Antiracism & Intersectional Justice Committee

About the Committee

The Writing & Critical Inquiry (WCI) Program's Antiracism and Intersectional Justice Committee seeks to center the voices of individuals who have been marginalized in pedagogical, curricular, institutional and systemic contexts to reconfigure power relations and cultivate an equitable learning, work and community environment at UAlbany. 

The committee’s key goals include: 

  • Sustained inquiry into antiracist and intersectional texts and pedagogical practices 
  • Amplifying voices of historically marginalized populations by raising funds to bring in BIPOC and LGBTQI educators to train WCI faculty in antiracism and intersectional pedagogy 
  • Inviting WCI students to participate in our shared inquiry and to share their experiential knowledge 
  • Hiring and participating in the retention of more faculty of color within WCI 

The committee’s work deepens and amplifies WCI’s mission to help students think critically about the world around them.  

By emphasizing both reflection and tangible action, the committee puts the diversity and inclusion goals outlined in UAlbany’s Strategic Plan into practice. 


Partner with Us 

The Antiracism & Intersectional Justice Committee partners with student organizations, University departments and units, off-campus organizations and other groups to host events and workshops.  

Please contact Allison V. Craig ([email protected]) to share opportunities to work together. 


Upcoming Events 

Events are posted here as they are announced. Please visit the University’s Events Calendar for more upcoming events on campus. 


Recent Events 

"Conceptualizing, Implementing & Sustaining Inclusive Spaces" Workshop & Speaker Series (Spring 2024)

The "Conceptualizing, Implementing & Sustaining Inclusive Spaces" workshop and speaker series ran throughout the Spring 2024 semester, with events open to UAlbany students, faculty and staff, as well as the broader community.  

The series provided opportunities for UAlbany community members to build the skills needed to create inclusive spaces in the classroom, across campus and beyond. The program was conceived in response to WCI’s Spring 2023 workshop on intersectional antiracism, which engaged students, faculty and staff. The series also aims to build on conversations kindled during UAlbany’s free speech symposium held in Fall 2023.

The series included five events:

  • Keynote Talk: "Creating Brave Spaces for Challenging Dialogues"

    The keynote was presented by Brian Arao and Kristi Clemens on February 23, 2024. The event description was as follows: 

    "Bravery has always been essential in group-based learning about diversity, equity, inclusion, social justice and belonging (DEIJB). As attacks on DEIJB efforts and minoritized communities escalate in frequency and intensity, the need for brave spaces is more urgent today than ever. Join Brian Arao and Kristi Clemens — the co-creators of the brave space framework — for an intimate conversation about its origins, evolution and future."
  • Faculty & Staff Workshop: “Psychological Safety: Building the Foundation for Transparent Communication on Complex Topics” 

    The workshop was facilitated by Rachel Breidster on February 26, 2024. The event description was as follows: 

    "This workshop will engage participants in an exploration of the role that psychological safety plays in building engaged, trusting, collaborative, transparent and productive work environments. Specifically, this workshop will engage with the thesis that psychological safety is a necessary condition for meaningful discussion and action regarding diversity, equity and inclusion."


A presenter speaks to a room of faculty and staff members while gesturing to a poster board used during a brainstorming session.


  • Public Lecture: “10 Commandments for Student Success”

    This lecture was presented by Carol Tonge Mack, author of Being Bernadette: From Polite Silence to Finding the Black Girl Magic Within, on March 11, 2024. The event description was as follows: 

    "Carol Tonge Mack, assistant dean of retention in the College of Arts and Science at the University of Cincinnati, will visit several WCI classes to discuss her memoir, Being Bernadette, and field student questions. Mack will conclude her visit to UAlbany with a public lecture aimed at empowering students. Her talk will offer strategies for students to support their journey towards personal and academic success."
  • Faculty & Staff Workshop: “Rejecting Perfectionism: Adopting a Growth Mindset to Foster Inclusion”
    This workshop was facilitated by Rachel Breidster on April 1, 2024. The event description was as follows: 

    "This workshop will guide participants in uncovering and unpacking the role that a culture of perfectionism plays in stifling growth and transparent conversation about inclusivity for both students and faculty. It will specifically address the parallels that exist between faculty concerns about potentially mishandling sensitive situations involving diversity, and students striving to correct problems in academic settings that preclude inclusivity. After laying this foundation, participants will explore how adopting a growth mindset, particularly in the classroom, can improve their ability to create an inclusive learning space on multiple levels."
  • Finale Talk: “Counterstory and Critical Race Theory” 

    This talk was presented by Aja Martinez, author of the multi-award-winning book Counterstory: The Rhetoric and Writing of Critical Race Theory, on Friday, April 12, 2024. The event description was as follows: 

    "Martinez will discuss how and why the work she began in her seminal 2014 essay, “A Plea for a Critical Race Theory Counterstory,” has evolved. She will discuss how a simple question became a complex, interdisciplinary project, co-researched and co-written with historian and Indigenous studies scholar Robert O. Smith. Drawing on mixed methods, ranging from archival, to ethnographic, to literary and rhetorical analysis, Martinez and Smith reframe the histories of CRT’s origins in legal studies while making provocative claims concerning CRT’s storytelling pedagogy, methodology and theory."

The series was made possible thanks to support of a Diversity Transformation Award and the following sponsors: Office of Diversity and Inclusion; New York State Writers Institute; Learning Commons and HHMI-STEM; Gender & Sexuality Resource Center; Intercultural Student Engagement; Department of Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies; Center for the Advancement of Teaching, Learning and Online Education.

Intersectional Antihomophobia & Antiracism Workshop (April 2023)

The Antiracism and Intersectional Justice Committee hosted In Our Own Voices on campus for a three-hour intersectional workshop on antihomophobia and antiracism on April 19, 2023. 

In Our Own Voices (IOOV) has served Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) People of Color (POC) in the Capital Region community for 25 years. 

In Our Own Voices Chief Operating Officer Phillip Burse ’04 speaks during a intersectional workshop on antihomophobia and antiracism.

Fifty UAlbany students, faculty and staff members attended the event, which started with a workshop on working with Queer/Trans People of Color (QTPOC) in supportive, antiracist and antihomophobic ways. 

The session was led by IOOV Chief Operating Officer Phillip Burse '04, who is a recipient of the University’s Harvey Milk Alumnus Award.

Mixed groups of participants continued their discussions while eating lunch together. After the meal, Burse led a discussion session exclusively for students, especially those who identify as QTPOC.

The students-only conversation focused on sharing experiences, building community and making specific suggestions for improving the campus climate. 

Students note-takers shared anonymized feedback from that conversation with the Antiracism and Intersectional Justice Committee. Additionally, all participants were encouraged to leave written comments. The Committee is considering both sources of feedback as we plan our next steps. 

This event was supported by several campus partners, including:  

Audience members sit and listen during an intersectional workshop on antihomophobia and antiracism.