|June 6, 2017
1501 Kincaid St.
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“The Big Picture: Structural Racism, Equity & Intersectionality”
Rinku Sen, president and executive director of Race Forward: The Center for Racial Justice Innovation and the publisher of the award-winning news site Colorlines, will speak on the UO campus on June 6. She will deliver a talk titled “The Big Picture: Structural Racism, Equity & Intersectionality” at the Knight Library Browsing Room.
Race Forward brings systemic analysis and an innovative approach to complex race issues to help people take effective action toward racial equity through research, media, and practice. Under Sen’s leadership, Race Forward has generated some of the most impactful racial justice successes. One example is the groundbreaking Shattered Families report, which changed the immigration debate with investigative research on how record deportations of parents were leading to the placement of thousands of children in foster care, often separating them permanently and legally from their families.
A visionary and a pragmatist, Sen is one of the leading voices in the racial justice movement, building upon the legacy of civil rights by transforming the way we talk about race, from something that is individual, intentional, and overt to something that is systemic, unconscious, and hidden. Prior to her work at Race Forward, Rinku served in leadership roles for over a decade at the Center for Third World Organizing (CTWO), where she trained new organizers of color and crafted public policy campaigns. Sen’s cutting edge book Stir it Up, read widely by community organizers and taught on campuses across the country, theorized a model of community organizing that integrates a political analysis of race, gender, class, poverty, sexuality, and other issues.
Sen’s second book The Accidental American: Immigration and Citizenship in the Age of Globalization told the story of Moroccan immigrant Fekkak Mamdouh, who co-founded the Restaurant Opportunities Center of New York in the aftermath of September 11. It is currently being made into a film.
Rinku is the co-chair of the Schott Foundation for Public Education and sits on the boards of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, Working America, and the Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity. A highly sought-after keynote speaker for colleges, Sen has spoken at Harvard, Brown, University of Michigan, and Penn State, and was the commencement speaker at Antioch New England.
Sen earned a B.A. in women’s studies from Brown University and an M.S. in journalism at Columbia University. A native of India, she grew up in northeastern factory towns, and learned to speak English in a two-room schoolhouse.
Sponsored by the Department of Ethnic Studies. Cosponsored by the Center for the Study of Women in Society and the Center for Student Involvement.