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Kimberlé Crenshaw named winner of the 2016-17 Gittler Prize

Portrait of Gittler Award winner Kimberle Crenshaw

Kimberlé Willams Crenshaw, a groundbreaking scholar of intersectionality who pioneered the intellectual movement known as Critical Race Theory, has been selected by Brandeis University as the 2016-17 winner of the Joseph B. and Toby Gittler Prize.

Crenshaw, a professor at the UCLA School of Law and Columbia Law School, is an internationally-known authority in the areas of civil rights, Black feminist legal theory, and race, racism and the law. Her foundational work has had a galvanizing impact worldwide inside and outside the academy. In a 1989 essay, Crenshaw coined the term “intersectionality,” a concept that has advanced understanding of systemic injustice and social inequality.

Currently, Crenshaw is director of the Center for Intersectionality and Social Policy Studies at Columbia Law School, which she founded in 2011, and is the Centennial Professor at the Gender Institute at the London School of Economics (2015-2018).

The Gittler Prize is presented annually to a person whose body of published work reflects scholarly excellence and makes a lasting contribution to racial, ethnic or religious relations. Crenshaw will visit the Brandeis University campus in October 2017 for a three-day residency, during which she will formally receive the prize and deliver a public lecture.

“Kimberlé Crenshaw is one of the rare scholars whose exceptional academic work has become an important part of dialogue and change inside and outside the academy,” said Brandeis University President Ron Liebowitz. “Her innovative thinking underscores important values associated with the Gittler Prize and with our university.”

Crenshaw has worked extensively on a variety of issues pertaining to gender and race in the domestic arena including violence against women, structural racial inequality, and affirmative action. She served as a member of the National Science Foundation’s committee to research violence against women and has consulted with leading foundations, social justice organizations, and corporations to advance their race and gender equity initiatives.

In 2016, Crenshaw received the Outstanding Scholar Award from the Fellows of the American Bar Foundation; in 2015, Crenshaw was featured in Ebony Magazine’s “Ebony Power 100,” which honors contemporary heroes of Black America, and was at the top of Ms. Magazine’s list of “Feminist Heroes of 2015.” She was also honored as one of Harvard Law School’s “Women Inspiring Change” and recognized by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education as one of the “Top 25 Women in Higher Education.” She has twice been honored as Professor of the Year at UCLA Law School.

The Joseph B. and Toby Gittler Prize was created in 2007 by the late Professor Joseph B. Gittler to recognize outstanding and lasting scholarly contributions to racial, ethnic and/or religious relations. It is named after Gittler and his mother, Toby. The Joseph B. and Toby Gittler Endowed Fund at Brandeis University supports this annual award that also includes a $25,000 prize and a medal. Previous Gittler Prize winners include Martha Minow (2015), Gustavo Gutiérrez (2014) and Patricia Hill Collins '69, PhD '84 (2013). The prize is hosted by the International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life on behalf of the Office of the President of Brandeis University.

Categories: Humanities and Social Sciences

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