Women of color and the current political landscape

March 16, 7:30 p.m. (EDT) on WGBH’s World Channel Basic Black presents a panel discussion, Women of color: left out of the “Women’s Agenda?”:

In acknowledgment of Women’s History Month Basic Black presents a Women’s Roundtable. This special presentation will be a conversation on the issues and concerns of women of color coming out of the political landscape in this presidential election year. In addition to the wealth income gap and health care reform, we’ll dig deep on issues such as reproductive rights, the upcoming Supreme Court hearing on affirmative action and women of color in political life.

Panelists are:

Callie Crossley, host and executive editor, The Callie Crossley Show

Anita Hill, Professor of Social Policy, Law and Women’s Studies, Brandeis University

Lani Guinier, Bennett Boskey Professor of Law, Harvard Law School

Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz (MA-2nd Suffolk)

Kim McLarin, Assistant Professor of Writing, Literature and Publishing, Emerson College

On Monday March 19th at Brandeis University a conference, Disrupting the Script: Raising to Legal Consciousness Sexual Assaults on Black Women. About the conference from the website (much of the conference will be live streamed and also available after the conference):

In Speaking Truth to Power, Anita Hill highlighted the particular hurdles Black rape survivors face in U.S. criminal justice system. Together, Anita Hill and Bernadette Brooten seek to enhance public discussion of this problem in order to promote both social and legal change. The conference will draw upon theater, religion, law, history, and public policy to help participants become agents for change.

We will begin with award-winning actor Vanessa Adams-Harris’s “Who Will Sing for Lena?” a dramatic representation of a woman’s response to a rape. Panelists will then offer insights from their respective disciplines.

The Brandeis Feminist Sexual Ethics Project commissioned two meta-analyses of legal and social-scientific research confirming that Black rape survivors face greater hurdles than do those of European origin. ??The research found that societal myths about race and sexuality combine to play a significant role in responses to sexual assault—from the victim’s reaction to an assault, to a prosecutor or judge’s confidence in the validity of her story, to the credibility members of the jury give to her testimony and their willingness to accept the act described as a sexual violation.

Because these responses are societal and cultural, we recognize that any effort to address them must go beyond the legal system itself, to the larger society.

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