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2020 Fall

Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies FIG

Red Washburn

Fall 2020 Minutes

October 19, 2020, 2-3PM, Zoom

November 23, 2020, 2-3PM
December 7, 2020, 2-3PM, Zoom


The Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies Faculty Interest Group is still using Zoom and teach-in videos instead of meetings. We focused on Black Lives Matter, Black, Race, and Ethnic Studies, and the Social Construction of Whiteness this semester.

At first meeting, we discussed the Jose Munoz Award talk BLM founder Patrisse Cullors did for the Center for LGBTQ Studies (CLAGS) in 2019: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TmZfAOBz7uo&t=86s We discussed the role of intersectionality. We also shared our thoughts about art and activism. We focused a lot on representation – how to highlight BLM was founded by Black queer women and how to connect that to current events in our classrooms. We also spent some time  debriefing the CUNY Town Hall on Black, Race, and Ethnic Studies as well as how to re-think the WGS Program to support interdisciplinary programs in Race and Ethnic Studies in CUNY.


At the second meeting, we continued our discussion of Black, Race, and Ethnic Studies connected to Women’s and Gender Studies and Black Lives Matter. We used the National Women’s Studies Association keynote, a virtual conversation between Rep. Ilhan Omar, Barbara Ransby, and Cathy Cohen called “Black Feminism & the Reimagined Politics of Democracy & Accountability”: https://columbiauniversity.zoom.us/rec/play/2hswvW4JMfrbZaLl1xJsVnnprrTlYfeNhhj4NADcKHOS3uJdP4FjWHIH1SVVxw4EXUGuH9phbk3Fylxk.MrKtdpXxPp-Xnnxc?startTime=1604012590000&_x_zm_rtaid=dI4rEZxlQ7mgggJdPBYnCg.1605646809453.a357fa3702f29928099edb7b3e0fc5db&_x_zm_rhtaid=255We also spent a good chunk of time planning an event for colleagues and students, a panel called “The Social Construction of Whiteness,” as a faculty and staff response to how to do ally work on a largely white campus.


At the third meeting, we did a panel, “The Social Construction of Whiteness.” It was co-sponsored by the Global and Environmental Studies FIG. We unpacked the social construction of whiteness and reflected on our lived experiences within this construct. Stuart Parker (Behavioral Sciences), Amy Karp (English), and Dominic Wetzel (Behavioral Sciences) joined Liberal Arts Program Coordinators Red Washburn and Jason Leggett to consider the impact of whiteness across our institution and in our different roles. It was a successful event of about forty people, mostly faculty and some students. See below for the he link to the recording and the questions we asked.




Meeting Recording:



Access Passcode: .Jv&i3SF




How have you thought about movements against the status quo within the frameworks of WGS and a social construction of whiteness?

What does it mean to be a white person within a majority non-white institution?

How do we construct ongoing dialogue around the finding that Kingsborough ranks the lowest among CUNY colleges for faculty retention and promotion of people of color?

What does a white ally do and how does one behave especially in the era of dual pandemics and economic austerity?

How do we construct safe spaces for the work to close equity gaps among faculty and with students in our classrooms?