The Feminist Sexual Ethics Project works to create Jewish, Christian, and Muslim sexual ethics rooted in freedom, mutuality, meaningful consent, responsibility, and female (as well as male) pleasure, untainted by slave-holding values. Read more>


How do race, ethnicity, and religion intersect with sexual violence?


 In the News

Profs. Hill and Brooten

Profs. Bernadette Brooten and Anita Hill talk about injustice to sexually assaulted Black women and their conference on the topic, "Disrupting the Script," with BrandeisNOW.



 Beyond Slavery

Beyond Slavery Book Cover

Beyond Slavery: Overcoming Its Religious and Sexual Legacies. Edited by Bernadette J. Brooten with the editorial assistance by Jacqueline L. Hazelton. Palgrave MacMillan, 358 pages.

Read the introduction to Beyond Slavery.



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The Feminist Sexual Ethics Project is supported by a grant from the Ford Foundation and Brandeis University.



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How do race, ethnicity, and religion intersect with sexual violence?

How Do Race, Ethnicity,
and Religion Intersect
with Sexual Violence?

Please join us for a thought-provoking panel discussion about the intersectionality between sexual violence and race, ethnicity, and religion.

DATE: Friday, November 3, 2017
TIME: 12:00–2:00 with a reception following
LOCATION: Rapaporte Treasure Hall, Goldfarb Library
Brandeis University
Waltham, MA 02454

Get directions  | RSVP here 

In the U.S., sexual violence is racially charged. Such violence occurs in all communities, but differently in each. By learning about those differences and by working to create the conditions in which all victims/survivors know that reporting will result in justice, we can reduce sexual harassment and violence.

Black and Native communities have experienced especially high levels of sexual violence since colonization began and slavery was legal. Today, Black and Native survivors rarely obtain justice under the law. Tribal authorities do not even have the right to arrest non-Natives who rape tribal members on their own reservation. The best strategies and solutions to this inequity will come from survivors from within each community.

Religion can provide deep healing to survivors. In some traditions, however, religious interpretations can hinder survivors from seeing themselves as victims of a crime rather than as transgressors of religious modesty and sexual purity.

Please join us for thoughtful discussion with Angela Frederick Amar, Sarah Deer, and Bernadette Brooten.

Program 

Welcome

Lisa Lynch
Provost and Maurice B. Hexter Professor
of Social and Economic Policy
Brandeis University

Moderator

ChaeRan Freeze
Professor of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies
and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Brandeis University

Presenters

Angela Fredrick AmarAngela Fredrick Amar is a professor at the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing of Emory University and member of the National Black Nurses Association. Sexual and other intimate partner violence are central to Amar’s research, in which, among other theories, she applies the Theory of Planned Behavior to understand African American college women’s patterns of help seeking. She has also published or presented on Muslim and Chinese women who experience sexual violence, and she incorporates race, ethnicity, and religion into her research and training programs on bystander intervention, on hindrances to reporting, on peer influences and the role of families, and on the role of nurses in preventing and responding to such violence. As a professor of nursing, she brings a perspective all too often missing from discussions of sexual violence on college campuses. Amar will speak on culturally informed bystander intervention.


Bernadette Brooten

Bernadette Brooten, Kraft-Hiatt Professor of Christian Studies, scholar of religion, and founding director of the Feminist Sexual Ethics Project, will draw upon the research within that project on Judaism, Christianity, and Islam in relation to the history of slavery and on the differing challenges faced by survivors of sexual violence in various ethnic and racial groups. Brooten serves as a member of the Brandeis Task Force on Sexual Assault and is undertaking research on “Hindrances to Black Women’s Reporting of Racial Harassment/Violence and Sexual Harassment/Violence.” Brooten will speak about facing up to specific histories and about religious traditions. 


Sarah Deer

Sarah Deer (Muscogee [Creek] Nation), a MacArthur Fellow in 2014, has worked to end violence against women for more than 25 years. Her scholarship focuses on the intersection of federal Indian law and victims' rights. Prof. Deer is co-author of four textbooks on tribal law. Her latest book is "The Beginning and End of Rape: Confronting Sexual Violence in Native America," which has received several awards. Her work on violence against Native women has received national recognition from the American Bar Association and the Department of Justice. She currently teaches at the University of Kansas. Professor Deer is also the Chief Justice for the Prairie Island Indian Community Court of Appeals.

FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

This event is sponsored by the MacArthur Foundation and the Brandeis Provost's Diversity Fund. 

It is co-sponsored by the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center, the Massachusetts Center for Native American Awareness, and these Brandeis University departments and programs: Brandeis African and Afro-American Studies; Counseling Center; Health Center; Department of Public Safety; Health, Science, Society and Policy; Intercultural Center; Near Eastern and Judaic Studies; Peace, Conflict, and Co-existence Studies; Pre-Health Advising; Religious and Spiritual Life; and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.



Conference: Disrupting the Script

"Disrupting the Script: Raising to Legal Consciousness Sexual Assaults on Black Women," 
a conference convened by 
Anita F. Hill and Bernadette J. Brooten

In her book Speaking Truth to PowerAnita 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 drew upon theater, religion, law, history, and public policy to help participants become agents for change.

Watch Prof. Hill's closing remarks.

Watch Anita F. Hill's closing remarks.
See highlights from the conference.


Beyond Slavery

"Beyond Slavery: Overcoming Its Religious & Sexual Legacies," 
a conference convened by
Bernadette J. Brooten

The "Beyond Slavery" conference focused on providing a forum for leading intellectuals, activists, and the public to discuss overcoming slavery's ongoing impact on sexuality. Presenters spoke on a wide range of topics, providing insight into traditional religious support for slavery; the sexual dynamics of slavery; how religious and other people can complete the abolition of slavery; and how best to move beyond racial stereotypes about sexuality.

Watch Mende Nazer's presentation

Watch formerly enslaved anti-slavery activist Mende Nazer respond to historical slavery and to religious teachings on it. See highlights from the conference.