tribe of Tacoma Washington.
Thursday, March 12 at 4:30 p.m. in Rotunda
Guest Speaker: M. Billye Sankofa Waters, Ph.D.
Lecture Title: Unapologetic Navigation: Moving Through Spaces with Our Whole Selves
About the Lecture: In keeping with the work “...but some of us are brave,” Dr. Sankofa Waters will open a conversation about her journey through higher/education as a Black feminist and Chicago Hip Hop black girl. This conversation is entitled “unapologetic navigation,” which highlights her non-profit work as well as her ancestral journey to celebrate her intergenerational legacy. In joining this space, we ask that you bring your whole self, as is the purpose of the But Some of Us Are Brave series. Additionally, come prepared to share, discuss, and meditate on the realities of being one’s whole-self in our society. This space is for you.
About the Speaker: M. Billye Sankofa Waters, Ph.D.: “I come to the academy as a writing artist from Chicago. I’ve
been teaching faculty in Schools of Education since 2012 and am currently an Assistant
Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Washington Tacoma; I teach teachers,
administrators, non-profit organizers, student organizers, career changers, and all the greys
between. My praxis is rooted in my lived experiences as a Hip Hop generation Blackgirl. I apply
Black Feminism, critical race theory, and abolitionist teaching toward ethnographic work with
intergenerational Black girls to engender identity agency as tools for familial affirmation,
decolonization, and self-care. I most recently co-edited Celebrating Twenty Years of Black
Girlhood: The Lauryn Hill Reader (with Bettina L. Love & Venus Evans-Winters, 2019) and am the
author of We Can Speak for Ourselves: Parent Involvement and Ideologies of Black Mothers in
Chicago (2016). I am the Founding Executive Director of Blackgirl Gold Unapologetic, Inc. FMI:
Please check out my profile @ blackgirlgold.org/Billye.”
Thursday, March 26 at 4:30 p.m. in Rotunda
Guest Speaker: Maria Martin, Ph.D.
Lecture Title: “The Struggle Is Real”: Taking a Self Inventory to Heal from Anti-Blackness in US Academia
About the Lecture: As an African American woman, professor, and a native of Cleveland, Ohio, I have learned, through many circumstances, the importance of recognizing intrinsic value. In short, it involves seeing the inner worth of one's self and of others. But this can e a struggle (when one is affected by interlocking oppressive structures), and the struggle is real. In my early academic career, to heal from the damage done by these structures, I began to take inventory of myself. This talk will be an interactive journey through my self-development and self-advocacy
as a Black woman scholar in the system of US higher education. I will recount specific challenging experiences from my educational career that involve racism, sexism, funding issues, international travel, the Ebola outbreak, and more. This talk, combined with audience engaged activities, will ultimately present listeners with the importance of taking a self-inventory and developing a liberated narrative of themselves.
About the Speaker: Dr. Maria Martin, a native of Cleveland, Ohio, is currently an Assistant Professor of African
History & Critical Race and Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Merced. She holds a
Ph.D. in African American and African Studies with a concentration in history and women’s
studies from Michigan State University, where she is known for her hip hop teaching methods.
Dr. Martin recently returned from Nigeria, teaching in gender studies, where she previously
conducted research using oral histories and archives that centered on building an intellectual
history of Nigerian women’s activism in the nationalist movement.
She is a Bill and Melinda Gates Scholarship alumna and has won several Fulbright awards and received an honorable mention from the Ford Foundation for her research. Dr.
Martin has also been a volunteer grant writer, teacher trainer, and mentor for a non-profit
an organization serving young girls from the inner city of Detroit, Michigan, for six years.