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Radicalizing + Decolonizing Feminism: Dr. Joy James, Jalessah T. Jackson, and Salome Ayuak in conversation

Event date: 
Monday, March 8, 2021 - 7:30pm to 9:00pm

In celebration of International Women's Day, Charis welcomes Dr. Joy James, Jalessah T. Jackson, and Salome Ayuak for a conversation about Radicalizing and Decolonizing Feminism. Drawing from Dr. James' Radicalising Feminism, an excerpt from Shadowboxing: Representations of Black Feminist Politics, this conversation will "present an explosive analysis of the history and practice of black feminisms, drawing upon political theory, history, and cultural studies." In addition, Jackson and Ayuak will bring their perspectives on what it means to Decolonize Feminism. This event is in partnership with the Decolonial Feminist Collective, scholar-organizers across disciplines utilizing internationalist and decolonial approaches in political education, movement, and solidarity-building. This event is co-sponsored by Rethink, based in New Orleans, Louisiana. Rethink's mission is to support youth of color in becoming thoughtful and capable leaders through the process of critically rethinking our educational experiences and taking action to create transformative systemic change. This event takes place on crowdcast, Charis' virtual event platform. Register here

International Women's Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. Significant activity is witnessed worldwide as groups come together to celebrate women's achievements or rally for women's equality. 

Decolonial Feminist Collective is a project that seeks to produce new forms of knowledge as well as elevate, center, and amplify cultural epistemologies, experiences, and knowledge. As individuals within this collective, Jalessah and Salome draw upon various positions which inform their decolonial commitment. Decoloniality is their mode of resistance that finds its particular expression in the rhetorical, intellectual, and embodied practices. Decolonial feminism is the guiding theoretical framework of their collective work together and derives from our commitment to decolonial politics and principles, and also from our embrace of cultural resources, which offer the potential for resistance. 

Dr. Joy James is author of: Shadowboxing: Representations of Black Feminist PoliticsTranscending the Talented Tenth: Black Leaders and American IntellectualsResisting State Violence: Radicalism, Gender and Race in U.S. Culture. Her edited books include: Warfare in the American HomelandThe New Abolitionists: (Neo) Slave Narratives and Contemporary Prison WritingsImprisoned IntellectualsStates of ConfinementThe Black Feminist Reader (co-edited with TD Sharpley-Whiting); and The Angela Y. Davis Reader. James is completing a book on the prosecution of 20th-century interracial rape cases, tentatively titled “Memory, Shame & Rage.” She has contributed articles and book chapters to journals and anthologies addressing feminist and critical race theory, democracy, and social justice.

James is a senior research fellow at the John L. Warfield Center for African and African American Studies at the University of Texas, Austin, where she is co-curator of digital repositories for the Warfield Center and the Harriet Tubman Literary Circle, an educational nonprofit organization.

She is the recipient of grants, fellowships or awards from: the Fletcher Foundation; the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities; the Rockefeller Foundation; the Bellagio Fellowship; the Aaron Diamond Foundation/Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture; the Ford Foundation; and the Gustavus Myers Human Rights Award.

Jalessah T. Jackson is a Black feminist (m)other, interdisciplinary scholar-organizer, abolitionist, and reproductive justice leader whose work is centered on the interrelationship between critical pedagogy, scholarship, and political engagement. As the Director of Community Engagement at Feminist Women’s Health Center, they lead the development the Center’s comprehensive vision, strategy, implementation, and evaluation plan for community engagement, education, organizing, and leadership development programs and initiatives.

Jalessah is the Founder and Co-Chair of the Decolonial Feminist Collective, a collaborative political education, research, solidarity-building project based on principles of decoloniality. In addition to their advocacy work, they teach courses in Community Health and Social Sciences, African and African Diaspora Studies and Gender, Women, Sexualities Studies.

Across her work, her focus has been on the ways that systems of oppression structure opportunities in society, and their daily work has been with/in communities who are marginalized through those structures.

Salome Ayuak is a member of the Horn of Africa Pan-Africanists for Liberation and Solidary and Co-Chair of the Decolonial Feminist Collective, a group of organizers, researchers, and scholars working across disciplines and utilizing decolonial approaches in movement-building strategies, research, and publishing. Outside of formations, Salome is a co-author of a forthcoming textbook chapter on teaching world politics in ways that account for interlockings of colonial structures that impact how we learn and understand our worlds. 

This event is free and open to all people, especially to those who have no income or low income right now, but we encourage and appreciate a solidarity donation in support of the work of Charis Circle, our programming non-profit. Charis Circle's mission is to foster sustainable feminist communities, work for social justice, and encourage the expression of diverse and marginalized voices.

We will be archiving this event and adding closed captioning as soon as possible after airing so that it will be accessible to deaf and HOH people. If you have other accessibility needs or if you are someone who has skills in making digital events more accessible please don't hesitate to reach out to We are actively learning the best practices for this technology and we welcome your feedback as we begin this new way of connecting across distances.

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Event address: 
Shadowboxing: Representations of Black Feminist Politics Cover Image
By Joy James (Editor), Na Na
ISBN: 9780312294496
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Palgrave MacMillan - May 7th, 2002

Shadowboxing presents an explosive analysis of the history and practice of black feminisms, drawing upon political theory, history, and cultural studies in a sweepingly interdisciplinary work. Joy James charts new territory by synthesizing theories of social movements with cultural and identity politics.

Transcending the Talented Tenth: Black Leaders and American Intellectuals Cover Image
ISBN: 9780415917636
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Routledge - October 22nd, 1996

In Transcending the Talented Tenth, Joy James provocatively examines African American intellectual responses to racism and the role of elitism, sexism and anti-radicalism in black leadership politics throughout history.

Event Summary: 
In celebration of International Women's Day, Charis welcomes Dr. Joy James, Jalessah T. Jackson, and Salome Ayuak for a conversation about Radicalizing and Decolonizing Feminism.