Intersectionality and the Invisible Woman: A Discussion With Rashida H. Govan

Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man shook the nation with its poignant narrative on the experiences of Black Americans during the early 50s. His book catalyzed the civil rights movement, and brought the injustices experienced by Black Americans to the forefront of the nation’s consciousness.

However, the experiences of Black women and girls continue to be under-appreciated, and are rarely discussed through the many angles of lived experience. Like Ellison’s protagonist, Black women and girls are invisible, unnoticed, in conversations revolving around national inequities, challenges, and discrimination.

In this latest Community Learning Series, we will join educator, scholar-activist, and writer Rashida H. Govan, in a discussion focused on the unique experiences of Black women and girls in America and how participants can help gain awareness and provide support. This discussion considers the unique experiences of Black women and the intersections of race, class, gender, sexuality and social class in their lived experiences. 

About Rashida H. Govan

Rashida Govan is an educator, scholar-activist and writer who has worked for over 20 years in education, policy advocacy and youth development. Govan considers her research the academic complement to the organizing efforts of Black and Brown people in pursuit of more just and well communities of color. She uses her research to amplify the power of marginalized people and to center their voices, experiences and ideas to transform systems, institutions, and communities.

Rashida has spent much of her career cultivating safe and just spaces that promote healing, learning and movement building for youth, families and community. This includes founding Project Butterfly New Orleans, an African centered girls rites of passage program that has served over 300 girls since 2009 and  leading the New Orleans Youth Alliance where she has trained over 800 educators and youth development professionals nationally on trauma-informed practice, healing justice and racial equity. Govan also leads numerous community education programs including parent training, community teach-ins and lectures.

Prior to her work in the nonprofit sector, Govan spent ten years working in higher education in enrollment management and student affairs in leadership roles at Morgan State University, Johns Hopkins University, the University of Maryland and the Community College of Baltimore County. She has served as an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland, The Community College of Baltimore County and at the University of New Orleans teaching courses in women’s studies, hip hop culture, leadership and education leadership and administration. 

Rashida has also  spoken nationally and internationally on a wide range of issues including healing justice, racial equity, and trauma-informed practice in education and youth development. She has spoken widely on issues concerning Black girls and women and is frequently sought to speak on issues impacting young people. Govan is a proud graduate of Morgan State University, the University of Maryland and the University of New Orleans.

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